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Evolution & Behaviour

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Capturing the past using DNA from Sacred Ibis Mummies

Animals were significant to the ancient Egyptians as they considered them Gods living on earth. By far, the most numerous mummies found are those of the Sacred Ibis, worshipped as the incarnation of the God Thoth. Thoth was the God responsible for maintaining the universe,... click to read more

  • David Lambert | Professor at Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution, Environmental Futures Research Institute, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
  • Sally Wasef | Lecturer at Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution, Environmental Futures Research Institute, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
Views 164
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Jul 6, 2020
Secrets of legless leapers revealed

While we marvel at falcons, cheetahs, and dolphins for their remarkable skills at flying, running, and swimming, we tend to belittle more humble creatures. Among the most lowly are worms, with their unsophisticated crawling and wriggling. However, the biological world holds an endless array of... click to read more

  • Michael J. Wise | Professor at Roanoke College, Environmental Studies Department, Virgina, USA
Views 326
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Jun 17, 2020
Early chewing and swallowing

Chewing and controlled swallowing are requirements for efficient food ingestion and civilized table manners. Active muscle-powered swallowing is typical mammalian and differentiates mammals, including humans, from other vertebrates. Reptiles, such as crocodiles and birds, devour their unchewed prey in huge chunks or even entirely (e.g.,... click to read more

  • Thomas Martin | Professor at Section Palaeontology, Institute of Geosciences, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Bonn, Germany
Views 352
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Jun 11, 2020
Living the high life: the early arrival of hunter-gatherers in the glaciated Ethiopian Highlands

Eastern Africa is known for a vast number of famous archaeological and paleoanthropological findings. Among those, the discovery of the 3.2 million-year-old skeleton "Lucy" in the Afar region. Excavations of fossils and archaeological remains over the last decades shed light on the hominin evolution. They... click to read more

  • Alexander R. Groos | PhD student at Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Views 489
Reading time 3.5 min
published on May 29, 2020
The evolution of the new coronavirus: what the past teaches us for a better future

As we are writing, the world is facing the global crisis of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Since the beginning of the outbreak, scientists have been struggling with establishing standards to overcome this challenging situation. Unlike for the common cold or the seasonal flu, treatments,... click to read more

  • Akira Ohkubo | PhD student at Department of Cell Biology, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
Views 1460
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Apr 9, 2020