In a study of New Zealand's "living dinosaur" the tuatara, evolutionary biologist, and ancient DNA expert, Professor David Lambert and his team from the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution recovered DNA sequences from the bones of ancient tuatara, which are up to 8000 years old. They found that, although tuatara have remained largely physically unchanged over very long periods of evolution, they are evolving - at a DNA level - faster than any other animal yet examined.
Researchers have developed a computer algorithm that can imitate the bat's ability to classify plants using echolocation. The study represents a collaboration between machine learning scientists and biologists studying bat orientation.
Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have identified a language feature unique to the human brain that is shedding light on how human language evolved. The study marks the first use of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), a non-invasive imaging technique, to compare human brain structures to those of chimpanzees, our closest living relative.
University of Queensland researchers have unlocked new evidence that could help them get to the bottom of our most common phobias and their causes. Hundreds of thousands of people count snakes and spiders among their fears, and while scientists have previously assumed we possess an evolutionary predisposition to fear the unpopular animals, researchers at UQ's School of Psychology may have proved otherwise.