Category Archives: evolution

Oldest “bilaterian” found: wormlike creature discovered along with its tracks

One of the big mysteries of paleobiology is where complex life (i.e., animals) came from, and what the earliest animals looked like. The first traces of life that we have go back about 3.7 billion years ago, but those are cyanobacteria (the so-called “blue green algae”). The first “true cells”—unicellular eukaryotes, go back to about […]

Another biologist disputes the nature of the tiny “bird/dino” fossil

On March 12, I wrote about the new Nature paper describing the fossil of Oculudentavis khaungraa, identified as a tiny (2-gram) dinosaur/bird found in Burmese amber. But the very next day I had to hedge the results after reading Darren Naish’s Tetrapod Zoology post, not only on humanitarian grounds (the amber used in the study […]

An update on the tiny dino-bird I described yesterday

Yesterday I wrote about the discovery, published in Nature, of a very small theropod dinosaur that appeared to be part of the radiation of early birdlike dinos. It was tiny and had features so unusual that it couldn’t really be placed in a phylogeny. The creature was named Oculudentavis khaungraae and was remarkably well preserved (well, […]

Tiny dinosaur/bird skull found in amber

Yes, we have a novel fossil, just described in Nature, that’s neither fowl nor reptile. And it’s TINY—roughly two grams. How small is it? Well, it’s about the size of the world’s smallest bird: the bee hummingbird of Cuba  (Mellisuga helenae), which is this size: The intermediacy of this fossil, which is part of the […]

How often do bird species hybridize?

There are many reasons why we want to know how often distinct species hybridize, i.e., form individuals resulting from the mating of a male from one species with a female from a different species. For one thing, if this kind of mixing was very frequent, it would be hard to recognize distinct species as the […]

My talk in Tallahassee in late March

In almost exactly one month, I’m speaking to the Tallahassee Scientific Society in Tallahassee, Florida. My talk is on Thursday, March 26, and I think the time and venue are the same as those for the previous speaker: 7 p.m. at Tallahassee Community College’s Center for Innovation on Kleman Plaza. The topic is “Why Evolution […]

Science educator invites questions about evolution from public by walking around with a sandwich board

I have to admit that Maggie Ryan Sandford is much braver than I. In the article below from Nature, and in the short video embedded in it (I put it below), she dons a sandwich board that says, “Ask me anything about evolution,” and parades around the Minnesota State Fair.  (Sanford is identified as “a […]

A look at Darwiniana at Britain’s Royal Society

Reader Bryan called my attention to this video from 2016 in which Brady and Keith, who “uncover science treasures”, visit the Council Room of Britain’s Royal Society. Among the treasures they examine are the famous portrait of Darwin that you’ve surely seen, and a nice scale model of H.M.S. Beagle.  As I noted in my […]

More evidence for evolution: Horse embryos start forming five toes, and four primordia disappear

When I started this website in 2009, my intention was just to publicize my new book, Why Evolution is True. On the advice of my publishers, I created a site with the idea of occasionally posting new evidence for evolution to complement what was in the book. I expected to post about once a month […]

Birds that weave and sew

Here are a few videos of the amazing behaviors of some birds—birds that sew and birds that weave. After you see these, perhaps you won’t see the term “birdbrain” as pejorative. Here’s Orthotomus sutorius, the Common Tailorbird (not common in any way), a warbler-like passerine that lives in tropical Asia.  It has a stunning way […]