Nature


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It has long been thought that one of the reasons we humans developed large brains was to allow us to maintain complex social structures. But the social system of a small-headed guineafowl now suggests that large brains are not necessarily a requirement for complex multi-levelled societies.   Even amongst a crowd, vulturine guineafowl (Acryllium vulturinum) can
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Few composite materials forged by nature are as tough as mother-of-pearl, or nacre. Now, scientists have finally figured out just how the minuscule layers of this pearlescent substance make it so strong.   You’ll find nacre on the outer coatings of pearls and on the inside of some mollusc shells, but until now scientists didn’t
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Are we alone in the Universe? It comes down to whether intelligence is a probable outcome of natural selection, or an improbable fluke. By definition, probable events occur frequently, improbable events occur rarely – or once.   Our evolutionary history shows that many key adaptations – not just intelligence, but complex animals, complex cells, photosynthesis,
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Like an old time carnival show, the Paris Zoological Park’s latest attraction promises a shocking mystery. Dubbed ‘the blob’, the zoo is hoping to draw in the crowds by featuring a goo-like brainless creature with no mouth and hundreds of sexes, which displays an ability to survive – even thrive – when dissected.   While
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If you’ve ever studied biology, you’ll be familiar with mitochondria – the organelles often referred to as the ‘powerhouse of the cell’. And you’ll probably be aware that they’re often compared to traditional AA batteries, with each organelle operating as a single unit.   But an important new study suggests they’re actually more like the