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Evolution and Darwin

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Life on Terra Firma Began with an Invasion

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Scientists are now confident animal life on solid ground started with a few short bursts of marine creatures making the leap from the oceans. New research at the University of Portsmouth also paints a clear picture of how animals rapidly spread out and changed once they made the leap.

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Anthroplogy, New World, Ancient Civilizations, Excavation, PERU, Huaca Prieta, Artifacts, Basketry, Complex Society, Pleistocene, Early Holocene, Early Human Life, Archeology

Leading Archaeologist Involved in Groundbreaking Discovery of Early Human Life in Ancient Peru

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A-tisket, A-tasket. You can tell a lot from a basket. Especially if it’s from ancient ruins of a civilization inhabited by humans 15,000 years ago. An archaeologist is among the team that made a groundbreaking discovery in coastal Peru – home to one of the earliest pyramids in South America. Thousands of artifacts, including elaborate hand-woven baskets, show that early humans in that region were a lot more advanced than originally thought and had very complex social networks.

Medicine

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Paleontology, Evolution, Human Evolution, Fossils, Australopithecus afarensis, Zeray Alemseged, Paleoanthropology

3.3 Million-Year-Old Fossil Reveals Origins of the Human Spine

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Analysis of a 3.3 million-year-old fossil skeleton reveals the most complete spinal column of any early human relative, including vertebrae, neck and rib cage. The findings, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that portions of the human spinal structure that enable efficient walking motions were established millions of years earlier than previously thought.

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UCI Scientists Find Evolution in Butterfly Eye Dependent on Sex

By analyzing both the genes that control color detecting photoreceptors and the structural components of the eye itself, University of California, Irvine evolutionary biologists have discovered male and female butterflies of one particular species have the unique ability to see the world differently from each another because of sex-related evolutionary traits.

Medicine

Science

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Mount Sinai Health System, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Environmental Medicine, biomarkers, orangutans, Evolution Biology

Wild Orangutan Teeth Provide Insight Into Human Breast-Feeding Evolution

Biomarkers in the teeth of wild orangutans indicate nursing patterns related to food fluctuations in their habitats, which can help guide understanding of breast-feeding evolution in humans, according to a study published today in Science Advances.

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Tyrannasaurus Rex, dinosaur physiology

The Secrets Behind T-Rex’s Bone Crushing Bites: Researchers Find T-Rex Could Crush 8,000 Pounds

A Florida State- Oklahoma State research team found that T. rex could pulverize bones, chomping down with nearly 8,000 pounds of force.

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Mutualism, Extinction, Ecology, Environment, Iowa State University

New Study Upends Established Models of Forecasting Coextinction in Complex Ecosystems

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Newly published research from ISU scientists shows many species may not be as susceptible to coextinction events as once thought. This new understanding hinges on how dependent individual species are on their mutualist relationships.

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Brain, Evolution, Science, Song Birds, Ingelligence, Cornell University, Psychology

In Brain Evolution, Size Matters – Most of the Time

Which came first, overall bigger brains or larger brain regions that control specialized behaviors? Neuroscientists have debated this question for decades, but a new Cornell University study settles the score.

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Evolutionary Biology, University of Vienna, Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Medical University of Vienna, ModelFinder, Algorithm, Evolution, Biology, Proteins

A New Tool to Decipher Evolutionary Biology

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A new bioinformatics tool to compare genome data has been developed by teams from the Max F. Perutz Laboratories, a joint venture of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna, together with researchers from Australia and Canada. The program called “ModelFinder” uses a fast algorithm and allows previously not attainable new insights into evolution. The results are published in the influential journal Nature Methods.

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Archaelology, Anthropology, Homo naledi, Human Ancestors

South African Cave Yields Yet More Fossils of a Newfound Relative

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Probing deeper into the South African cave system known as Rising Star, which last year yielded the largest cache of hominin fossils known to science, an international team of researchers has discovered another chamber with more remains of a newfound human relative, Homo naledi. The discovery of the new fossils representing the remains of at least three juvenile and adult specimens includes a “wonderfully complete skull,” says University of Wisconsin-Madison anthropologist John Hawks.







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