This small and furry scampering insect-eater lies at the base of the family tree for humans and most mammals, according to the largest-yet study of mammalian evolution.
If koalas have any reputation at all, it's as quiet, cute marsupials that spend all their time eating eucalyptus. But male koalas unleash loud, deep yells that sound like the mating call of some massive beast. That's exactly the point.
Scientists have just published compelling evidence that your great (great great...) grandmother was a shrew. Or rather, a shrew-like creature. A team of researchers discovered a new fossil species that they've named Juramaia sinensis, or "the Jurassic mother from China" — a tiny, primitive mammal that dates all the…
This pleasant-looking fellow is diprotodon optatum, a giant marsupial that lived in Australia for millions of years. We've now discovered the first complete skeleton of this marsupial, proving the only things more bizarre than Australian animals are ancient Australian animals.
The marsupials and monotremes that are now found primarily in Australia represent a sort of evolutionary middle ground, mixing together their mammalian features with those of reptiles or amphibians. One ancient marsupial represents a particularly weird case of convergent evolution.
Countless animal and plant species teeter on the brink of extinction, but the DNA of their ancestors may point the way to survival. Paleobiologists are scouring fossil DNA to determine why species once thrived...and how they can do so again.