evolution

Jurgen C. Otto (via ScienceNews.Org)

Today on UnDisciplined, we'll be joined by a scientist who is searching the world for the blackest of black. Next, we'll talk to a researcher who is trying to get a handle on how superstitions spread.

Getty Images

Do you know what kills more women during and after pregnancy than anything else? The answer is probably going to surprise you. And do you have a pretty good understanding of how evolution works? If so, we might have another surpirse for you. 

Robert Snow / Ocearch

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about artificial intelligence, great white sharks, illegal pollution, snail genes, and new rules for leaders at the National Institutes of Health. That's right, it's the May Science News Roundup. 

UnDisciplined: Superlatives And Survival

Apr 19, 2019
Animal Ark

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about big things and small things, loud things and fast things, things that kill and things that survive being killed — but we're doing it a little differently than normal. 

Alan D. Wilson / CC BY-SA 2.5

Microevolution, or traits varying due to natural selection, is pretty settled in evolutionary science. But macroevolution – the evolution of new species – hasn’t been observed. 

Background trees and tropical bushes. Small pond with two Hyrachyus, similar to tapir and rhino.
University of Utah

Millions of years ago there were diverse and large populations of mega-herbivores, but today there are only a few mega-herbivore species. New research reveals a new theory about the extinction of these ancient mega-herbivore species. 

On The Streets Of New York

James Cutting studies the way moviemakers exploit human emotions to tell stories. Zach Gompert examines fundamental questions about evolutionary genetics. Together, we talk about how things change over time and whether we can predict those changes.

T. cristinae comes in three colors:  green, green-striped, and brown.
Aaron Comeault / University of North Carolina

If you spend enough time poking around bushes in California, Nevada or Arizona, you’ll find stick insects, long little guys that blend in with sticks or leaves. Sometimes you only notice them when they drop out of their camouflaged environment and onto your shirt. They’re funny looking, harmless and at the center of a recent high-impact study at Utah State University describing when and how you can predict evolution.

Andrew Kulmatiski / Utah State University

For sagebrush lovers, fire is scary.  It destroys the native shrubs, grasses and wildflowers, leaving cheatgrass in its wake. Cheatgrass displaces native seedlings, destroys wildlife habitat, and increases the chances that fire will reoccur.  

Noctural, flightless, and solitary, kakapo are one of the most evolutionarily distinct parrots
Mnolf / Wikimedia

It’s easy to care about the wellbeing of the threatened giant panda because they’re cute.  But it’s hard to care about the critically endangered Chinese giant salamander, because they look like an enormous booger. 

In The Evolution of Beauty, Richard O. Prum’s award-winning career as an ornithologist and his lifelong passion for bird-watching come together in a thrilling intellectual adventure. Scientific dogma holds that every detail of an animal’s mating displays—every spot on the peacock’s tail—is an advertisement of its genetic material superiority to potential mates. But thirty years of research and fieldwork around the world led Prum to question this idea.