During the 65 million years following the extinction of the dinosaurs, the success story of the mammals has been more than a little imbalanced. Eutherians (placental mammals like dogs, horses, you and I) had an evolutionary rager, exploding in diversity and filling vacant ecological roles across the Northern…
The origin of flight remains a perplexing topic in the scientific community, as tends to be the case with any origin story. Flight probably evolved multiple times in different groups. Insects probably started flying over 300 million years ago, and pterosaurs, large flying reptiles, evolved 230 million years ago. Add…
Say goodbye to the Bramble Cay melomys, a small rat-like creature that lived on a tiny island near the north coast of Australia. Significantly, it marks the first time that a mammal has been declared extinct anywhere in the world, and the cause has been attributed to human-induced climate change.
Placentas are amazing organs, and we’re learning that they do so much more than simply manage the movement of nutrients and wastes between mother and fetus. In this month’s issue of The Scientist, placenta expert Christopher Coe explains its other roles, including hormonal regulation, iron storage, and immune system…
Paleontologists have spent a vast amount of time digging up dinosaur fossils, studying them, and then slating Jurassic Park. But despite the effort, some questions still remain about our predecessors on this planet — including whether or not they were cold-blooded.
You were once as wrapped as snug as the pony in the picture. Before you were born, you sat wrapped inside a placenta tucked inside your mother’s womb. That placenta was the very first reproductive structure your body built, long before you built your testes or ovaries or genitalia.
Penguins are so rad, even elephant seals like to party with them! Exhibit A: this image from October 2014, depicting king penguins and a male elephant seal* beachin’ it on South Georgia Island, deep in the Southern Atlantic. For more penguin fun, here’s a video from the official World Penguin Day page:
A controversial new analysis of the fossilized remains of six squirrel-sized animals has pushed the lineage of modern mammals back to the Late Triassic — a time when the first dinosaurs emerged. The research also suggests that early mammals didn't just hide in the undergrowth.
Six thousand years ago, the Egyptian wilderness was a very different place. Lions ruled, zebras gathered in large herds, giraffes foraged from tall trees. We know that, in part, thanks to drawings on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs. Can ancient art help us better understand modern Egyptian wildlife?
It was just a year ago when the world first formally met the olinguito. The discovery of the creature - the first mammal discovered in the Americas in 35 years - made it the smallest member of the family that includes raccoons, coatis, kinkajous and olingos. Thanks to crowdsourcing, we now know a whole lot more about…
After setting up more than 40 camera traps in a remote mountain range in north-east Papua New Guinea, researchers have captured unprecedented images of previously unknown animals, including this adorable wallaby.
In what's turning out to be a rather shocking revelation, researchers have learned that the majority of animals can see pulses of UV light produced by power lines. Because these flashes are often frightening, they may be having a detrimental affect on wildlife around the globe.
As Henry Reich explains in this installment of Minute Earth, yes, monogamy does exist in the animal kingdom – though fewer creatures practice it than you probably realize.
All whales and dolphins are descended from terrestrial mammals, ancient creatures that were very similar to the modern hippopotamus. Now, a fascinating new genetics study shows the incredible evolutionary changes these animals had to experience to become the perfectly adapted marine animals we see today.
Odds are decent you've seen this video of dogs shaking in super slow-motion (and if you haven't yet, you should – it's a slobbery good time). What you may not know is that there's actually some really fascinating science behind the wet-dog (and, more broadly, the wet-mammal) shake.
That's right, all of them — and the shape or size of the animal doesn't matter. Scientists are calling it the Law of Urination, and it's a process driven by the way mammalian urinary systems evolved to eject fluids from the body in the quickest and most efficient way allowable by physics.
Some animals, like certain insects, spiders, and plants, die immediately after mating. But what about mammals? A new paper shows that the males of certain mouse-like marsupials face imminent death after having sex — an evolved trait that arose on account of extreme promiscuity.
The term “mind control” conjures up visions of someone manipulating people from the outside, such as an evil, brainwashing scientist or a supernatural being that takes dominion of a person just with the power of his mind. But since people don’t experience this in their daily lives, most don’t believe in mind control,…