If you are reading this, you did not start your life by hatching from an egg. This is one of the many traits that you share with our mammalian relatives. A new article explores the genetic changes that led mammals to feed their young via the placenta and with milk, rather then via the egg, and finds that these changes occurred fairly gradually in our evolutionary history. The paper shows that milk-protein genes arose in a common ancestor of all existing mammalian lineages and preceded the loss of the genes that encoded egg proteins.
Brown bears from the Iberian Peninsula are not as genetically different from other brown bears in Europe as was previously thought. An international study being published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that, to the contrary, the Spanish bear was only recently isolated from other European strains. These findings shed new light on the discussion of how to save the population of Spanish bears.
According to researchers at the Monell Center, fruit flies are more like humans in their responses to many sweet tastes than are almost any other species.
New ANU research may explain why eating royal jelly destines honeybee larvae to become queens instead of workers - and in the process adds new weight to the role of environmental factors in the nature/nurture divide.
Take a deer's body, attach a camel's head and add a Jimmy Durante nose, and you have a saiga -- the odd-ball antelope with the enormous schnoz that lives on the isolated steppes of Central Asia. Unfortunately, they are as endangered as they are strange-looking due to over-hunting. Now, according to a recent Wildlife Conservation Society study, their migration routes are in jeopardy as well.