Evolutionary Biology

Modern humans' ancestors coaxed onto two legs by rough terrain, study finds

The rugged landscape created by volcanic eruptions and tectonic plate shifts in east and south Africa millions of years ago may be what prompted our human ancestors to start walking on two legs.

The research challenges the common theory that early hominins - members of the broad human family - were forced onto two feet because climate change reduced the number of trees they could live in. According to the new hypothesis, it is not why they left the forests, but where they went, that explains the evolution.

Monday, 27 May, 2013, 5:59am

Book review: Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live, by Marlene Zuk

Book review: Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live, by Marlene Zuk

Marlene Zuk is an evolutionary biologist at the University of Minnesota and Paleofantasy targets the movement that insists we are biologically adapted to a Palaeolithic diet and lifestyle.

5 May 2013 - 4:27pm

Everybody into the gene pool

Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution by Rebecca Stott Spiegel & Grau

15 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Fooled by evolution? Take a reality check

The great actor Peter O'Toole once said that he never felt more alone than in a crowd celebrating Christmas.

Perhaps feelings of loneliness and failure during festivities make us see ourselves for who we are. That may be why suicide rates supposedly peak at this time of year.

29 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

Extinction rate theory creates ecological stir

A projected rate of extinctions of animals and plants this century may be less dramatic than feared because the most widely used scientific method could have exaggerated this by as much as 160 per cent, according to a study published in Nature yesterday.

The study, by Professor He Fangliang and Professor Stephen Hubbell, is causing a buzz in the ecological community.

20 May 2011 - 12:00am

Urban Jungle

This week: habitat conservation

30 May 2008 - 12:00am

Dinosaur thinking is no match for gene geniuses

When Edinburgh scientists announced the successful cloning of Dolly the sheep more than a decade ago, people around the world were amazed and concerned. They knew, instinctively, that something morally problematic had just happened. Something similar happened again in the world of genetic research last week.

25 May 2008 - 12:00am

Helping others makes us happy

I was a volunteer at a fund-raising event organised by Red Cross recently.

We set up a counter to sell teddy bears. Some people bought them immediately, while others did so after we told them how they could help the needy.

It is beneficial to be a volunteer. Taking part in charity work can help me to relax and be happy. I really enjoy what I do.

18 Oct 2007 - 12:00am

History written in stone


Use these words: palaeontologists, Earth, prehistoric

Fossils are the stone-like remains from plants and animals living in __________________ times. In the hands of __________________ , fossils can tell us what the __________________ was like millions of years ago.


14 Jun 2007 - 12:00am

Seminars focus on trend towards lightness of being

You do not need a crystal ball to predict global trends in home decoration.

A much more reliable way is to attend the trend seminar at the Hong Kong Houseware Fair today, which will be held from 2.30pm to 4pm in Room 406-407 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.

21 Apr 2004 - 12:00am

Pick of the day

The Future Is Wild: Ice World

Pearl, 9.30pm

15 Dec 2003 - 12:00am

Cloning - the short cut to our own extinction

What happens when people opt for cloning as a method of reproduction?

The gene pool shrinks immediately and genetic variation declines dramatically. From a species rich in genetic diversity we become a species with a limited capacity for genetic change.

12 Jan 2003 - 12:00am

Habitat loss a death knell

An animal species becomes extinct when it completely dies out. This happens naturally when a species' natural habitat changes to the point that it can no longer support the species.

2 Feb 2000 - 12:00am

Ask Mr Brain...all will be explained

What will happen if a bird's sperm goes into a human egg and develops into an embryo? LESANDA Maryknoll Convent School Scientists would be amazed if such a thing did happen. H G Well's story The Island of Doctor Moreau tells the tale of a demented scientist carrying out horrific experiments to produce human-animal hybrids. However, in reality such hybrids are impossible.

31 Jul 1999 - 12:00am

Expert spells out IT fitness needs

A British research firm has told Hong Kong companies how to gauge the 'IT fitness' of their management.

Tony Brewer, a consultant with Wentworth Research, said at a seminar that the analogy to physical fitness was an easy one for even IT-ignorant executives to understand.

13 May 1997 - 12:00am