A comprehensive analysis of Mesosaurus fossils shows that bones from adults share similarities with land-dwelling animals -- suggesting older Mesosaurus were semi-aquatic, whereas the juveniles spent their time in the water. This new research emphasizes the importance of thoroughly analyzing fossilized remains from across all stages of a reptile's life to get a full appreciation of its lifestyle and behavior.
Scientists at the University of Stirling have shed new light on the impact of sexual selection on species diversity after studying the mating rituals of dance flies.
Scientists from China, the USA and Canada combined new high-resolution radiometric dating of seven closely spaced layers of volcanic material from South China's Penglaitan section with detailed biostratigraphy and geochemical analyses. Results show the duration of the end-Permian mass extinction to be about 31,000 years, essentially instantaneous by geological standards.
Quantitative tools developed in math and physics to understand bifurcations in dynamical systems could help ecologists and biologists better understand -- and predict -- tipping points in animal societies.
Scientists have discovered a new family of molecules that work together to precisely remove unwanted DNA during reproduction in single-celled, freshwater organisms called ciliates.
Society has encouraged people to be more physically active, yet we are actually becoming less active. This new study offers a possible explanation: Our brains may be innately attracted to sedentary behavior. Electroencephalograms showed that test subjects had to summon extra brain resources when trying to avoid physical inactivity.
Noticing that songbirds never seem to get fat despite overeating at bird feeders, London environmental biologist Lewis Halsey wondered whether the amount of energy birds put into singing, fidgeting, or exercising could be adjusted in ways that regulate weight. In a literature review published Sept. 18 in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution, he explores whether songbirds don't need to worry about their calorie counts because they can control the way their bodies use energy.
A new study suggests that defenses against extreme temperatures give E. coli bacteria an advantage in fending off certain drugs. The work could help doctors administer antibiotics in a more precise way.
Ediacara biota were forming complex communities tens of millions of years before the Cambrian explosion.
A new study published today in Nature shows that getting smaller was a key factor contributing to the exceptional evolution of mammals over the last 200 million years.