How Do Whales Talk Under Water? 

Baleen whales, such as humpback whales, are well known for communicating with “whale songs” but vocalising under water is not easy for an air-breathing mammal as air must be kept out of the respiratory passages when the animal is diving.  Try talking under water when you are holding your breath.  A group of scientists have […]

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Cockatoo eating apple

Clever Bird Feet Evolved 20 Times

Some birds are very adept at using their feet to grasp, lift and manipulate objects.  This ability to use the feet in a hand-like way is called ‘pedal dexterity.’  To find out how this ability came about researchers at University of Alberta have sifted through thousands of photos of birds using their feet to handle […]

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Snake in Grass

Snakes’ Lost Genes 

A team of scientists has studied the genomes of 14 species from 12 families of snakes to find out what genetic changes happened for reptiles with four limbs and two lungs to change into snakes with no limbs and one lung.  The found three parts of a gene called PTCH1 had missing DNA. This gene […]

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Quote: Tim Flannery on Natural Selection

Notable Quotable from Tim Flannery who is an anti-God evolutionary palaeontologist, and was Australian of the Year in 2007. “Natural Selection, Darwin understood from his studies, is an unspeakably cruel and amoral process. He came to realise that he must eventually tell the world that we are spawned not from godly love, but evolutionary barbarity.” […]

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Hairy Cactus

Hairy Cacti Help Bats Find Flowers

A South American cactus named Espostoa frutescens is pollinated by bats.  As bats are active at night, how do bats find flowers in dark?  Some bat-pollinated flowers are able to reflect bats’ echolocating sounds, so scientists at Nuremberg Zoo, Germany and Vrije Universiteit, The Netherlands, studied these cacti to see if they had any special […]

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Ichthyosaur Fossil

Oldest Ichthyosaur?

Swedish and Norwegian palaeontologists have studied fossilised ichthyosaur tail bones found in Spitsbergen, a remote island north of Norway.  The fossils were embedded in a limestone boulder dated as 284.8 million years old, putting them in the Lower Triassic period of the evolutionary timetable.  After studying the 11 articulated tail bones the researchers concluded they […]

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Snake Head and Neck Bones

Tiger Snake Jaws Evolve

Tiger snake jaws evolve, claim scientists who studied tiger snakes on Carnac Island – a tiny rocky island off the coast of western Australia.  The snakes are the descendants of a collection of snakes believed to have been taken to the island in 1930 by a travelling showman who was in trouble with the authorities […]

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Bear with Cubs

Climate Change Brings Brolar Bears

As Arctic regions in North America and Russia are warming brown bears are moving north so they are crossing paths with polar bears more often.  Brown bears and polar bears can mate and produce fertile offspring, referred to as “brolar” bears, and these hybrids bears are becoming more common, and the hybrids are also breeding […]

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Butterfly Wing Pattern

Butterfly Wing Patterns from “Junk” DNA

A century ago biologists suggested that butterfly wing patterns were formed from variations in a basic ground plan that was somehow manipulated to produce the distinct patterns in different butterfly species. Scientists at Cornell University and The George Washington University have now carried out a study that “explains how DNA that sits between genes – […]

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Oldest Fossil Fish Heart Found in Australia. 

Scientists at Curtin University and Flinders University claim to have found “the heart of our evolution” in the fossil of a fish found in a rock formation in Kimberley region of Western Australia claimed to be 380 million years old.  This age puts it in the Devonian period of the evolutionary timetable, and the Editor’s […]

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