How the Butterflies Got Their Spots


Mimetic races of Heliconius erato (left) and Heliconius melpomene (right) from the Tarapoto area of Peru.

How two butterfly species have evolved exactly the same striking wing colour and pattern has intrigued biologists since Darwin’s day. Now, scientists at Cambridge have found “hotspots” in the butterflies’ genes that they believe will explain one of the most extraordinary examples of mimicry in the natural world.

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Dinosaur Extinction Grounded Ancient Birds, New Research Finds


Emus. New research suggests that ancestors of the African ostrich, Australasian emu plus cassowary, South American rheas and New Zealand moa became flightless independently, in close association with the extinction of the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago.

An abundance of food and lack of predators following the extinction of dinosaurs saw previously flighted birds fatten up and become flightless, according to new research from The Australian National University.

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‘Microraptors’ Shed Light on Ancient Origin of Bird Flight


Scientists from the University of Kansas have created a model of a microraptor to show its gliding capabilities.

A joint team from the University of Kansas and Northeastern University in China says that it has settled the long-standing question of how bird flight began.

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Beaked, Bird-like Dinosaur Tells Story Of Finger Evolution



Scientists have discovered a unique beaked, plant-eating dinosaur in China. The finding, they say, demonstrates that theropod, or bird-footed, dinosaurs were more ecologically diverse in the Jurassic period than previously thought, and offers important evidence about how the three-fingered hand of birds evolved from the hand of dinosaurs.

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