June 8, 2016
New research shows that bioluminescence—a phenomenon in which organisms generate visible light through a chemical reaction—has evolved many more times among marine fishes, and likely throughout the entire tree of life, than previously thought.
June 3, 2016
For 200 million years, crocs and their charismatic ancestors have been a tenacious presence on our planet, sometimes in forms that would seem unrecognizable next to the aquatic reptiles we know today. Featuring live species of crocs as well as fossils, life-sized models, and interactive components, the new exhibition Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World at the American Museum of Natural History will explore fascinating insights about these animals’ evolutionary history, biology, behavior, and precarious relationships with humans. The exhibition will also cover the surprising ways researchers are studying crocs in ways that may benefit humans including fighting antibiotic-resistant infections, tooth renewal, and blood substitutes.
Press Release, Science
April 25, 2016
A team of researchers led by scientists from the American Museum of Natural History has found that catsharks are not only able to see the bright green biofluorescence they produce, but that they increase contrast of their glowing pattern when deep underwater.
April 21, 2016
New research based on high-resolution x-ray movies reveals that despite having extremely underdeveloped muscles and wings, young birds acquire a mature flight stroke early in their development, initially relying heavily on their legs and wings to work in tandem to power the strenuous movement.
April 20, 2016
Fossils of a 13-million-year-old extinct crocodilian from the Peruvian Amazon suggest that South American and Indian species evolved separately to acquire protruding, “telescoped” eyes that helped the animals conceal their bodies underwater while scanning the river’s edge.
April 18, 2016
New research suggests that humans became the large-brained, large-bodied animals we are today because of natural selection to increase brain size. The work, published in the journal Current Anthropology, contradicts previous models that treat brain size and body size as independent traits responding to separate evolutionary pressures.
March 22, 2016
The Hawaiian Islands have long been thought to support just one endemic land mammal in the archipelago’s brief geologic history, the Hawaiian hoary bat. But new fossil evidence indicates that a second, very different species of bat lived alongside the hoary bat for thousands of years before going extinct shortly after humans arrived on the islands.
March 15, 2016
Dinosaurs never really vanished from Earth. Most did go extinct, but their evolutionary legacy lives on all around us, in birds. The American Museum of Natural History’s new exhibition Dinosaurs Among Us will highlight the unbroken line between the charismatic dinosaurs that dominated the planet for about 170 million years and modern birds, a link that is marked by shared features including feathers, wishbones, enlarged brains, and extremely efficient respiratory systems.