The history of elephants—from gigantic woolly mammoths through to modern forest-dwelling pachyderms—is more complicated than we thought. An analysis of modern and ancient elephant genomes shows that interbreeding and hybridization was an important aspect of elephant evolution.
Banded mongooses live together in big troops. Unlike most troops of animals, the young don’t venture off into the world to find or found troops of their own. There are consequences to families staying together, and the mongoose avoids them in a way we still don’t understand.
If you hail from outside of Africa, there's a decent chance that you share as much as 4% of your DNA with a long-extinct lineage of Neanderthals. Many scientists agree that this small percentage of shared genetic information is evidence that humans and Neanderthals interbred with one another in Europe tens of…
The human genome carries an average of 1% to 4% Neanderthal DNA, which means our ancient human ancestors must have interbred with our extinct evolutionary cousins. That raises an obvious next question: why did humans have sex with Neanderthals?
The Pacific and Atlantic horn snails were once the same species, until a land bridge blocked their path between oceans. But genetics suggest these snails still interbred long after they were cut off from each other. How? Thanks to the snail-eating birds.
We know that as ancient humans expanded into Eurasia, they began interbreeding with our Neanderthal cousins. But it now appears that the fun didn't start there - our ancestors also reproduced with precursors like Homo erectus and Homo habilis.
The western United States is full of many different species of scincid lizards, commonly known as skinks. These skinks come in all shapes and sizes, and yet they still try to mate with each other. Too bad it's physically impossible.
The evidence has been mounting for years that early humans and Neanderthals interbred, but now it's pretty much a certainty. Part of the X chromosome found in people from outside Africa originally comes from our Neanderthal cousins.
Every polar bear alive today shares a common maternal ancestor, and it isn't even a bear from the same species. Their mitochondrial DNA reveals a 100,000 year story of interbreeding and hybridization...and the story is far from over.