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There may be concerns with genetically modified organisms (GMO), but the effectiveness of gene editing in developing more productive plants and animals for the agriculture industry can not be argued. With the rise of cheap and simple gene editing technologies, more and more breeds of animals and plants are being bred…

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In 1870, parts of a fossilized bird were found in Kansas and then described by the American paleontologist Othniel Marsh. This new bird, dubbed Ichthyornis dispar, was one of the first fossil birds found in North America, and there was something special about it. It was recognized as a scientifically important specimen…

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Modern bears, while typically thought of as carnivores, actually have a wide variety of dietary preferences. Some eat only meat while others are omnivores, meaning that they eat both meat and vegetation. Cave bears (Ursus spelaeus), an extinct bear species from Europe, are thought to be omnivorous. However, scientists…

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Many marine organisms have a planktonic form. This means that they drift in the ocean for part of their life until they can find something suitable to attach to and grow. A common example of an animal like this would be a mussel or a barnacle. However, it’s a real headache when they land on human-made structures that…

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Many people believe that farmed fish wouldn’t do very well in the wild, but do direct experiments comparing farm-raised to wild fish support this belief? In a collaborative study, researchers from the Southwest Fisheries Science Center and the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute pitted wild and captive reared fish…

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Bonobo apes are among our closest genetic relatives. Like humans, they are very social and are known to cooperate to find food. However, new research published in the journal Cell describes a key way our species differ: unlike humans, bonobos may prefer individuals who don’t cooperate. Researchers from Duke…

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The term “Darwin’s finches” was first used in 1936 to describe a group of birds from the Galápagos Islands. One of the key differences between each species of finch was the drastic difference in beak size and its effect on what the bird eats. For example, a bird with a very long beak can access seeds and nectar…

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A paper authored by Mario Bronzanti, Oliver Rauhut, Jonathas Bittencourt, and Max Langer in September of this year traced the evolution of the brain in the largest animals to ever walk the planet—the sauropods. The authors studied a braincase from Saturnalia tupiniquim, an ancestral form of sauropod called a…