Evolution | The Optimist Daily: Making Solutions the News
Today’s Solutions: July 15, 2024

Closeup on a whale sharks gill.

Did you know our ears evolved from fish gills?

The ears are a weird-looking thing, with their strange dips and curves designed by mother nature to trap vibrations and impressively allow us to hear. The middle of the human ear houses three tiny, vibrating bones, which are key in transporting sound to the inner ear where they become nerve Read More...

Small child sitting at a table and coloring sticking their tongue out in concentration.

Why do we stick our tongue out in concentration?

Our fast-paced and large world can sometimes make it hard to concentrate. When this happens, we may find ourselves sticking our tongues out as we get in the zone and focus. Children stick out their tongues when they're thinking deeply, like when they're writing or riding a bike. As adults, we Read More...

Illustration of a world map drawn out with realistic people seen from above on white background to represent all the people of the world.

Scientists create family tree of 27 million ancestors

If you had to guess, how many ancestors would you say that you had? If you consider that homo sapiens, a.k.a humans, came into existence on this Earth around 200,000 years ago that’s a lot of ancestors to add up. How many ancestors do you think you have? Scientists from The University of Oxford Read More...

Ancient human skull found in modern day Ethiopia.

Ancient humans wandered Ethiopia long before previously predicted

Out of Africa One of the most prevalent questions in the human psyche is “where did we come from?”. People have different evolutionary theories about the exact movements and locations of early Homo sapiens, though it is widely accepted that Africa was our species' birthplace. Numerous Read More...

Seal laughing while lying on the ice

Study: laughter is common among more than 65 species of animals

While laughter may seem like a trait exclusive to human behavior, nothing could be further from the truth. That’s at least according to a recent study which has found that the phenomenon of laughter is actually quite common in the animal kingdom too. Can animals laugh? Conducted by scientists Read More...

Orangutan and her Orangutan Baby in Tanjung Puting National Park.

Researchers determine the evolution path of ancient giant orangutans

Once the dwellers of mainland Southeast Asia, the ancient giant orangutan is now extinct. Today, orangutans are only found in their natural habitat on the two islands of Sumatra and Borneo. These two are classed as different species due to the fact they grew so genetically different from each Read More...

Hummingbird-like moth has the

Hummingbird-like moth has the longest tongue of any insect in the world

When Charles Darwin came across the long-necked Angraecum sesquipedale orchid species (also known as Darwin’s orchid) on the island of Madagascar, he had a curious thought: There must be an insect on the island with a tongue long enough to feed itself on the plant. “Good heavens,” he Read More...

Researchers discover ancient f

Researchers discover ancient four-legged whale in Egypt

While it’s rather difficult to picture whales outside their vast marine habitats, the early ancestors of these gigantic creatures were actually terrestrial — and a recent discovery of new four-legged whale species brings to light more exciting evidence about the animals’ evolution from land Read More...

This tiny space rock holds clu

This tiny space rock holds clues about the planet’s evolution

Back in 2012, a team of Japanese and Belgian researchers in Antarctica found a golf ball-sized space rock resting in the snow. Now, NASA astronauts have had a chance to study a piece of that meteorite, Asuka 12236, and they say it may hold new clues about the development of life.  Inside the Read More...

Descendants of an extinct spec

Descendants of an extinct species of Galápagos tortoise have just been found

Conservationists on the Galápagos Islands have discovered 30 giant tortoises partially descended from two extinct species, including that of the Lonesome George. If you can’t recall, Lonesome George was a famous giant tortoise that was over 100 years old and was the last of the Chelonoidis Read More...