evolution Archives - Page 3 of 4 - State of the Planet

Did the Oceans Influence Human Evolution?

Scientists often invoke climate as a possible factor in human evolution; but only recently have they developed the ability to get enough information about past climates and related fossil evidence to see any details. A half-dozen leading paleontologists and climate scientists discussed recent advances in a symposium this week at the annual meeting of the… read more

by |February 17, 2012
Darwin's insight was grounded in sensory observation and humility. His first drawing of an evolutionary tree is distinguished by the profound marking near the top: I think. (Image in the public domain)

What Darwin Saw

Sir Charles Darwin realized that humanity is interwoven with nature, that all of life is in a state of constant flux. The empowerment of nature, made possible by Darwin’s integration of human life into the whole, and grounded in his lived experience and profound humility, is the foundation of modern ecology.

by |February 15, 2012

Ecological Succession: Forest Fires to the Ocean Floor

A new study reveals that new microbes supplant the active hydrothermal vent’s microbes after the site ceases to produce thermal energy. Though more research is necessary to fully understand the regeneration process in the dormant hydrothermal vents, the study provides an additional platform for ecologists to explore how ecosystems recover from natural unbalances and how species adapt to severe changes in temperature, acidity, and chemical composition.

by |January 27, 2012

Evolutionary Psychology of Climate Change

Why haven’t we rallied our collective power to mitigate climate change? Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, argues that human brains evolved to respond to threats that have four features, ones that global warming lack.

by |January 9, 2012

The Male Seahorse – Supermom?

The term, male-pregnancy, may seem to border on oxymoronic, but seahorses will prove to you otherwise.

by |September 16, 2011

Critter Corner: News Roundup on Biodiversity – Week of 9/12

Read more about the Iconic Nile Crocodile, Honeyguide Brood Parasitism, Vibrations of a Hummingbird, and Flying Snails in this week’s edition of The Critter Corner.

by |September 14, 2011

Critter Corner: News Roundup on Biodiversity – Week of 9/5

Read more about White Nose Syndrome Bats, Hen Sex Strategy, Circadian Clocks in Blind Fish, The Discovery of an Ancient Woolly Rhino, a New Shark Species in this week’s edition of The Critter Corner.

by |September 8, 2011

Biomimicry: Learning From Nature’s Genius

Biomimicry is the science of studying and emulating nature’s solutions to the problems that human beings are trying to solve. Over the 3.8 billion years that life has existed on Earth, nature, through evolution, has come up with sustainable and robust solutions that work and that endure.

by |March 28, 2011

Penguin With a Pocket Square of Blue

Whether waddling amongst its young in snowy Antarctica or swimming in the northern shores of the Galápagos Islands, the familiar image of the penguin, with its black and white tuxedo is truly iconic. The Little Blue Penguin, however, reminds evolutionary biologists and wildlife enthusiasts that the world is rarely black and white.

by |February 9, 2011

The Red Queen and The Evolution of Sex

In the biological world, both within and between species, adaptive progress and success are relative. This notion of evolutionary relativism is known as the Red Queen Effect, a term derived from the Red Queen’s race in Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Caroll.

by |February 2, 2011