The Joker is easily one of the best villains in film and TV (and obviously, comic book) history, but who is the best Joker? Jack Nicholson combined the mischievous campiness of the character with the deranged thirst for violence. Heath Ledger’s The Dark Knight Joker is somehow just as iconic as Nicholson and fit…
Millions of years ago, a pair of exploding stars showered our planet with radioactive fallout. Had those supernovae popped off a bit closer to home, Earth’s biosphere would have been toast. But even at a distance of 300 light years, the stellar events might have had an impact on the evolution of life here.
What's happening in Siberia's thawing permafrost and Greenland's melting glaciers sounds borderline supernatural. Ancient viruses, bacteria, plants, and even animals have been cryogenically frozen there for millennia—and now, they are waking up.
A closer examination of the fossilized remains of a 110-million-year-old snake-like creature suggests that snakes evolved in the water, and not on land as previous research suggests.
The precise origin of our canine companions is mired in controversy. But a new study suggests that dogs emerged from not one but two different populations of ancient wolves. What’s more, this dual domestication happened on opposite sides of the Eurasian continent.
For the first time ever, scientists have sequenced the genome of the world’s tallest land species, the giraffe. Surprisingly, this majestic creature required only a small handful of mutations to attain its remarkable physical stature and physiology—but these mutations packed an evolutionary punch.
The strikingly beautiful Saharan silver ant is capable of withstanding some of the most extreme temperatures on the planet. New research shows that their silver sheen serves as a heat-repellent system, reflecting incoming sunlight like a prism.
Bed bugs are among the most dreaded pests we have to deal with, and they’re proving to be a formidable foe. New research suggests that bed bugs are able to ward off insecticides by developing thicker skins.
If we want to know what sorts of creatures will survive the next mass extinction, the best place to look is the fossil record. After examining the bones of Lystrosaurus, a vertebrate that famously thrived during the worst apocalypse in the history of life on Earth, a team of paleontologists think they know how it…
A retractable, jawed proboscis. A lithe, slippery body. A tiny dumbbell with slow blinking eyes. Meet the Tully monster, an actual sea creature that seems to have sprung to life out of a drug-induced fever dream involving vibrators and surgical tools. At long last, scientists think they know what kind of creature it…
Big carnivores are scary, both to humans and the animals they prey upon. But as a new study demonstrates, the fear that these predators instill among their prey can have a positive influence on ecological health and biodiversity, a finding with important implications for conservation.
We have yet to discover a single trace of alien life, despite the extremely high probability that it exists somewhere. This contradiction is popularly known as the Fermi Paradox. A new theory attempts to solve this conundrum by suggesting that habitable planets are quite common in our galaxy, but nascent life gets…
Evolution is a pretty simple to grasp! Traits in a species that are more advantageous for like, survival get passed down to future generations because those traits helped the species survive. Evolution is not always hilarious though. It is in this video from Casually Explained that combines jokes about video games,…
A German research team recently discovered what they thought were five distinct species of nematode worms on account of significant facial differences. But it turns out they’re a single species of worm—a fascinating creature that changes the shape of its mouth depending on what food is available.
Evolution, directed by Lucile Hadzihalilovic, is as soft, beautiful and mysterious as sci-fi films get. It’s about an island that’s just populated by young boys and their mothers, but the boys are always in the hospital. Why? There are some secrets, to be sure.
A very particular shade of blue hair has evolved independently on eight separate occasions and in at least three different ways in tarantulas, a new study finds. And scientists are having a hell of a time figuring out why.
We typically think of evolution as a progression from simplicity to complexity. But one organism seems to have thrown the rulebook out the window: a microbial animal that offers a striking example of evolution run “backwards.”
A new dinosaur species sheds some light on how duck-billed dinosaurs got their crests. Paleontologists say Probrachylophosaurus bergei is a missing link between two other species, and it fills in vital pieces of the story of how crests evolved.
It’s easy to get excited about new fossil discoveries, but sometimes a second look at an old find can reveal something just as surprising.
An undergraduate student from the University of Alberta has uncovered the fossilized remains of an Ornithomimus dinosaur with preserved tail feathers and soft tissue. The remarkable specimen is offering important insights into the plumage patterns of these ancient creatures, while tightening the linkages between…