Dingoes

Dingo Species Dispute

Dingo species dispute reported in ABC News 7 March 2019 and Zootaxa 5 March 2019, doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.4564.1.6. A group of researchers has carried out an extensive study of the Australian wild dog, known as the dingo, and claim it should be classified as a separate species of dog with the name Canis dingo, rather than […]

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Rabbit

Rabbit Evolution in Three Countries

Rabbit evolution in three countries, claim scientists in articles in Science (AAAS) News 14 February 2019, and Science 14 February 2019, doi: 10.1126/science.aau7285. European rabbits were introduced into Australia in the mid 1800s and over the following decades they multiplied and spread, eventually reaching plague proportions, and devastated crops and pasturelands. In 1950 the myxoma […]

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Evolution Diagram

Human Evolution in Israel

Human evolution in Israel, according to an article in Nature 14 February 2019 entitled “My hopes for Israel’s human evolution gallery” by Israel Hershkovitz. Hershkovitz and colleagues have set up a permanent exhibition on human evolution at Steinhardt Museum of Natural History’s Dan David Center for Human Evolution and Biohistory Research at Tel Aviv University. […]

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Snake

Snake Leg Loss Genetics

Snake leg loss genetics reported in ScienceDaily 6 February 2019 and Nature Communications 9 Nov 2018, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07122-z. An international team of scientists have been searching for genetic changes involved in loss of limbs in snakes. They suggested the differences may be in stretches of DNA known as cis-regulatory elements (CREs). These are not genes […]

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Ichthyosaur Fossil

Jurassic Blubber

Jurassic blubber found, according to articles in BBC News, National Geographic and ScienceDaily 5 December 2018, and Nature doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0775-x. For many years palaeontologists have speculated that ichthyosaurs had a layer of blubber (fatty tissue) under their skin as do living marine mammals such as dolphins and whales. Ichthyosaurs were reptiles, rather than mammals, but […]

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Fossil Flowers

Oldest Fossil Flowers

Oldest fossil flowers found, according to articles in ScienceDaily 18 December 2018 and Live Science 19 December 2019, and eLife 18 December 2018, doi: 10.7554/eLife.38827.001. An international group of scientists has studied 34 rock slabs containing 198 specimens of a previously unknown fossil flower. The fossils are from the South Xiangshan Formation, an outcrop of […]

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Sauropod

Oldest Long-Necked Dinos

Oldest long-necked dinos found, according to Live Science 21 November 2018, and Biology Letters 21 November 2018 doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0633. Palaeontologists in southern Brazil have found three “exceptionally well preserved” specimens of a previously unknown sauropodomorph – the group of long necked dinosaurs that includes giants such as Brontosaurus. At 3.5 metres (11ft) long the new […]

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Flightless Rail

Smallest island dwelling flightless bird got there how?

Smallest island dwelling flightless bird got there how?  According to ScienceDaily 1 November 2018 and Science Alert 7 November 2018 and Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.10.007, the world’s smallest flightless bird lives on a small island in the South Atlantic named Inaccessible Island. Not surprisingly it has been named the Inaccessible Island Rail. Since […]

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Bird Singing

Bird Voice Box is Unique

Bird voice box is unique, according to ScienceDaily 24 September 2018 and Science (AAAS) News 5 October and PNAS published online 24 September 2018, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1804586115. Reptiles, amphibians and mammals produce sounds in the larynx – a structure in the throat at the top of the trachea (windpipe), but bird sounds are produced in a […]

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Northern Quolls

Speeding Up Aussie Evolution

Speeding up Aussie evolution, according articles in Nature News 23 July 2018 and Conservation Biology, published online 13 June 2018, doi: 10.1111/cobi.13149. Ecologists are hoping the save the northern quoll from extinction by trying to “speed up evolution”.  The northern quoll is a small carnivorous marsupial, about the size of a squirrel, that lives in […]

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