Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

  1. Animals

    Orangutans take the low road

    Cameras spotted orangutans walking down logging roads to get around. That may be a good sign that they can adapt to changes in their woodsy environment.

  2. Fossils

    Scientists Say: Coprolite

    Every living thing and signs of its existence — right down to their wastes — can fossilize under the right conditions. When poop fossilizes, it gets a special name.

  3. Animals

    Bird DNA leads to strange family tree

    Field guides often group birds together by similarities in appearance or behavior. But a new study, based on DNA, confirms earlier suspicions that such groupings are only skin-deep.

  4. Agriculture

    Livestock: A need to save rare breeds

    New studies and ongoing work highlight why society should save rare livestock breeds — and the part that technology can play.

  5. Fossils

    Dino double whammy

    Most scientists think an asteroid helped kill off the dinosaurs. But new calculations suggest that asteroid might have gotten some help from a long series of volcanic eruptions in what is now India.

  6. Fossils

    Tar pit clues provide ice age news

    New analyses of insects and mammals trapped in the La Brea Tar Pits point to climate surprises during the last ice age.

  7. Earth

    How people have been shaping the Earth

    We are the dominant force of change on Earth. Some experts propose naming our current time period the ‘Anthropocene’ to reflect our impact.

  8. Earth

    Coming: The sixth mass extinction?

    Species are dying off at such a rapid rate — faster than at any other time in human existence — that many resources on which we depend may disappear.

  9. Fossils

    Feathers: What every dino wore?

    A dino discovery in Siberia suggests feathers were common among the ancient ‘lizards.’

  10. Fossils

    Dinos ‘quickly’ shrunk into birds

    Scientists had long known birds descended from dinosaurs. A study now shows that the morphing from dinos into birds went along with a quick and steady shrinking of their body sizes.

  11. Genetics

    High-altitude help from extinct ancestors

    The Tibetan plateau is high in altitude but low in oxygen. An unusual version of one gene in Tibetans' DNA helps them survive this environment. And that gene appears to have been passed along from Denisovans, a Neandertal-like ancestor.

  12. Fossils

    Some Arctic dinos lived in herds

    Fossil footprints retrieved from Alaska indicate that plant-eating duckbill dinos not only traveled as extended families but also spent their entire lives in the Arctic.