New research has revealed how photosynthetic algae managed to survive the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, by quickly adapting to hunt other microbes in the absence of sunlight. Not only did this help them thrive when so many species were wiped out, but it also provided a much needed lifeline to our early oceans. Around … More Algae & the asteroid: how single-celled plankton succeeded where the dinosaurs failed
New research has uncovered the genetic origin of gill covers in fish, which occurred over 430 million years ago. It sheds light on one of the most important evolutionary developments for fish, as well as over vertebrates such as humans. If you ask a palaeontologist what the most important change in vertebrate evolution was, they … More The evolution of gill covers in fish (and humans)
Written by Eleanor Gilbert In July 2018, a team of divers – biologists from the Gates Coral Lab at the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology – watched as corals spawned. Using nets, they captured tiny eggs and sperm that were released into the water and brought them back to the lab. The goal: to crossbreed … More Assisted evolution: is meddling with corals the key to their survival?
A new study from neuroscientists has discovered a structure in shrimp’s brains which was thought to be found exclusively in insects. The discovery sheds new light on their shared evolutionary past and changes what we know about crustacean intelligence. If you have ever tried pulling the head off a barbequed shrimp, then chances are you’ve … More The surprising similarities in shrimp & insect brains (and why it matters)
Epaulette sharks are a small group of sharks capable of walking above and below the water on modified fins, but recent discoveries are uncovering even more interesting facts about these amazing animals. The idea of a shark that can chase you across a beach may sound like the stuff of nightmares, but in reality the … More Newly discovered sharks can walk on their fins
Written by Charlie Gregory Cueva del Azufre is a complex cave system in southern Mexico with incredibly harsh conditions which make it seem almost impossible for any form of life to survive there. But despite waters filled with over 50 times the lethal dose of toxic hydrogen sulphide, a near complete absence of light and … More The incredible fish living in a toxic Mexican cave system