December 8, 2016
New study traces the marsupial origins in N. America, finds mammals during Age of Dinosaurs packed a powerful bite
A new study by paleontologists at the Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture and the University of Washington describes an early marsupial relative called Didelphodon vorax that lived alongside dinosaurs and had, pound-for-pound, the strongest bite force of any mammal ever recorded.
University of Washington paleontologists have discovered a benign tumor made up of miniature, tooth-like structures embedded in the jaw of an extinct ‘mammal-like’ gorgonopsian. Known as a compound odontoma, this type of tumor is common to mammals today. But this animal lived 255 million years ago, before mammals even existed.
September 23, 2016
University of Washington biologist Dee Boersma and her colleagues combed through 28 years’ worth of data on Magellanic penguins to search for signs that natural selection — one of the main drivers of evolution — may be acting on certain penguin traits. As they report in a paper published Sept. 21 in The Auk: Ornithological Advances, selection is indeed at work on the penguins at the Punta Tombo breeding site in Argentina.
August 18, 2016
Paleontologists with the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture and the UW have discovered a Tyrannosaurus rex, including a very complete skull. The find, which paleontologists estimate to be about 20 percent of the animal, includes vertebrae, ribs, hips and lower jaw bones.
May 11, 2016
Over their 52-million-year history, a few bats have evolved a taste for their fellow vertebrates. Now biologists at the University of Washington and the Burke Museum of History and Culture are shedding light on how these so-called “carnivorous bats” adapted to the daunting task of chowing down their backboned prey.
September 10, 2015
Faculty members from several departments at the University of Washington will share $2.25 million in research funds from the National Science Foundation to study and apply the principles of evolution “in real time.” Their studies are a part of the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action. Founded in 2010, this NSF science…
February 18, 2015
We’ve long known that humans and our cities affect the ecosystem and even drive some evolutionary change. What’s new is that these evolutionary changes are happening more quickly than previously thought, and have potential impacts not in the distant future — but now.
January 29, 2014
A fossil-free method of sequencing archaic DNA may provide insight into human evolution.
July 3, 2013
A model of great ape history during the past 15 million years has been fashioned through the study of genetic variation in a large panel of humans, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans.
March 29, 2013
Bacteria speed up their evolution by positioning specific genes along the route of expected traffic jams in DNA encoding. Collisions can result in mutations.
March 4, 2013
New work in Argentina where scientists had previously thought Earth’s first grasslands emerged 38 million years ago, shows the area at the time covered with tropical forests rich with palms, bamboos and gingers. Grit and volcanic ash in those forests could have caused the evolution of teeth in horse-like animals that scientists mistakenly thought were adaptations in response to emerging grasslands.
February 19, 2013
Species facing widespread and rapid environmental changes can sometimes evolve quickly enough to dodge the extinction bullet. UW scientists consider the genetic underpinnings of such evolutionary rescue.
December 26, 2012
Taking into consideration size, an ancient relative of piranhas weighing about 20 pounds delivered a bite with more force than prehistoric whale-eating sharks or – even – Tyrannosaurus rex.
December 6, 2012
Moths are able to enjoy a pollinator’s buffet of flowers because of two distinct “channels” in their brains, scientists have discovered.