Reverse evolution 2.
Turtle ant soldiers scuttle to and from sporting shiny, adorably oversized heads, which they use to block the entrances of their nests — essentially acting as living doors. Not all heads are shaped alike: some soldiers have ones that resemble manhole covers and perfectly seal tunnel entrances. Others have square heads, which they assemble into […]
Why doesn’t any animal have three legs?
If ‘Why?’ is the first question in science, ‘Why not?’ must be a close second. Sometimes it’s worth thinking about why something does not exist. Such as a truly three-legged animal. At least one researcher has been pondering the non-existence of tripeds. “Almost all animals are bilateral,” he said. The code for having two sides […]
The evolution of… evolution.
New research identifies a previously overlooked global event which changed the course of the evolution of life in the oceans. It coincided with a rise in calcium carbonate-secreting plankton and their subsequent deposition on the ocean floor. The ocean as we understand it today was shaped by a global evolutionary regime shift around 170 million […]
Asteroids. Death. Opportunities.
When the asteroid hit, dinosaurs weren’t the only ones that suffered. Clouds of ash blocked the sun and cooled the planet’s temperature, devastating plant life. But fungi, which decompose dead stuff, did well. So what happened to the lichens, which are made of a plant and fungus living together as one organism? “We thought that […]
Tools: God. Humans. Apes.
Flexible tool use is closely associated to higher mental processes such as the ability to plan actions. Now a group of cognitive biologists and comparative psychologists found out that the apes carefully weighed their options. To do so the apes considered the details such as differences in quality between the two food rewards and the […]
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