Evolution

Blogs about evolution

A possible moment during the Carnian Pluvial Episode (Image courtesy Davide Bonadonna. All rights reserved)

An article published in the journal “Nature Communications” describes a research on the link between the dinosaur diversification that took place at the end of the Triassic period and an event known as the Carnian Pluvial Episode, which occurred around 232-234 million years ago. According to a team of researchers, in the middle of that period of climate change, dinosaurs started thriving, evolving into many different species, also taking advantage of the extinction of other animals.

Bodo saltans infected by the virus

An article published in the journal “eLife” describes a research on a species of giant virus called Bodo saltans virus (BsV), considered part of the most abundant group present in the seas. The name is due to the fact that it infects a species of microscopic plankton called the Bodo saltans. A team of researchers from the University of British Columbia succeeded in isolating this virus, classified as a Klosneuvirus, a sub-group of the Mimiviridae family.

Neanderthal Molar from Belgium (Image courtesy I. Crevecoeur. All rights reserved)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes a research that helps the reconstruction of the final phase of Neanderthals’ history. A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, sequenced the genome of 5 individuals of that species who lived between 39,000 and 47,000 years ago. These individuals are more closely related to those who interbred with modern humans than to an older individual from the Altai mountains whose DNA was sequenced some time ago.

The chick's phosphorous mapping and photo (Image Dr. Fabien Knoll)

An article published in the journal “Nature Communications” describes the study of the fossil remains of a chick that lived about 127 million years ago and died shortly after its birth. A team of researchers led by Dr. Fabien Knoll of the University of Manchester examined this specimen that belongs to the Enantiornithes, a group of primordial birds that lived during the Cretaceous period. Its almost complete skeleton made it possible to analyze its bones’ structure and development, obtaining new data on those birds.

Common raven (Corvus corax) (Photo National Park Service)

An article published in the journal “Nature Communications” brings evidence of an speciation reversal in two lineages of the species common raven (Corvus corax). A team of researchers examined genomic data from hundreds of ravens collected in North America in a study begun in 1999 concluding that this species diversified into three genetically distinct groups: the species Chihuahua raven (Corvus cryptoleucus) emerged from one of them but two of them are collapsing into one by a hybridization process.