Fossil With Preserved Tail Feathers and Skin Reveals Dinosaur Plumage Patterns

An undergraduate student from the University of Alberta has uncovered the fossilized remains of an Ornithomimus dinosaur with preserved tail feathers and soft tissue. The remarkable specimen is offering important insights into the plumage patterns of these ancient creatures, while tightening the linkages between… »11/02/15 11:15am11/02/15 11:15am

This Extinct Species is Changing What We Know About Early Ape Evolution

Meet Pliobates catalonia, an extinct species of ape that roamed the jungles of Catalonia some 11.5 million years ago. Because of this ancient creature’s many surprising physical characteristics, researchers are having to revise their conceptions of what the last common ancestor of all living apes—humans included—might… »10/29/15 2:10pm10/29/15 2:10pm

Did Our Hands Evolve to Throw Punches? One Biologist Thinks So

The human hand is a marvelous evolutionary invention: it can tie knots, tap out blog posts, wield tools and wire circuit boards. But how did we get these hands, with their long, dextrous fingers and conveniently opposable thumbs? It’s likely that tool-grasping played a role, but according to one evolutionary… »10/22/15 12:30pm10/22/15 12:30pm

Why Species Can't Interbreed With Each Other, Except When They Can 

Most people learn that a species is a group of living things that can interbreed. If two organisms don’t normally mate, or have sterile offspring if they do, they’re from different species. Except that like so many other things you learned in school, the reality is somewhat more... complicated. »10/15/15 11:30am10/15/15 11:30am

This Courting Bird Has More Dance Moves Than John Travolta

When they’re courting, male Carola’s Parotia put on one hell of a show. Whenever this bird-of-paradise from New Guinea gets females to visit his painstakingly-prepared display court, he runs through six specific dance moves, each of which has to be performed well, and in the right order, to convince a female he’s a… »9/29/15 4:15pm9/29/15 4:15pm