Galapagos Cormorant

How Flightless Cormorants Evolved

How flightless cormorants evolved, according to reports in Science News and UCLA News 1 June 2017, and Science doi:10.1126/science.aal3345, 2 June 2017. The Galapagos cormorant, Phalacrocorax harrisi, has short stubby wings and a small sternum (breast bone), and is the world’s only flightless cormorant. Flightless birds have intrigued evolutionary biologists from Darwin onwards. An international […]

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Stone Loach

E.U. Cave Fish “Evolved Super-Fast”

E.U. cave fish “evolved super-fast”, according to articles in New Scientist, Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 3 April 2017 and Current Biology doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.02.048. Scientists and cave explorers in Germany have found the first known European cave fish – small fish belonging to the genus Barbatula, also known as stone loaches, in the Danube–Aach underground […]

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Electro-sense Cost Platypus Teeth

Electro-sense cost platypus teeth, according to Science Advances 2016;2: e1601329, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1601329, published online 12 October 2016. A team of scientists from Japan, USA and Australia have compared the skull of the present day platypus with that of a fossil platypus named Obdurodon. The fossil platypus is larger than the present day platypus, and it […]

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Snake Leg Loss Genes

Snake leg loss genes found, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News 20 October 2016, Current Biology doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.09.020, published online 20 October 2016 and Cell, Vol. 167, p633–642.e11, doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.09.028 20. The most characteristic features of snakes are their long body form and lack of legs. Pythons and boas have tiny bony limb remnants […]

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Amber Midges Not Primitive

Amber midges not primitive, according to ScienceDaily 5 October 2016 and Scientific Reports, 2016; 6: 34352 DOI: 10.1038/srep34352. Frauke Stebner and colleagues from Universities of Bonn, Kassel, (Gdańsk, Poland) and Lucknow (India) have found a previously unknown species of midge preserved in Amber from India. They found it has “a unique, vesicular structure at the […]

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Survival of Gentlest Could Save Devils

Survival of gentlest could save devils, according to ABC News in Science 4 September 2012 and DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2012.02025.x. Tasmanian Devils are small carnivores living in the island state of Tasmania, south of the Australian mainland. The population of Devils has been greatly reduced over the last few decades because of a facial tumour spread by […]

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Family May Provide Evolution Clue

“Family May Provide Evolution Clue” is the headline of an article on BBC News, 7 Mar 2006, about a family in a remote part of Turkey where four sisters and one brother walk on all fours. One sister can walk on two feet sometimes, and another brother walks on two feet with difficulty. Medical tests […]

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Arm’s Length Sock Test

The arm’s length sock test is one sure sign your son is going through puberty. Sex hormones stimulate sweat glands and bacteria thrive in the extra secretions, producing the smell that makes you hold his socks at arm’s length as you put them in the wash. Even worse is the smell of used running shoes. […]

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Ancestral Fossil Snake

Ancestral fossil snake found, according a report in ABC (Australia) News in Science, and Nature, 16 Feb 2006. Palaeontologists at the Riversleigh fossil site in Queensland, Australia have found two snake skulls of an extinct snake named Yurlunggur preserved in “soft freshwater limestone” dated at 20 to 25 million years old. Yurlunggur is an Arnhem […]

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Mutant Butterflies in Japan

Mutant butterflies found in japan, according to an article in Nature Scientific Reports, doi:10.1038/srep00570, 9 August 2012. Scientists from University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara, Okinawa, Japan have studied butterflies from the region affected by the release of radioactive materials from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant following the great earthquake in March 2011. They collected […]

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