evolution evolution

This fungus among us — baker's yeast, aka Saccharomyces cerevisiae — is useful for more than just making bread. iStockphoto hide caption

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iStockphoto

You And Yeast Have More In Common Than You Might Think

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The skull of a chicken embryo (left) has a recognizable beak. But when scientists block the expression of two particular genes, the embryo develops a rounded "snout" (center) that looks something like an alligator's skull (right). Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar hide caption

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Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar

How Bird Beaks Got Their Start As Dinosaur Snouts

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Sir David Attenborough at the Beijing Museum of Natural History with fossil of Juramaia, as featured in the Smithsonian Channel series Rise of Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates. Courtesy Smithsonian Channel hide caption

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Courtesy Smithsonian Channel

In 'Rise Of Animals,' Sir David Attenborough Tells Story Of Vertebrates

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Loki's Castle, the field of deep sea vents between Norway and Greenland, is home to sediments containing DNA from the newly discovered archaea. R.B. Pedersen/Centre for Geobiology, Bergen, Norway hide caption

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R.B. Pedersen/Centre for Geobiology, Bergen, Norway

Missing Link Microbes May Help Explain How Single Cells Became Us

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Reconstruction of the giant filter feeder, scooping up a plankton cloud. Aegirocassis benmoulae was one of the biggest arthropods that ever lived. Family members include today's insects, spiders and lobsters. Marianne Collins/ArtofFact hide caption

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Marianne Collins/ArtofFact

Think Man-Sized Swimming Centipede — And Be Glad It's A Fossil

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One possible result in the Mighty Mini Mammals division of 2015's Mammal March Madness tournament. If the species that's seeded highest always wins its bracket, the fennec fox will beat out the rest of the division and advance to the final four. Adam Cole/NPR hide caption

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Adam Cole/NPR

Could A Quokka Beat A Numbat? Oddsmakers Say Yes

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Botanists say this plant is the fern equivalent of a human-lemur love child. Harry Roskam hide caption

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Harry Roskam

'Weird' Fern Shows The Power Of Interspecies Sex

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A blue whale is seen in Timor waters in an undated photo. The marine mammal buttresses Cope's rule, the notion that over the course of evolution, most animals tend to get bigger. Kiki Dethmers/AP hide caption

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Kiki Dethmers/AP

"Flavor is the most important ingredient at the core of what we are. It created us," John McQuaid writes in his book Tasty: The Art and Science of What We Eat. Getty Images hide caption

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Getty Images

'Tasty': How Flavor Helped Make Us Human

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Surprise! Not one of these things contains a single speck of blue pigment. Evan Leeson/Bob Peterson/lowjumpingfrog/Look Into My Eyes/Flickr hide caption

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Evan Leeson/Bob Peterson/lowjumpingfrog/Look Into My Eyes/Flickr

How Animals Hacked The Rainbow And Got Stumped On Blue

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