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Tag archives for evolution

Scientists Solve Mystery of How Hummingbirds Taste Sweetness

How hummingbirds acquired their sweet tooth has been quite the mystery. But scientists think they may cracked the case.

Butterflies Can Evolve New Colors Amazingly Fast

Butterflies can evolve new colors rapidly and simply by tweaking the structures of their wings, a new study says.

Global Warming Boosting Reindeer on Norwegian Island—For Now

Reindeer on Norway’s Svalbard archipelago are bucking the trend and thriving, according to a long-term study.

Mystery Solved: Why Peacocks Got Their Eyespots

The brilliant plumage of peacocks and related birds may be a result of female preference, a new study says.

Transgender Algae Show How Males and Females Came to Be

How sexes evolved in the first place has been a lasting mystery in biology. Thanks to some transgender algae, scientists may have cracked this evolutionary whodunit.

July 6, 2014 Show: Tracing Evolution Through Ape DNA and Chasing the Ebola Virus

As West Africa struggles with the largest known outbreak of Ebola, Dr. Peter Piot shares how he helped discover and describe the virus’ first known outbreak in 1976 Zaire. Also, geneticist Gil McVean studies the rates of genetic mutation in chimpanzee DNA compared to that of humans to try to determine the date of our last common ancestor.

Vampire Bats Gain the Taste of Blood, Lose Their Taste of Bitter

When vampire bats acquired their taste for blood, they lost their ability to sense bitter flavors, according to a new study.

Listen: Singing Apes and More Animal Musicians

From the silvery gibbon of Indonesia to the grunting toadfish of the sea, listen to some of nature’s most amazing musicians.

Dwarf Spiders’ “Chastity Belts” Explained

Scientists have revealed new discoveries about mating plugs, which dwarf male spiders insert into females to keep out rival sperm.

Crickets Lose Ability to Sing: “Evolution in Action”

Ten years ago, some male crickets in Hawaii began to fall mysteriously silent, and now scientists have discovered why.

April 13, 2014: Cutting Cake with Jane Goodall, Saving Sparrows with Photography and More

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. Please check listings near you to find the best way to listen to National Geographic Weekend on radio, or listen below! Hour 1 - Dr. Jane Goodall pioneered studies that sought to understand…

Ancient Daddy Longlegs Had Extra Set of Eyes

The 305-million-year-old fossil may reveal secrets about the evolution of spider eyes, new study says.

Why Do Zebras Have Stripes? New Study Offers Strong Evidence

The zebra’s stripes evolved to keep pesky insects at bay, according to the most thorough study to date on the subject.

Why Skunks Evolved Their Smelly Spray

Skunk spray is so potent that it can knock you out or even kill you—and now we know why the North American mammals evolved the noxious stuff.

March 9, 2014: Racing the Iditarod With Twins, Time Traveling to a Black Hole and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson every week for adventure, conservation and green science. This week they ride 1,000 miles across Alaskan wilderness with a pack of dogs, hike quickly down the Appalachian Trail, lower scientists into sinkholes on tepuis, program robots to do household chores but not enslave the human race, break free of time on the edge of a black hole, be persecuted for our science, grow organic underwear, and explain evolution to children.