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Evolution

Ancient fish face bears signs of modern jaw

A smiling fish that lived in China 419 million years ago revolutionises our conception of the origin of humans and most other vertebrate animals.

Oxygenated Earth much older than we thought

The discovery of the world’s oldest soil suggests that Earth’s atmosphere contained oxygen as early as three billion years ago. That’s 700 million years earlier than previously thought.

Ants in gladiatorial combat reveal unique collaboration

Defenceless ‘farmer ants’ receive help from heavily armed venomous ants when their colony is attacked. This unique collaboration has now been documented through gladiatorial combat between the ants.

Microscopic arms race rages on the seabed

The ocean floor contains viruses and bacteria locked in a constant struggle for survival. This has a great effect on the carbon cycle in the ocean and thus also affects how much CO2 is released into the atmosphere.

Apes can relive their past through ’mental time travel’

Humans are no longer the only primate capable of recalling their own experiences from the past, claim scientists.

Hunger increases support for social welfare

If we are hungry when we’re asked about our attitude towards welfare, we are more likely to show support for a social welfare policy. This is a biological impulse which ensures survival, new research suggests.

Why leprosy is still going strong

Scientists have mapped the genome of the bacterium that causes leprosy. The findings reveal why the disease still manages to infect more than 200,000 people every year.

Butterfly with four eyespots spooks big predators

The eyespots on this butterfly's wings are big enough to scare full-grown chickens.

How bacteria adapt to human hosts

Researchers have mapped how bacteria go from living in topsoil to living in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.

The evolving life of East African beetles

They are distant cousins in more ways than one, the rove beetles of East Africa’s volcanic peaks. Separated by vast distances and confined to high altitudes, they have evolved into separate species.