Large-group living boosts magpie intelligence

Growing up in a large social group makes magpies more intelligent, new research shows, according to Science Daily.

Using four tasks to test intelligence, scientists found wild magpies from larger groups showed "elevated cognitive performance."

The study also found more intelligent females produced more offspring.

The research suggests that the demands of living in complex social groups may play a role in the evolution of intelligence.

Earth's first flowers may have emerged up to 256 million years ago

Researchers from have discovered that flowers evolved between 149 and 256 million years ago according to Daily mail.

They analyzed genetic data on flowering plants and evidence from fossils to come up with the new time frame.

Their work goes against two popular theories about plant evolution - one that says flowering plants are younger, and one that says they are older.

Molecular studies have suggested that flowers evolved earlier, but fossil records influenced some scientists to think they are younger.

Dinosaurs ‘too successful for their own good’

Dinosaurs spread across the world shows they may have been a victim of their own success, according to study.

UK researchers believe they were already in decline before the killer asteroid hit because they had occupied every habitat on Earth, according to BBC.

From their roots in South America, the dinosaurs migrated "in a frenzy of movement to cover the planet".

Toward end of Ice Age, human beings witnessed fires larger than dinosaur killers

On a ho-hum day some 12,800 years ago, the Earth had emerged from another ice age. Things were warming up, and the glaciers had retreated, according to Science Daily.

Out of nowhere, the sky was lit with fireballs. This was followed by shock waves.

Fires rushed across the landscape, and dust clogged the sky, cutting off the sunlight. As the climate rapidly cooled, plants died, food sources were snuffed out, and the glaciers advanced again. Ocean currents shifted, setting the climate into a colder, almost "ice age" state that lasted an additional thousand years.

Animals worldwide are giving up their ‘wild ways’ and sticking closer to home as cities

Animals worldwide are giving up their 'wild ways' and sticking closer to home as a result of human activity, according to Daily Mail.

That's according to a new study that found mammals living in areas with high human activity move up to three times less far than animals in areas isolated from people.

This pattern persists globally, from forest elephants to foxes and red deer, affecting species both big and small.

Experts say that human settlements, roads and fences break up their natural habitat and block the natural migration of mammals, allowing for the easy spread of deadly diseases.