The study documented the earliest known interbreeding event between ancient human populations-- a group known as the 'super-archaics' in Eurasia interbred with a Neanderthal-Denisovan ancestor about 700,000 years ago. The event was between two populations more distantly related than any other recorded. The authors proposed a revised timeline for human migration out of Africa and into Eurasia. The method for analyzing ancient DNA provides a new way to look farther back into the human lineage.
By watching videos of each other eating, blue tits and great tits can learn to avoid foods that taste disgusting and are potentially toxic, a new study has found.
A growing body of research shows that birds' spring migration has been getting earlier and earlier in recent decades. New research from The Auk: Ornithological Advances on Black-throated Blue Warblers, a common songbird that migrates from Canada and the eastern US to Central America and back every year, uses fifty years of bird-banding data to add another piece to the puzzle, showing that little-studied fall migration patterns have been shifting over time as well.
Researchers from the University of Oxford have discovered that the Himalayan wolf is a unique wolf characteristically adapted to the harsh life in the Asian high altitudes where low oxygen levels challenge all life forms.
The microbiome of our ancestors might have been more important for human evolution than previously thought. By comparing data from prior studies, the authors revealed that an adaptive gut microbiome could have been critical for human dispersal, allowing our ancestors to survive in new geographic areas.
The origin of an understudied hybrid population of poisonous frogs -- highly endangered colorful animals that live deep in the Colombian jungle -- is the result of natural breeding and not caused by wildlife traffickers moving them, a University of Saskatchewan (USask) study shows.
The combined effects of chemical contamination by road salt and invasive species can harm native amphibians, according to researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
The long-term Swedish Malaise Trap Project reports a massive insect inventory in an article in the open-access Biodiversity Data Journal. In three years, an estimated total of 20 million insects were caught, which took fifteen years for a dedicated team of staff, students and volunteers to sort for further study. In an era of climate change and mass extinction, the project is a potential goldmine of material to allow assessment of the changing insect fauna.
Many insects, mosses and lichens in the UK are bucking the trend of biodiversity loss, according to a comprehensive analysis of over 5,000 species led by UCL and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), and published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.
They might not be as popular as jaguars and parrots, but fish hold the key to lots of the Amazon rainforest's secrets. Studying the different kinds of fish living in the region's lakes and rivers helps scientists understand how rainforest ecosystems are connected. An investigation of fish populations is helping scientists make a case that protecting one tiny corner of the Guiana Shield can help protect rivers and biodiversity across the Amazon.