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‘Grandmother hypothesis’ may explain why killer whales and humans evolved menopause

There's a rare human trait that doesn't often make it into debates about what makes our species unique: menopause. Humans ...
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Tracing evolution of mammalian hearing: Essential ear bones were once part of the jaw

One hundred and twenty million years ago, when northeastern China was a series of lakes and erupting volcanoes, there lived ...
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Distinctive ‘Habsburg jaw’ of medieval kings and queens was created by centuries of inbreeding, study suggests

Many of the kings and queens of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty, which ruled across Europe from the 16th to the ...
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How ancient humans ‘self-domesticated’ their own faces to appear more friendly

One hypothesis for how humans transitioned from developing a robust Neandertal visage in maturity to retaining finer features throughout life ...
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‘Genome streamlining’: How species ditch genes no longer needed for survival

Can a genome reach maximum efficiency? ...
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Your dog may be paying closer attention to your words than you realize

Dogs pay much closer attention to what humans say than we realised, even to words that are probably meaningless to ...
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Podcast: Sneaky sheep, substandard stallions and sperm wars

Stories of sneaky sheep, substandard racing stallions, and news from the front lines of the sperm wars ...
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Was it ‘bad luck’—not ancient humans—that drove Neanderthals to extinction?

Neanderthals may have gone extinct due to chance, and not, as some researchers previously thought, due to competition for resources ...
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Infographic: Exploring ways humans have adapted for endurance running

The Endurance Running hypothesis is the latest incarnation of the open-plain models of human evolution, which speculated that human is ...
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Is frozen 18,000-year-old puppy missing link between wolves and dogs?

An 18,000-year-old puppy unearthed in Siberia could prove to be the missing link between dogs and wolves, scientists believe. The puppy ...
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Podcast: Researchers implanted false memories in birds to figure out how humans learn language

Babies are constantly surrounded by human language, always listening and processing. Eventually they put sounds together to produce a "daddy," or a ...
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Infographic: 13 ways artificial intelligence will help us live to 100

We've long been searching for ways to extend the human lifespan, which currently sits around 79 years.  Of course, there ...
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Universal ecology: Laws of physics and mathematics apply across the universe. Are there biological laws?

On Earth, bacteria grow exponentially, lynx eat hares, and red panda populations decline due to habitat loss and fragmentation. How ...
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First plants didn’t evolve flower color to attract pollinators, study suggests

Flowering plants feature a wondrous array of colors, the primary purpose of which is to attract insect pollinators. But this ...
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What to make of ‘photographic proof’ of insect life on Mars? More than likely, they’re just rocks

William Romoser, a professor emeritus who specializes in arbovirology (the study of viruses transmitted by arthropods) and entomology at Ohio ...
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First plants that moved from water to land were natural GMOs, research reveals

Natural genetic engineering allowed plants to move from water to land, according to a new study by an international group ...
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Ancient Rome was genetic crossroads for many European lineages, DNA analysis suggests

Ancient Rome was the capital city of an empire that encompassed some 70 million inhabitants. An international research team now ...
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Why it’s so challenging to determine ‘how and when’ humans first set foot in the Americas

A deluge of new findings are challenging long-held scientific narratives of how humans came to North and South America ...
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This ancient ape may tell us when our ancestors started walking on two legs

Fossils of a newly-discovered ancient ape could give clues to how and when walking on two legs evolved. The ability ...
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Paper popular with creationists retracted 30 years after publication

A paper by a Russian researcher who has been dogged by allegations of fraud has been retracted, 30 years to ...
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Chicxulub asteroid impact sparked mammal growth surge, fossil ‘trove’ shows

After an asteroid crashed into what is now Chicxulub, Mexico 66 million years ago, a chain of events occurred that ...
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9 significant archaeological discoveries of the past decade, including a Neanderthal-Denisovan hybrid

Here’s a look back at some of the most significant archaeological and anthropological discoveries of the past decade that fundamentally ...
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Enduring misconception: Why are we still drawing evolution as a straight line?

Evolution has no final endpoint in mind ...
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Extra copies of Denisovan, Neanderthal DNA helped humans adapt to ancient environments

University of Washington geneticist PingHsun Hsieh and his colleagues found Neanderthal and Denisovan versions of some genes in the genomes ...
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Humans originated in Botswana? New research challenged for using ‘weak and inconclusive genetic analysis’

A new paper claiming that modern humans originated in northern Botswana some 200,000 years ago is being criticized by experts, ...
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Humans ‘are not so special after all’: Neanderthals also knew how to start fires, evidence suggests

At some point, our ancestors harnessed the power of the flame to keep warm, cook food, produce new materials, shoo ...
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Neanderthals were well suited for ‘explosive’ short sprints, not long-distance marathons

Homo sapiens are well-designed for loping along for long distances across open landscapes—especially when compared to Neanderthals. They had legs and ...
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If we aren’t careful, we could miss the chance to learn cancer-fighting secrets from threatened whales and elephants

The loss of vulnerable mammals means scientists could miss out on useful quirks in their genetics ...