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Mammals’ enhanced capacity to see emerges early in development

September 26, 2019

The way we see the world around us is the result of a marriage of two neural pathways…
The fossil of Microdocodon gracilis is preserved in two rock slabs. It was found in a site near the Wuhua village in the Daohugou area of Inner Mongolia, China. (Photo by Zhe-Xi Luo, the University of Chicago)
Here’s how mammals went from big gulps to small swallows

July 22, 2019

Researchers have found the earliest known evidence of a mammal predecessor with sophisticated bones at the back of…
First Proof-of-Concept Demonstrates Genetic Sex Selection in Mammals

July 11, 2019

Certain plants, insects, crustaceans and fish possess the uncanny ability to change the sex of their offspring before…
Mammals and their relatives thrived, diversified during so-called ‘Age of Dinosaurs’

June 21, 2019

Paleontologists are trying to dispel a myth about what life was like when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. The…
How will tropical mammals react to rising temperatures?

April 15, 2019

How wildlife will react to climate change is an open question, but one of the first studies to…
The role of the rolling jaw in early mammals

February 20, 2019

A new study has given scientists more to chew on regarding the evolution and inner workings of the…
In cold waters, sharks’ and fishes’ slowed metabolism may benefit rivals

January 30, 2019

In ecology, the diversity of species generally increases as you move toward the warmer latitudes of the tropics.…
Small digging mammals are much more important for their ecosystems than previously believed

January 17, 2019

Many small mammals dig in order to find food. They feed on various beetles, worms, larvi and other…
Extinct ‘Siberian unicorn’ may have lived alongside humans

November 29, 2018

A species of rhino considered a giant of the Ice Age survived much later than previously thought and…
Human ancestors not to blame for ancient mammal extinctions in Africa

November 29, 2018

New research disputes a long-held view that our earliest tool-bearing ancestors contributed to the demise of large mammals…
Fossil discovery adds to understanding of how geological changes affected evolution of mammalian life

November 19, 2018

The discovery of fossil teeth from two marsupial species that lived 43 million years ago on what was…
Zebrafish make waves in our understanding of a common craniofacial birth defect

October 31, 2018

Children are not as hard-headed as adults—in a very literal sense. Babies are born with soft spots and…
What makes a mammal a mammal? Our spine, say scientists

September 25, 2018

Mammals are unique in many ways. We’re warm-blooded and agile in comparison with our reptilian relatives. But a…
Tiny fossils reveal how shrinking was essential for successful evolution

September 21, 2018

The origin of modern mammals can be traced back more than 200 million years to the age of…
Gut microbes’ role in mammals’ evolution starts to become clearer

September 18, 2018

An international collaboration led by Oregon State University scientists has made a key advance toward understanding which of…
Koala teeth provide insights into diet

September 10, 2018

Paleontologist Larisa DeSantis studies the teeth of ancient and modern mammals to determine how their diets changed across the millennia…
Marine Mammals Lack Functional Gene to Defend Against Popular Pesticide

August 14, 2018

As marine mammals evolved to make water their primary habitat, they lost the ability to make a protein…
Study signals dramatic change in way ancient diets are calculated

July 10, 2018

Knowing what extinct animals ate has long been determined by analyzing carbon isotopes locked inside fossil teeth. For…
Berry-gorging bears disperse seeds through scat and feed small mammals

July 9, 2018

New research shows that mice and voles scurry to bear scats to forage for seeds, finding nutritional value…
Study identifies which marine mammals are most at risk from increased Arctic ship traffic

July 4, 2018

In August 2016, the first large cruise ship traveled through the Northwest Passage, the northern waterway linking the Atlantic and…
Tiny fossils give clues to origins of human social structure

June 25, 2018

When you’re caught without a comb on a windy day, you might wish for fingernails that could untangle…
Doing Right by the Whales

June 19, 2018

These are not good times for the North Atlantic right whale. Ship strikes and gear entanglement play major…
From fish to mammal heart

May 25, 2018

Mammals have bipartite blood circulation, i.e. pulmonary and systemic circulation. The heart is also divided: each circulatory system…
Scientists predict number of undiscovered mammal species

May 18, 2018

There are probably 303 species of mammals left to be discovered by science, most of which are likely…
What we inherited from our bug-eating ancestors

May 18, 2018

People who advocate adding insects to the human diet may be channeling their distant ancestors. Based on an…
Understanding the immunobiology of wild mammals

April 20, 2018

The state of the immune system of wild animals is, remarkably, almost unknown. However, knowing this and knowing…
Study explains why vertebrates’ “bodyplan” remained the same after 500 million years

April 16, 2018

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have found that vertebrates may have conserved their basic anatomical architecture, or…
Stanford researchers learn why aquatic mammals need to be big, but not too big

April 10, 2018

Anyone who has witnessed majestic whales or lumbering elephant seals in person would be forgiven for associating ocean…
Disappearing mosquitoes leave clues about basic ecology

March 6, 2018

Palmyra Atoll is a tiny speck in the Pacific Ocean, roughly 1,000 miles south of Hawaii and less…
Research uncovers the mysterious lives of narwhals

February 20, 2018

Narwhals are some of the most elusive creatures in the ocean, spending most of their lives in deep…
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