Ear ossicles of modern humans and Neanderthals: Different shape, similar function

A research team led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology scanned the skulls of neanderthals and found the small middle ear ossicles, which are important for hearing,...

Ancient eggshell protein breaks through DNA time barrier

Scientists have identified fossil proteins in a 3.8 million year-old ostrich eggshell, suggesting that proteins could provide valuable new insights into the evolutionary tree, much further back in time than was...

In bird feathers, scientists find hints about color of extinct animals

In order to discover the true colors of ancient animals, scientists are using X-rays to closely examine the chemical details of modern bird feathers. The researchers were able to map elements that...

How rattlesnakes got, and lost, their venom

Millions of years ago, as the snake family tree grew new branches, the ancestor of modern rattlesnakes was endowed with a genetic arsenal of toxic weaponry, including genes for toxins that...

Four out of 6 great apes one step away from extinction — IUCN Red...

Honolulu, Hawai?i, 4 September 2016 (IUCN) - The Eastern Gorilla - the largest living primate - has been listed as Critically Endangered due to illegal hunting, according to the latest update of The I..

Most island vertebrate extinctions could be averted, concludes new study

Eight of every ten species extinctions has occurred on islands, and invasive mammals are the leading reason for those losses. Currently, 40 percent of species at risk of global extinction are island i..

The call of the sea: Mammalian evolutionary transitions back to the sea

Though mammals adapted on land, a new study by Maria Chikina and Nathan Clark has shown that during three major independent evolutionary events, a number of mammals harkened back to the sea. For th..

Mammals almost wiped out with the dinosaurs

Credit: Anthony Prothero, University of Bath Over 90 per cent of mammal species were wiped out by the same asteroid that killed the dinosaurs in the Cretaceous period 66 million years ago, signific..

A 100-million-year partnership on the brink of extinction

Credit: David Blair, James Cook University A relationship that has lasted for 100 million years is at serious risk of ending, due to the effects of environmental and climate change..