Hands and digits evolved from fish fins, groundbreaking study proves

Our beloved hands are coded by the same genes that make fish fins.

Unsettling sculpture showcases how humans would look if we evolved to survive car crashes

Kinda looks like an end-boss in an RPG.

Study suggests that primates prefer alcohol in their nectar

Looks like happy hour isn’t just a human thing.

Research suggests turtle shells evolved for digging, not protection

The discovery highlights how trait functions can change with evolution.

Humans got smarter to care for needy infants, making them more helpless in the process

University of Rochester researchers developed a new evolutionary model that suggests human intelligence developed to meet the demands of our infants, in a self-reinforcing cycle: bigger brains led to shorter pregnancies, requiring parents to have even bigger brains.

Deep male voices might have evolved to intimidate other males, not attract females

A deep, low pitch voice is often sought after in a man, but a new study suggests this characteristic might have evolved to intimidate other males, not attract females.

Very rare waterfall-climbing fish can walk like a salamander

Found in only eight caves on the border of Thailand and Myanmar, this eyeless fish can walk.

You need not look any further than your own body for proof of evolution

What does a weird tendon on your inner wrist have to do with evolution? This video explains.

Research team grows “dinosaur legs” on a chicken for the first time

Researchers have manipulated the genome of chicken embryos so that they develop dinosaur-like bones in their lower legs.

Evolution selects the most effective genes — even by a hundredth of a percent

A new study measuring the forces that shape bacterial genomes determined that a difference in efficiency of hundredth of a percent is sufficient to determine the winners and losers in the evolutionary race.

The circle of life shows how all of the 2.3 million known species fit together

The latest, most complete tree is the result of a three-year effort by researchers from over a dozen institutions from around the world. They combined tens of thousands of diagrams into one single tree, most easily read as a circle.

Evolving legs from fins was surprisingly simple, new study finds

New research shows that the first vertebrates had a surprisingly easy time adapting from fins to legs.

How our ancestor’s promiscuous genes became more discriminating.

A new study examined the way gene families evolve from ancestral genes, finding the original genes were promiscuous in that they had a wider range of function than the later descendant genes, which often evolved to be more selective in their effects.

Intelligent design without a creator? Why evolution may be smarter than we thought

The exciting implication of this is that evolution can evolve to get better at evolving in exactly the same way that a neural network can learn to be a better problem solver with experience.

Pleasant thought of the Day: the galaxy may be a graveyard full of dead aliens

Where are all the aliens? Why haven’t we seen or heard their signals from space? Could we really have been the only planet where life evolved?

How agriculture shaped our genes through natural selection

Once with the advent of agriculture, and its spread to Europe from the Near East, human society was transformed forever. Resources became more plentiful, communities could stay in one place and develop, and humans were free to pursue other activities. Agriculture turbo boosted the division of labor, an essential prerequisite to any civilization. Agriculture not only transformed human society, it also modified our DNA. A first of its kind study compared the DNA of ancient humans who lived between 8,500 and 2,300 years ago. The analysis revealed that humans underwent widespread genetic changes that influence height, immune system, digestion and skin colour once agriculture was introduced.

More young Americans support evolution in favor of creationism

As more Millennials are leaving religion in droves, or choosing not to identify with any faith, acceptance of evolution among the public strengthens.

Male ruff birds cross-dress to steal females, and it’s all in their genes

Self-preservation and reproduction are the most powerful instincts, and life forms on Earth have devised all sorts of gimmicks and tactics to become successful (pass on those genes). Just look at the male ruff sneak tactics to grab girls. There are three distinct approaches: the cocky aggressive, the sneaky ‘satellite, and the cross-dresser. You might think this isn’t necessarily peculiar in itself. After all, human males employ similar approaches to seek women’s attention. The peacock, the friend-zone dude, the jock, the joker etc. What’s odd about ruff males is that this behavior is coded inside their genes – from the way they act, to how their plumage looks like. And they’re all, ultimately, males of the same species.

Caught in the act: Scientists find new species of wasp evolving

The concepts of biodiversity and evolution are generally thought of as something that occurs in thousands, maybe millions of years – but every once in a while, scientists catch a species red handed: evolving, becoming a new species.

Did human hands evolved to pack a punch?

We humans arguably came to dominate the world thanks to our dexterous hands, which allow gripping tools and manipulating objects. An eccentric professor at University of Utah agrees, but with a twist. According to David Carrier there’s a secondary evolutionary driver that led our hands to reach their current shape and dexterity: fist punching. To illustrate his hypothesis, Carrier turned to a macabre experiment in which cadaver hands clenched in various positions, from open hand to a good old sucker punch fist, were bashed against a dumbbell. Carrier showed that a fist could handle the strike with double the force supported by an open hand before bones started to break.