The dinosaur lineage that evolved into birds shrank in body size continuously for 50 million years, according to a new paper in Science. From left to right: the ancestral neotheropod, the ancestral tetanuran, the ancestral coelurosaur, the ancestral paravian, Archaeopteryx. (Davide Bonnadonna)

The dinosaur lineage that evolved into birds shrank in body size continuously for 50 million years, according to a new paper in Science. From left to right: the ancestral neotheropod, the ancestral tetanuran, the ancestral coelurosaur, the ancestral paravian, Archaeopteryx. (Davide Bonnadonna)

Monkeys’ faces evolved to avoid crossbreeding
By Zoe GoughReporter, BBC Nature
Guenon monkeys’ colourful and varied faces have evolved as a way to avoid crossbreeding, scientists have found.
Many different species of guenons live side-by-side meaning mating with other species, which could lead to infertile offspring, is a possibility.
The researchers used human facial recognition technology to identify primate features from photographs.
They found that guenons’ looks have evolved to become more distinctive from their relatives living close by.
The findings are reported in the journal Nature Communications and researchers say they are the best evidence to date of visual signs acting as a barrier to breeding across species.

Guenons - Cercopithecini - are a group of more than 25 species of monkeys which originated in the forests of Central and West Africa.
MORE:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/28017622

Monkeys’ faces evolved to avoid crossbreeding

Guenon monkeys’ colourful and varied faces have evolved as a way to avoid crossbreeding, scientists have found.

Many different species of guenons live side-by-side meaning mating with other species, which could lead to infertile offspring, is a possibility.

The researchers used human facial recognition technology to identify primate features from photographs.

They found that guenons’ looks have evolved to become more distinctive from their relatives living close by.

The findings are reported in the journal Nature Communications and researchers say they are the best evidence to date of visual signs acting as a barrier to breeding across species.

Guenons - Cercopithecini - are a group of more than 25 species of monkeys which originated in the forests of Central and West Africa.

MORE:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/28017622

David Begun concluded that early primates flourished in Eurasia and that a lineage leading to the African apes and humans, including Dryopithecus, migrated south from Europe or Western Asia into Africa. The surviving tropical population of primates, which is seen most completely in the upper Eocene and lowermost Oligocene fossil beds of the Faiyum depression southwest of Cairo, gave rise to all living species—lemurs of Madagascar, lorises of Southeast Asia, galagos or “bush babies” of Africa, and the anthropoids: platyrrhine or New World monkeys, catarrhines or Old World monkeys, the great apes, and humans.

David Begun concluded that early primates flourished in Eurasia and that a lineage leading to the African apes and humans, including Dryopithecus, migrated south from Europe or Western Asia into Africa. The surviving tropical population of primates, which is seen most completely in the upper Eocene and lowermost Oligocene fossil beds of the Faiyum depression southwest of Cairo, gave rise to all living species—lemurs of Madagascar, lorises of Southeast Asia, galagos or “bush babies” of Africa, and the anthropoids: platyrrhine or New World monkeys, catarrhines or Old World monkeys, the great apes, and humans.

Dogs likely originated in Europe more than 18,000 years ago.


Wolves likely were domesticated by European hunter–gatherers more than 18,000 years ago and gradually evolved into dogs that became household pets, UCLA life scientists report.
“We found that instead of recent wolves being closest to domestic dogs, ancient European wolves were directly related to them,” said Robert Wayne, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology in UCLA’s College of Letters and Science and senior author of the research. “This brings the genetic record into agreement with the archaeological record. Europe is where the oldest dogs are found.”
The UCLA researchers’ genetic analysis is published Nov. 15 in the journal Science and featured on the journal’s cover.
More: http://www.heritagedaily.com/2013/11/dogs-likely-originated-in-europe-more-than-18000-years-ago/99713

Dogs likely originated in Europe more than 18,000 years ago.

Wolves likely were domesticated by European hunter–gatherers more than 18,000 years ago and gradually evolved into dogs that became household pets, UCLA life scientists report.

“We found that instead of recent wolves being closest to domestic dogs, ancient European wolves were directly related to them,” said Robert Wayne, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology in UCLA’s College of Letters and Science and senior author of the research. “This brings the genetic record into agreement with the archaeological record. Europe is where the oldest dogs are found.”

The UCLA researchers’ genetic analysis is published Nov. 15 in the journal Science and featured on the journal’s cover.

More: http://www.heritagedaily.com/2013/11/dogs-likely-originated-in-europe-more-than-18000-years-ago/99713

Was Earth’s first bird found?


The skeleton of a Jurassic dinosaur from China could also be the oldest known bird, scientists report.
The fossil of Aurornis xui was found last year in a museum at the Fossil and Geology Park in Yizhou, China, long after a farmer first dug it up in the Liaoning Province. The feathery specimen represents the most ancient of the avialans, the group that includes birds and their relatives since their split from nonavian dinosaurs.
[Full Story: New Feathered Dino May Be World’s First Bird]
Was Earth’s first bird found?

The skeleton of a Jurassic dinosaur from China could also be the oldest known bird, scientists report.

The fossil of Aurornis xui was found last year in a museum at the Fossil and Geology Park in Yizhou, China, long after a farmer first dug it up in the Liaoning Province. The feathery specimen represents the most ancient of the avialans, the group that includes birds and their relatives since their split from nonavian dinosaurs.

[Full Story: New Feathered Dino May Be World’s First Bird]

"In the long history of humankind (and animalkind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed." — Charles Darwin.