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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Snake

Snake Lover Demands Reverse Evolution

Alan Pan, an engineer based in Los Angeles, USA, has designed and built a device that enables snakes to walk on four legs. The device consists of a long tube open at both ends that a snake can crawl into. Attached to this are four robotic legs, each fitted with servomotors. The walking pattern is […]

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Panda Eating Bamboo

Oldest Panda Thumb Fossil

The giant panda is well known for eating bamboo and having an extra “thumb” to help it hold onto and manipulate the bamboo stems as it eats them.  The “thumb” is not an extra digit, but a protrusion resulting from an enlarged wrist bone called a radial sesamoid.  A group of scientists from various USA […]

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Giraffe Neck Theory Evolves!

For around one hundred and fifty years students have been dogmatically told giraffes have evolved long necks by stretching them to browse from tall trees. Chinese scientists studying a fossil skull and vertebrae of an extinct “giraffoid”, have now come up with the new theory. “Giraffoids” are a group of mammals that includes living giraffes […]

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Pterosaur Flying

Pterosaurs Had Coloured Feathers 

Palaeontologists in Brazil have studied the head of a pterosaur named Tupandactylus imperator, andclaim to have found “simple and branched feathers” on the back of its crest.  They examined these with an electron microscope and found they contained various shaped melanosomes – tiny vesicles containing the pigment melanin.  Variation in the shape of melanosomes is […]

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Octopus

10-Armed Octopus Ancestor?

Palaeontologists at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) and Yale University have studied the fossil of soft-bodied creature with 10 arms and claim to have found the oldest known vampyropod – the group of animals that includes octopuses and vampire squids. The fossil was found in the Bear Gulch Lagerstätte of Montana, USA, a […]

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Flowers and Buds

Darwin’s Abominable Mystery Solved Yet Again

Scientists have found a fossil plant with leaves, a fruit and a flower bud in rocks from Inner Mongolia. These are distinctive features of angiosperms, the scientific term for flowering plants. The fossil plant has been named Florigerminis jurassica and is one of the oldest dated flowering plants found so far. The fossil is dated […]

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Seagrass

Seagrass Symbiosis

Seagrasses are not seaweed. They are flowering plants, just like grasses that grow on land, but they grow on the sea beds in shallow coastal waters, and form an important food source and habitat for many sea creatures. Like land plants they need a good supply of nitrogen to grow well, and plants can usually […]

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