An essential component of animal nervous systems — sodium channels — evolved prior to the evolution of those systems, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin have discovered. “The first nervous systems appeared in jellyfish-like animals six hundred million years ago or so,” says Harold Zakon, professor of neurobiology, “and it was thought that… » Continue Reading
A new species of blind, subterranean, predatory ant discovered in the Amazon rainforest by University of Texas at Austin evolutionary biologist Christian Rabeling is likely a descendant of the very first ants to evolve.
In the beginning Ed Theriot’s contributions to the Assembling the Tree of Life (AToL) project—“the story of life on Earth, in a nutshell”—often begin pretty humbly. “Sometimes we go down to Waller Creek, right on campus, with a turkey baster and a toothbrush, and we suck up algae from the water and scrub it off… » Continue Reading