Evolution News

Science Daily

When variations in Earth's orbit drive biological evolution
Wed, 01 Dec 2021 11:19:32 EST
Coccolithophores are microscopic algae that form tiny limestone plates, called coccoliths, around their single cells. They are responsible for half of the limestone produced in the oceans and therefore play a major role in the carbon cycle and in determining ocean chemistry. A team of scientists show that certain variations in Earth's orbit have influenced the evolution of coccolithophores.

Bringing 400-million-year-old fossilized armored worms to ‘virtual’ life
Tue, 30 Nov 2021 17:39:55 EST
Scientists have documented the discovery of two new species of fossilized armored worms in Australia -- Lepidocoleus caliburnus and Lepidocoleus shurikenus -- dating from about 400 million years ago. Then, using the micro-CT imaging capabilities of the MU X-ray Microanalysis Core facility, the researchers were able to develop first-of-its-kind digital 3D-models of the species' individual armor plates by virtually examining the armored skeletons of these ancient worms, called machaeridians.

Ancient lineage of algae found to include five 'cryptic' species
Tue, 30 Nov 2021 10:14:28 EST
All land plants originated from a single evolutionary event when freshwater algae got a foothold on land. The group of algae that would later give rise to land plants had already been living in freshwater and terrestrial habitats for over one billion years. A tiny group of these algae, most distantly related to land plants, still lives. A team homed in on one species, Chlorokybus, which lives in wet soil and rock cracks, to find that it contains not one, but at least five different species.

Extinct swordfish-shaped marine reptile discovered
Mon, 29 Nov 2021 15:50:57 EST
Researchers have discovered a new marine reptile. The specimen, a stunningly preserved meter-long skull, is one of the last surviving ichthyosaurs -- ancient animals that look eerily like living swordfish.

Paleontologists debunk fossil thought to be missing link between lizards and first snakes
Thu, 18 Nov 2021 06:16:12 EST
Filling in the links of the evolutionary chain with a fossil record of a 'snake with four legs' connecting lizards and early snakes would be a dream come true for paleontologists. But a specimen formerly thought to fit the bill is not the missing piece of the puzzle, according to a new study.