evolution

Adapting to the Heat

In classic experiments on frogs, scientists found that the amphibians’ urge to escape from dangerously hot water decreased significantly when the water temperature rose very gradually. In fact, sensitivity of many animals to temperature — including humans — is similarly affected by the rate of increase. Exactly why, however, has not been understood. “We know a lot about how animals…

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Where There's Smoke And A Mutation There May Be An Evolutionary Edge For Humans

A genetic mutation may have helped modern humans adapt to smoke exposure from fires and perhaps sparked an evolutionary advantage over their archaic competitors, including Neandertals, according to a team of researchers. Modern humans are the only primates that carry this genetic mutation that potentially increased tolerance to toxic materials produced by fires for cooking, protection and heating, said Gary…

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Orangutan Gives Clues To The Origins Of Human Speech

An orangutan called Rocky could provide the key to understanding how speech in humans evolved from the time of the ancestral great apes, according to a study led by Dr Adriano Lameira of Durham University and published in the journal Scientific Reports. Previously it was thought that great apes, our closest evolutionary relatives, could not learn to produce new sounds.…

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This Species Of Brazilian Monkey Has Been Using Stones As Tools For 700 Years

Breaking into a cashew nut can be difficult; but not if you’re a monkey. Primates in Brazil are well honed in using stones to break into the nuts and new research suggests they have been doing so for more than 700 years. Archaeologists have discovered that more than 100 generations of capuchin monkeys (Cebus libidinosus) have used stones as hammers…

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