Evolution

A thermal image shows a parrot releasing heat through its beak and talons. Researchers have found that since 1871 some parrots have increased their beak area up to 10 percent.

Animals Are Changing Shape to Cope With Rising Temperatures

Birds, bats, rabbits, mice and other creatures are growing bigger body parts to cool themselves off

Tardigrades use their claws like grappling hooks and pull their bodies forward to move.

Scientists Discover Tiny Tardigrades Trot Around Like Insects

The microscopic organism's gait may have evolved to adapt to unpredictable terrains

Though considered a whale, Phiomicetus anubis had legs with webbed feet to pursue prey on both land and sea with its powerful jaws and sharp teeth 43 million years ago.

New Research

'God of Death' Whale Was Scourge of Land and Sea 43 Million Years Ago

The prehistoric mammal possessed a powerful jaw and likely had a raptor-like feeding style

Around 20 percent of female white-necked jacobins have evolved to share the vibrant plumage characteristic of males.

Female Hummingbirds Masquerade as Males to Avoid Harassment

One-fifth of female white-necked jacobins sport flashy male-like plumage, which may help them access more food

Cane toad tadpoles are observed eating other tadpoles in South America, their native habitat. However, the cannibalistic behavior occurs more often in Australia.

Without Predators, Cannibalistic Cane Toads Eat Their Young—and It's Rapidly Accelerating the Species' Evolution

Hatchlings in Australia have halved their vulnerable growth stage to avoid becoming their pal's next meal

A spotted skunk does a handstand.

Scientists Identify Seven Species of Spotted Skunks, and They All Do Handstands Before They Spray

Researchers analyzed hundreds of spotted skunk specimens to classify the animals

Both beer and wine are thought to predate distilled spirits.

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'Which Came First: Beer or Wine?' and More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts

Before engaging in social behaviors like grooming, bonobos (pictured) employed a "hello" greeting during 90 percent of observed interactions and bid their peers farewell 92 percent  of the time.

Bonobos and Chimps Appear to Have 'Hello' and 'Goodbye' Greetings

Like humans, these apes share salutations to start and end interactions

Olympic runners compete during the 10,000 meters race in Tokyo. In ancient times, running was likely used to push animals to exhaustion during hunting.

Five Ways Humans Evolved to Be Athletes

An archaeologist explores how our prowess in sport has deep roots in evolution

This is the 93-year-old Xerces blue butterfly specimen that researchers collected tissue samples from for this study.

New Research

This Butterfly Is the First U.S. Insect to Be Wiped Out by Humans

Genetic tests using museum specimens suggest that the Xerces blue was a distinct species and that it disappeared in 1941

After analyzing the mitochondrial genome, the team discovered that the island-dwelling elephant is the descendant of straight-tusked elephants and was possibly isolated on Sicily between 50,000 and 175,500 years ago.

Ancient Elephants the Size of Shetland Ponies Once Roamed Sicily

The animals' size reduction is comparable to if humans were to shrink down to the size of a rhesus monkey

An illustration depicting some of the dinosaurs that roamed the Earth during the Late Cretaceous.

New Research

Dinosaurs May Have Been Declining Before the Asteroid Struck Earth

The researchers say the cataclysmic impact may have simply been the final nail in the dinos’ coffin

A Chinese mountain cat photographed in a field of grass.

New Research

Elusive Chinese Mountain Cats Aren't Domestic Cats' Ancestors

Past genetic studies on feline domestication hadn't included this wildcat native to the Tibetan Plateau

A recreation of Dragon Man

A 146,000-Year-Old Fossil Dubbed 'Dragon Man' Might Be One of Our Closest Relatives

A mysterious Middle Pleistocene skull from a Chinese well has inspired debate among paleoanthropologists

On the center plant, poking out from the stem is a bent side stalk, which holds up the arm of the plant with a flower.

Scientists Discover a New Plant Organ

The structure, called a cantil, holds up the flower-bearing arm of the thale cress, a long-studied species

A rotifer seen under a microscope.

New Research

Scientists Revive Tiny Animals That Spent 24,000 Years on Ice

These bdelloid rotifers survived for thousands of years in the Siberian permafrost and scientists want to find out how

A Microraptor, a small four-winged dinosaur that could fly, eats a fish.

Dinosaurs Evolved Flight at Least Three Times

A new study finds that many feathered dinosaurs were more aerodynamic than previously thought

A young puppy responds to a human pointing to a treat during an experiment conducted by scientists at the University of Arizona.

New Research

Puppies Are Born Ready to Communicate With Humans

A new study finds very young dogs with little human contact can understand pointing gestures—and that the ability has a strong genetic basis

New genetic research finds that the Kordofan melon (pictured), native to Sudan, is the watermelon's closest wild relative.

Researchers Uncover the Watermelon's Origins

A Sudanese plant called the Kordofan melon is the watermelon's closest wild relative, according to a new study

The bubbles the anole lizards use may act as a "physical gill" that can pull oxygen from the water while accumulated carbon dioxide escapes into the water over the surface of the bubble in a process known as diffusion.

Diving Anole Lizards Use Bubbles to Breathe Underwater

Like a natural form of scuba gear, the semi-aquatic lizard can stay submerged underwater for up to 18 minutes using the clever trick