Evolution Sparks Silence of the Crickets

Populations of a male cricket on different Hawaiian islands have lost their ability to chirp as a result of separate, but simultaneous, evolutionary adaptations to their wings. The changes, which allow the insects to avoid attracting a parasitic fly, occurred independently over just 20 generations and are visible to the human eye, a study reveals.…

Glass House Mountains National Park in Australia. A Curtin University researcher has shown that ancient volcanic eruptions in Australia 510 million years ago significantly affected the climate, causing the first known mass extinction in the history of complex life.

Reason for First Mass Extinction – Australia’s Deadly Eruption!

A Curtin University researcher has shown that ancient volcanic eruptions in Australia 510 million years ago significantly affected the climate, causing the first known mass extinction in the history of complex life. Published in the journal Geology, Associate Professor Fred Jourdan from Curtin’s Department of Applied Geology, along with colleagues from several Australian and international institutions, used…

From Footprints to the Feet that Made Them

Footprints, swimming scrapes, casts, eggshells, toothmarks, and even dung are the traces left by creatures going about their lives. For every fossilized bone, an ancient creature left behind uncounted traces of the life it lived. Tony Martin explores the world revealed by ichnology in his book, Dinosaurs Without Bones. Bones tell us about the physical form…

How Predictable Is Evolution?

Evolutionary biologists like to say that mutations are random but that selection is not; species are crafted by their environments. But if this is the case, why is it so hard to predict evolution? A recent genetic analysis of stick insects provides an important clue. At the heart of this issue a phenomenon known as…