Fruit fly on cactus leaf
Fruit Flies Evolve in Time with the Seasons: Study
Researchers find that evolution can operate on extraordinarily fast timescales.
Fruit Flies Evolve in Time with the Seasons: Study
Fruit Flies Evolve in Time with the Seasons: Study

Researchers find that evolution can operate on extraordinarily fast timescales.

Researchers find that evolution can operate on extraordinarily fast timescales.

natural selection
close-up of a salmon's head swimming among underwater plants
Sudden Decline in Salmon Growth May Signal Ecological Shift
Natalia Mesa | Mar 4, 2022
The decrease in growth appears to be associated with increasing water temperatures, affecting animals throughout the marine food web.
Human DNA abstract dotwork vector illustration made of cloud of colored dots.
Adapting with a Little Help from Jumping Genes
Christie Wilcox | Jan 17, 2022
Long lambasted as junk DNA or genomic parasites, transposable elements turn out to be contributors to adaptation.
Organisms from infographic about transposable elements
Infographic: How Transposable Elements Can Shape Evolution
Christie Wilcox | Jan 17, 2022
The movements of so-called jumping genes can generate the genetic diversity needed to drive evolutionary change in populations over time.  
Cranes in flight
Why Migratory Birds Often Have Paler Wings Than Other Birds
Amanda Heidt | Dec 7, 2021
A new study suggests that lighter colors may help these species stay cool on their long journeys, when birds are pushing themselves to their physiological limits.
Illustration of humans and mice and their gut microbiota
Infographic: Microbiome-Driven Adaptations in Animals
Catherine Offord | Jul 1, 2021
Researchers are using experiments and observational studies to look for host genetic variation that could be partly determined by the gut microbiota.
An illustration of green bacteria floating above neutral-colored intestinal villi
The Inside Guide: The Gut Microbiome’s Role in Host Evolution
Catherine Offord | Jul 1, 2021
Bacteria that live in the digestive tracts of animals may influence the adaptive trajectories of their hosts.
A tasmanian devil with its nose in the air
Deadly Facial Tumors Spur Tasmanian Devil Evolution: Study
Christie Wilcox | Jun 16, 2021
The largest study to date of the animals’ genetics provides robust evidence that they are adapting to survive a highly lethal, contagious cancer scientists feared would cause their extinction.
Hybrid Animals Are Not Nature’s Misfits
Ashley Yeager | May 1, 2021
In the 20th century, animals such as mules and ligers that had parents of different species were considered biological flukes, but genetic sequencing is beginning to unravel the critical role of hybridization in evolution.
Image of the Day: Plumage Patterns
Amy Schleunes | Mar 23, 2020
An island songbird evolved into five populations of different color variants despite inhabiting territories just 10 kilometers apart.
critic at large march 2019 the scientist
Opinion: Individuals Are Greater Than the Sum of Their Parts
Itzhak Mizrahi and Fotini Kokou | Mar 1, 2019
The study of evolution requires consideration of organisms’ microbiomes.
Neanderthal Ancestry in Europeans Unchanged for Last 45,000 Years
Diana Kwon | Jan 23, 2019
The findings of a new study contradict previous results from some of the same scientists that suggested Neanderthal DNA was gradually removed from modern human genomes.
Infographic: How Cities Influence Evolution
Catherine Offord | Jan 1, 2019
Urban environments are driving genetic changes in resident species through multiple mechanisms, from establishing gene flow barriers to exerting novel selection pressures.
Human Birth Canal Varies More Widely than Previously Thought
Anna Azvolinsky | Oct 24, 2018
The pelvic bones of women have been shaped more by random evolution than by natural selection, a new study finds.
Global Patterns of Human Epigenetic Variation
Ashley Yeager | Aug 28, 2017
A study of five far-flung human populations gives clues to adaptations to environmental pressures.
Pollution Drives Marine Reptile Color Change
Bob Grant | Aug 11, 2017
The turtle-headed sea snake is losing its stripes, and researchers suggest that the change reflects adaptation to fouled oceans.
Evolution May Have Deleted Neanderthal DNA
Joshua A. Krisch | Nov 8, 2016
Natural selection may be behind the dearth of Neanderthal DNA in modern humans.
On Becoming Human
Mary Beth Aberlin | Aug 1, 2016
Some thoughts on going to the Galápagos
Humans Never Stopped Evolving
John Hawks | Aug 1, 2016
The emergence of blood abnormalities, an adult ability to digest milk, and changes in our physical appearance point to the continued evolution of the human race.
Contributors
Karen Zusi | Jan 1, 2016
Meet some of the people featured in the January 2016 issue of The Scientist.