Scientists from the Institut Pasteur set out to understand how the demographic changes associated with the Neolithic transition also influenced the efficacy of natural selection. By comparing the genome diversity of more than 300 individuals from groups of forest hunter-gatherers (pygmies) and farmers (Bantu-speaking peoples), from western and eastern Central Africa, they discovered that the reason pygmies did not suffer from excessive deleterious mutations was because of their genetic diversity and their admixture with the Bantu peoples.
Baby birds go missing from their nests all the time. Usually, the disappearances are chalked up to predation, but in extremely rare cases, parents have been observed removing their own chicks from their nests. In a new study from the University of Illinois, the mysterious and fatal behavior is documented in dickcissels for the first time.
Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and other recent human relatives may have begun hunting large mammal species down to size - by way of extinction - at least 90,000 years earlier than previously thought, says a new study published in the journal Science. The magnitude and scale of the extinction wave surpassed any other recorded during the last 66 million years, according to the study.
Scores of plant species are capable of living dormant under the soil for up to 20 years, enabling them to survive through difficult times, a new study has found.
Researchers from the San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) and the non-profit organization Terra Peninsular A.C. have rediscovered the San Quintin kangaroo rat (Dipodomys gravipes) in Baja California. The Museum is partnering with Terra and local authorities on a conservation plan for the species, which was last seen in 1986, and was listed as endangered by the Mexican government in 1994. It was held as an example of modern extinction due to agricultural conversion.
When their colony is threatened by an intruder, workers of a newly discovered species of ant can actually tear their own body apart, in order to release toxins and either kill or hold off the enemy. Discovered by an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Austria, Thailand and Brunei, the new species is the first of the so-called 'exploding ants' to be described since 1935. The study is published in the open-access journal ZooKeys.
Impoverished female farm workers infected with intestinal parasites known as hookworms saw significant improvements in physical fitness when they were treated with a low-cost deworming drug. The benefits were seen even in those with low level infections, according to a study co-authored by researchers at Yale and the nonprofit company InnovationsCZ.
Selective breeding just before and during the Iron Age nearly 3,000 years ago is likely the reason for the lack of variability in modern domestic horses' paternally inherited DNA, a trait unique among livestock animals.
A sea turtle discovered in Alabama is a new species from the Late Cretaceous epoch, according to a study published April 18, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Drew Gentry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Ala., USA, and colleagues.
Every year, endangered whooping cranes travel along a 4,000-kilometer corridor linking their Canadian nesting grounds and their winter home in Texas. Habitat in their path through the northern Great Plains is being lost at an alarming rate, but identifying key spots for protection is a challenge. Now, researchers behind a new study have created a model of whooping crane habitat use with the potential to greatly improve the targeting of conservation efforts during their migration.