It took seven years, countless beetle penis field investigations, and hours upon hours on hands and knees in coastal wetlands. This is the story of all the research that has to happen before a new species can finally get its official name.
During the time of Darwin, anthropogeny was the study of human origins. Its sub-discipline paleoanthropology has since taken over, which focuses on fossils found in dry parts of Africa. These fossils don’t tell us much about why or where humans actually evolved.
As reindeer go, the animals living on Svalbard might not be Santa’s first choice. They’re a smaller subspecies of their common mainland relatives, and to save energy they basically never run. But because they were nearly exterminated from Svalbard around 1900 — and were then protected in 1925 — the animals provide unique insights into how conservation can help species thrive.
Ecologist Daniel H. Janzen has spent virtually all of his half-century career trying to catalogue and understand the creatures in a patch of dry tropical forest in northwestern Costa Rica. Little did he realize his efforts would evolve into building a sea-to-summit conservation area — and a drive to inventory all million species in the country in partnership with the Costa Rican government.
Several fish species can change sex as needed. Other species adapt to their surroundings by living long lives — or by living shorter lives and having lots of offspring. The ability of animals and plants to change can sometimes manifest in apparently extreme ways.
Flock status is crucial for small birds struggling to survive the winter. Those with the lowest status face tough odds.
Plants have to defend themselves against drought, enemies and disease. But different threats demand different responses. So how do plants know what’s attacking them?
The moss world will never be the same. The moss Norwegian researchers thought they knew has played a trick on them. In return, researchers are calling on the Norwegian public to name a new species.
Natural history collections aren’t just dusty financial sinkholes. Actually, they can be gold mines for industry.
Tinder users don’t have more sexual partners than other similarly minded people. Women tend to use the app to feel better about themselves, whereas men are more focused on sex.
A lot of birdwatchers like the bullfinch. They’ve probably noticed that the female can chase off the more colourful male from the bird feeder. That makes this species different.
Vampire bats are the only mammals that feed exclusively on blood. The way they manage to do that offers us some remarkable insights into evolution.
Small birds like tits don’t just see that another bird is dangerous. They can also differentiate between species and determine just how much of a threat they are.
Women regret casual sex more than men do – but less so if they take the initiative and the sex was good.
Should we reintroduce animal species that have died out? New technology may offer opportunities that no one could imagine a few decades ago. But the answer may not be as simple as you think.
The passenger pigeon was once among the most numerous species on earth. The last passenger pigeon died in the Cinncinati Zoo just over 100 years ago. How did it all go so wrong?
The common redpoll gets into brawls when it seems like it should really be watching out for enemies. How can that end well?
The NTNU University Museum’s animal collection is approaching a landmark one million specimens. We take a peek behind the scenes.
A group of researchers spent twelve seasons making some house sparrows bigger and others smaller. Their experiment yielded some important answers.
The relationship children have with their parents can sometimes influence the relationship they have with their teachers. Now we know more about why.
Why do some sparrows hatch six chicks while others don’t hatch any? How does upbringing affect the remainder of their lives? Physiological stress in the nest can actually affect birds’ DNA and possibly their lifespan.
Did some of our human features evolve while our ancestors were living in water? The aquatic ape theory has been disregarded by paleoanthropologists, but it deserves another chance.