Ever since Charles Darwin first published On the Origin of Species, outlining his theory of evolution, scientists have been unlocking the mysteries of how life on Earth developed into the plants and animals that we know today. When life reproduces, small changes in their hereditary traits give new ways for their offspring to adapt to the world around them. Some are disastrous leading to extinction, but some can given the new organism a distinct advantage, giving us the phrase survival of the fittest.
In his new book Improbable Destinies, Jonathan Losos explores whether evolution is predictable and why adaptations converge - he talks to us about the fate of the dinosaurs, alien life and whether humans are really the peak of evolution.
Gaia Vince discovers that analysing the genetics of ancient humans means changing ideas about our evolution.