Paleo-Bracketology: You Can Help Name The Earliest Common Ancestor Of All MammalsEarlier this month, researchers at the American Museum of Natural History and several other institutions announced that they had constructed a model of the first mammal that is a common ancestor to all other mammals, showing that creatures as disparate as whales, humans, and Grumpy Cat all descend from a small, rat like creature that evolved shortly after the extinction of the dinosaurs. Now that all the heavy lifting of constructing a model of this earliest mammal is done, researchers want you to step in for the fun part and help name the hypothetical critter by voting in a March Madness-style tournament.Read on...
Goats Form Accents Based on the Hip Goats They Hang AroundConventional scientific wisdom has held that most mammals make vocalizations based on one thing, and one thing only: Genetics. Unless the creature uses its voice to communicate or navigate -- as is the case with bats, whales, and good ol' Homo sapiens -- a mammal will sound the same no matter where it comes from. A U.K. sheep will be the same as a Utah sheep, and so on. However, a new study looking at (adorable) pygmy goat kids suggests that this might not be the case, and that the voices of mammals are far more flexible then we thought.Read on...