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Andreas Wagner Pursues the Secrets to Evolutionary Success
Why did mammals, grasses and some other groups of organisms explode in diversity only after millions of years? The evolutionary biologist Andreas Wagner plumbs the secrets of those “sleeping beauties.”
The Key to Species Diversity May Be in Their Similarities
New modeling work suggests why nature is more diverse than niche-based ecological theory predicts.
Mating Contests Among Females, Long Ignored, May Shape Evolution
Showy male competitions over mating privileges have grabbed scientists’ attention more often, but new work hints that sexual selection is also widespread among females.
Why Extraterrestrial Life May Not Seem Entirely Alien
The zoologist Arik Kershenbaum argues that because some evolutionary challenges are truly universal, life throughout the cosmos may share certain features.
How Neutral Theory Altered Ideas About Biodiversity
The simple insight that most changes are random had a profound effect on genetics, evolution and ecology.
Should Evolution Treat Our Microbes as Part of Us?
How does evolution select the fittest “individuals” when they are ecosystems made up of hosts and their microbiomes? Biologist debate the need to revise theories.
The Elusive Calculus of Insects’ Altruism and Kin Selection
How the ultra-cooperative behavior of ants, bees and other social insects could have evolved continues to challenge formal analysis. But a new theory about hedging bets against nature’s unpredictability may change the math and shift the debate.