This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

[UPDATE 8-28]From mousy to blonde - in 8,000 years

Thanks to Carole for the linnk.

blankThe mice, which switched from brunette to blonde, provided scientists with a vivid example of evolution at work.

The deer mice took 8,000 years to change the colour of their coats when they found themselves living among sand dunes.

They evolved the new look through natural selection after glaciers deposited sand on top of darker soil at Sand Hills, Nebraska, US.

Variants of a single gene determined whether a mouse was born dark brown or golden, researchers discovered.

Pale mice were harder for predators to see against a sandy background, so were more likely to survive and pass on their genes.

Brown-haired rodents, on the other hand, were in danger of being eaten before producing any offspring.

In the end, natural selection turned the whole mouse community blonde.
Continue reading
[UPDATE 8/28]A link to the BBC version of the article was sent in by a number of people.

Mouse set to be 'evolution icon'

Within just a few thousand years, generations of the mice have evolved a sandy-coloured coat camouflaging themselves from predators.

Most striking is that these mice acquired the mutation for pale fur naturally, then rapidly passed it on.

That makes the fast-evolving deer mouse one of the best examples yet studied of "true" natural selection in action.

Deer mice are one of the most abundant and widespread mammals in North America.
Continue reading



Bonobo makes stone tools like early...

Hannah Krakauer - New Scientist Comments

Kanzi the bonobo is able to create and use stone tools

Scientists Discover Previously Unknown...

- - URMC Comments

Newer Imaging Technique Brings ‘Glymphatic System’ to Light

Grey parrots use reasoning where...

- - The Royal Society Comments

Research suggesting that grey parrots can reason about cause and effect from audio cues alone- a skill that monkeys and dogs lack- is presented in Proceedings of the Royal Society B today.

Why do organisms build tissues they...

- - Science Blog Comments

Why, after millions of years of evolution, do organisms build structures that seemingly serve no purpose?

New flat-faced human species possibly...

Charles Choi - CBS News Comments

Four decades ago, in 1972, the Koobi Fora Research Project discovered the enigmatic fossilized skull known as KNM-ER 1470 which ignited a now long-standing debate about how many different species of early Homos existed.

A New Species Discovered ... On Flickr

Adam Cole - NPR Comments

One day in May of 2011, Shaun Winterton was looking at pictures of bugs on the Internet when something unusual caught his eye. It was a close shot of a green lacewing — an insect he knew well — but on its wing was an unfamiliar network of black lines and a few flecks of blue.





Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment