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evolution

International collaboration draws new conclusions about ‘convergent evolution’ of saber-tooth cats

Jun. 26, 2020—International collaboration shows that marsupial saber-tooth cats were more closely related to possums than fearsome predators.

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Unexpected mammal provides insight into the lives of ancient hominins

Jun. 11, 2020—Paleontologist and associate professor of biological sciences Larisa DeSantis finds answers about early hominin diets are with an unrelated group of mammals—tapirs.

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New discovery shows infection of the lungs can be caused by hybrid fungi

Jun. 4, 2020—A team of scientists at Vanderbilt has discovered the first known instance of a hybrid fungal species causing aspergillosis, an ensemble of different types of lung infections that often impacts immune-compromised people.

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New research on ‘endowment effect’ points to evolutionary roots of cognitive biases

May. 27, 2020—Evolution may explain why we overvalue some things—but not others—to an irrational degree.

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Vanderbilt lab develops app for analyzing crowd-sourced songbird recordings

Apr. 20, 2020—With a new app from a team at Vanderbilt, birdsong researchers can better leverage crowdsourced fieldwork and audio recordings from amateur birders and citizen songbird scientists.

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Where are the quokkas? New study explains what happened to the “happiest animal in the world”

Feb. 21, 2020—The quokka, a small marsupial native to Australia, is an example of a species vulnerable to extinction in the country’s harsh surroundings. In a new study, researchers at Vanderbilt University demonstrate evidence for the dramatic decline of quokkas over the past century.

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Leading evolutionary biologist Jonathan Losos to deliver 2020 Darwin Day Lecture

Feb. 10, 2020—Jonathan Losos, a world-renowned evolutionary biologist whose discoveries have shed light on how organisms diversify, will deliver the 2020 Darwin Day Lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

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New method reveals how differences in the genetic “instruction booklet” between humans and Neanderthals influenced traits

Oct. 7, 2019—When it comes to our differences from Neanderthals, most of what we know comes from comparing fossils. But fossils can only tell us about bones and not whole living organisms. That’s changing thanks to a new paper from a team of genomics researchers at Vanderbilt, who have developed a first-of-its-kind computational method. Their approach uses...

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High standards of female songbirds could be driving their mates to evolve

Sep. 4, 2019—Picky females force male songbirds to become better singers.

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Rokas to lead budding cross-disciplinary collaboration on evolutionary studies

Aug. 14, 2019—The Vanderbilt Evolutionary Studies Initiative seeks to position the university as a global leader in evolutionary studies by engaging a large group of scholars who share this research interest.

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Intense look at La Brea Tar Pits explains why we have coyotes, not saber-toothed cats

Aug. 5, 2019—The most detailed study to date of ancient predators trapped in the La Brea Tar Pits is helping Americans understand why today we’re dealing with coyotes dumping over garbage cans and not saber-toothed cats ripping our arms off.

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Ediacaran dinner party featured plenty to eat, adequate sanitation, computer model shows

Jun. 19, 2019—“They are behaving like animals, and that’s a link between them and what we recognize as animals," says paleontologist Simon A.F. Darroch.

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