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Tag: conquered

How flowering plants conquered the world

How flowering plants conquered the world

Science
Scientists think they have the answer to a puzzle that baffled even Charles Darwin: How flowers evolved and spread to become the dominant plants on Earth. Flowering plants, or angiosperms, make up about 90% of all living plant species, including most food crops.In the distant past, they outpaced plants such as conifers and ferns, which predate them, but how they did this has has been a mystery.New research suggests it is down to genome size - and small is better."It really comes down to a question of cell size and how you can build a small cell and still retain all the attributes that are necessary for life," says Kevin Simonin from San Francisco State University in California, US.'Abominable mystery'Hundreds of millions of years ago, the Earth was dominated by ferns and conifers. Then, ab...
How cats conquered the ancient world

How cats conquered the ancient world

Science
The domestic cat is descended from wild cats that were tamed twice - in the Near East and then Egypt, according to the largest study of its kind.Farmers in the Near East were probably the first people to successfully tame wild cats about 9,000 years ago.Then, a few thousand years later, cats spread out of ancient Egypt along maritime trade routes.Today, cats live on all continents except Antarctica. Scientists think wildcats began hanging around farms to prey on mice attracted to grain stores, starting the long relationship between humans and felines."There were two taming events - one in the Near East at the beginning and one in Egypt much later," said lead researcher Eva-Maria Geigl."And then the cat spread very efficiently all over the ancient world as a ship's cat. Both lineages are no...