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Evolution & Behaviour

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Sea otters make a splash

Picture yourself at the seaside, at Monterey Bay in California. The sun is bright. There's a fresh breeze; the water is smooth and blue... Wait - what's that hammering noise down by the rocks? A sea otter in the water holds a mussel between its... click to read more

  • Natalie Uomini | Senior Scientist at Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany
Views 92
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Oct 10, 2019
How to survive a viral apocalypse: a rabbit’s tale

In 1859, an English settler named Thomas Austin decided to import 24 rabbits from England to Australia so he could hunt on his property. He could have not been more successful, and by 1910, hundreds of millions of rabbits covered the entire continent. Thomas' success,... click to read more

  • Joel M. Alves | Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Views 185
Reading time 4 min
published on Sep 27, 2019
A four-legged ancestor led the way for early whales dispersal

The whales, dolphins, and porpoises (generally called "cetaceans") that we know today are fully aquatic mammals, spending their entire life in the water. Whereas the forelimbs of these hydrodynamic animals are transformed into flippers, mostly used for steering, their hind limbs are highly reduced, and... click to read more

  • Olivier Lambert | Group leader at Institut royal des Sciences naturelles de Belgique, D.O. Terre et Histoire de la Vie, Brussels, Belgium
Views 251
Reading time 4 min
published on Sep 16, 2019
Predators drive the evolution of multicellularity

Discussions about the evolution of multicellularity tend to focus on animals and plants, but there have actually been at least 25 independent origins of multicellularity in the history of life on this planet, including fungi, slime molds, several groups of algae, cyanobacteria and myxobacteria. So... click to read more

  • Kimberly Chen | Postdoctoral Research Fellow at School of Biological Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
  • Matthew Herron | Senior Research Scientist at School of Biological Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Views 452
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Sep 10, 2019
From a fossil to a robot…and all the steps in between

Being almost 300 million years old, the extinct Orobates pabsti did not know that at some point in the future, engineers and biologists would have reconstructed its fossilized bones into a robot to study how it used to walk and thus, learn more things about... click to read more

  • Kamilo Melo | Scientist at Biorobotics Laboratory, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • John A. Nyakatura | Professor at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Views 551
Reading time 4 min
published on Aug 27, 2019