A new study suggests how early life might have survived without some of the cellular machinery that is absolutely required for life today. Turns out that having a fairly leaky membrane may have been the key.
Comb jellies are these beautiful, otherworldly creatures that sparkle gently in the sea. And now, if a study in the journal Science and another one in the journal Nature hold up, they may not be so gentle on evolution or the tree of life. These “aliens of the sea” are fundamentally changing how we think about both.
A new trove of soft-body fossils promises to expand the range of time and life-forms available to science as we explore the Cambrian Explosion of a half-billion years ago.
The work of finding and describing species new to science isn't just something Charles Darwin did. Scientists at Bay Area institutions have discovered ants in Madagascar, barnacles in the Gulf of Guinea and legless lizards here in California.
Scientists have struggled for a long time to explain why 85-90 percent of people are right-handed. They’ve known genetics plays an important role in people occasionally ending up left-handed, but they also know it is not the whole story.
Amphibians are going extinct faster than any other class of organisms in human history. Experiments suggest that some species might be able to tolerate certain pesticides in the short run. Whether that could give them enough of a cushion to adapt over the long run remains to be seen.
In her new book Animal Wise, Virginia Morell challenges us to recognize the evolutionary roots of animal cognition and to see their rich intellectual and emotional capacities as shaped by natural selection.