Agriculture
Silk’s superpowers
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Microbes at the Gas Pump
Amphibians
Newts
Toads
Poison Dart Frogs
Animals
Sea Lilies on the Run
G-Tunes with a Message
Professor Ant
Behavior
A Grim Future for Some Killer Whales
Night of the living ants
Honeybees do the wave
Birds
Lovebirds
Vultures
Finches
Chemistry and Materials
Scientist Profile: Wally Gilbert
The science of disappearing
Nanomagnets Corral Oil
Computers
A Classroom of the Mind
Graphene's superstrength
Small but WISE
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Three strikes wiped out woolly mammoths
Fossil Forests
Dino Flesh from Fossil Bone
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Deep Drilling at Sea
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
Easy Ways to Conserve Water
Environment
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Bald Eagles Forever
Sounds and Silence
Finding the Past
Early Maya Writing
Stonehenge Settlement
Decoding a Beverage Jar
Fish
Goldfish
Dogfish
Halibut
Food and Nutrition
Eat Out, Eat Smart
A Pepper Part that Burns Fat
Strong Bones for Life
GSAT English Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
Pronouns
Problems with Prepositions
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Mathematics
Monkeys Count
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Detecting True Art
Human Body
Cell Phone Tattlers
Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around
Dreaming makes perfect
Invertebrates
Leeches
Bedbugs
Butterflies
Mammals
Manxes
Bears
Hoofed Mammals
Parents
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Children and Media
How children learn
Physics
IceCube Science
Electric Backpack
Black Hole Journey
Plants
Stalking Plants by Scent
Tracking the Sun Improves Plant Pollen
Farms sprout in cities
Reptiles
Box Turtles
Snakes
Sea Turtles
Space and Astronomy
Galaxies Divide Sharply Along Color Lines
Ringing Saturn
Holes in Martian moon mystery
Technology and Engineering
Bionic Bacteria
Shape Shifting
Space Umbrellas to Shield Earth
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Noun
Transportation
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Robots on the Road, Again
Middle school science adventures
Weather
The solar system's biggest junkyard
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Warmest Year on Record
Add your Article

Gliders in the Family

Watching monkeys at the zoo can be fascinating because the animals' actions are so similar to those of people. Along with gorillas, orangutans, lemurs, and others, monkeys belong to a group of mammals called primates. People are primates, too. Now, scientists have discovered that two rare species of mammals, called colugos, are very nearly primates—but not quite. The new study suggests that these small animals are the closest living relatives of modern primates. The discovery gives insight into the evolution of primates—and people, say the scientists, from Texas A&M University in College Station. "Having the closest relative really allows us to understand the change of events that led to primates," says lead researcher William Murphy. That should help us "better understand the changes that make us human." Colugos live in rain forests. One of the species included in the recent study lives in the Philippines. The other lives in Southeast Asia. Like flying squirrels, colugos can stretch out winglike membranes, allowing them to leap off trees and glide for up to about 70 meters (230 feet). On the basis of recent research, scientists suspected that a common ancestor that lived long ago eventually developed into colugos, primates, and a type of animal called the tree shrew. But determining the order of evolution has been difficult. To help straighten out the story, Murphy and colleagues looked at the genetic material DNA from 36 animal species, including primates, dogs, and bats. DNA is a complicated molecule that serves as an instruction manual for life. Parents pass DNA down to their kids. And the molecule changes from generation to generation. The exact arrangement of DNA differs among individuals of a species. Despite these differences, members of a species share enough DNA that scientists can tell species apart by looking at their genetic material. The more closely related two species are, the more DNA they have in common. After comparing a special kind of DNA among the mammals in its study, Murphy's team concluded that tree shrews branched off from the ancient ancestor first. Colugo DNA changed later, making these little gliders our closest cousins outside of the primate family. Experts' reactions to the new work have been mixed. The conclusions make sense, they say, but it would help to have more detailed analyses. Scientists who want more evidence may have their answers soon. Some 30 evolutionists are now working together on a mammal tree of life—the biggest study yet of how mammals are related to one another.—Emily Sohn

Gliders in the Family
Gliders in the Family








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™