So-called 'cryptic' genetic variation plays an important role in evolution, despite having no immediate effect on the behavior or appearance of the organism.
Pufferfish are known for their strange and extreme skin ornaments, but how they came to possess the spiky skin structures known as spines has largely remained a mystery. Now, researchers have identified the genes responsible for the evolution and development of pufferfish spines in a study publishing July 25 in the journal iScience. Turns out, the process is pretty similar to how other vertebrates get their hair or feathers.
Trees have many natural enemies, including pathogens that have evolved to attack certain tree species. Invasive tree species -- even ones that are very closely related to native trees -- are often not attacked by these pathogens and can thrive.
Archaeologists of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), Institute of Archeology and Ethnography SB RAS (Russia), Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL) (Ecuador), and Tohoku University (Japan) found shards of ceramic vessels referred to the cultural sediments of early periods of Real Alto site. Findings date back to 4640-4460 BC, this period borders with Valdivia, one of the oldest pottery-featured cultures in North and South America. A related article is published in Antiquity.
Researchers at the University of Turku found that the presence of a maternal sister was positively and significantly associated with annual female reproduction in a population of working elephants in Myanmar. In addition, an age-specific effect was found: young females were more sensitive to the presence of sisters and even more likely to reproduce when living near a sister.
The geographic origins of the metals in Scandinavian mixed-metal artifacts reveal a crucial dependency on British and continental European trading sources during the beginnings of the Nordic Bronze Age, according to a study published July 24, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Heide W. Nørgaard from Aarhus University, Denmark, and colleagues.
New guidelines drafted by a consortium of concerned experts could enable corals to adapt to changing environments and help restore declining populations in the Caribbean. The guidelines provide a definitive plan for collecting, raising, and replanting corals that maximizes their potential for adaptation.
New research from Michigan State University, and published in the journal eLife, presents evidence that algae could have piggybacked on fungi to leave the water and to colonize the land, over 500 million years ago.
Working memory is central to our mental lives; we use it to add up the cost of our shopping or to remember the beginning of this sentence at its end. Some scientists argue it is particularly developed in humans, but how do chimpanzees, one of our closest relatives, compare? Researchers from the University of St. Andrews, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna set out to answer this question.
The first record of a luminescent click beetle in Asia, representing a new to science subfamily, is reported from southwest China by researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, (Kunming), Tianjin New Wei San Industrial Company, Ltd. (Tianjing, China) and the Palacký University (Olomouc, Czech Republic). Molecular analysis provided new evidence for the multiple origin of bioluminescence in the family of click beetles. The study is published in the open-access journal ZooKeys.