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Evolution: Fast or Slow? Lizards Help Resolve a Paradox.
Why does natural selection appear to happen slowly on long timescales and quickly on short ones? A multigenerational study of four lizard species addresses biology’s “paradox of stasis.”
Evolving Bacteria Can Evade Barriers to ‘Peak’ Fitness
Paradoxically, natural selection can sometimes seem to block organisms from evolving useful adaptations. But a new study of “fitness landscapes” and antibiotic resistance in bacteria shows that life still finds a way.
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.