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The Nutshell

» ecology, evolution and culture

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image: Fish Make Their Own Sun Protection

Fish Make Their Own Sun Protection

By | May 14, 2015

Zebrafish and other vertebrates have the enzymatic machinery to synthesize gadusol, an ultraviolet light-absorbing compound.

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image: Dino Snouts from Chicken Beaks

Dino Snouts from Chicken Beaks

By | May 13, 2015

Researchers tweak gene expression in chicken embryos that may have been crucial to the evolutionary transition from dinosaur noses to bird bills.

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image: Estimating Epigenetic Mutation Rates

Estimating Epigenetic Mutation Rates

By | May 11, 2015

Generation-spanning maps of Arabidopsis thaliana DNA methylation allow researchers to compute how quickly epigenetic marks appear and disappear in the plant’s genome.

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image: The Rise of Heads

The Rise of Heads

By | May 11, 2015

A 500 million-year-old brain fossil yields clues to the evolution of heads.

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image: Oldest Ancestor of Modern Birds Found

Oldest Ancestor of Modern Birds Found

By | May 6, 2015

Fossils of a new species discovered in China suggest birds developed 6 million years earlier than previously thought.

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image: Climate Change Speeds Extinctions

Climate Change Speeds Extinctions

By | May 3, 2015

Species die-offs are expected to accelerate as greenhouse gases accumulate, according to a meta-analysis.

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image: Winged Dino Found?

Winged Dino Found?

By | May 1, 2015

Researchers describe a small species that may have soared through Jurassic skies on membranous wings like those of bats and flying squirrels.

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image: Similar Strokes

Similar Strokes

By | April 29, 2015

Physics drove the convergent evolution of swimming in 22 unrelated marine species, a study suggests.

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image: Bees Drawn to Pesticides

Bees Drawn to Pesticides

By | April 24, 2015

One study shows the insects prefer food laced with pesticides, while another adds to the evidence that the chemicals are harmful to some pollinators.

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image: Citrus History

Citrus History

By | April 16, 2015

An analysis of 34 chloroplast genomes reveals how and when modern fruit varieties evolved from a common ancestor.

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