Wild Biology Research
|One of the world's strangest animals -- a legless, leaping fish that lives on land -- uses camouflage to avoid attacks by predators such as birds, lizards and crabs, new research shows. UNSW Australia researchers studied the unique fish -- Pacific leaping blennies -- in their natural habitat on the tropical island of Guam. Their study will be published in the journal Animal Behaviour. These terrestrial fish spend all of their adult lives living on the rocks in the splash zone. ...> Full Article|
|The first comprehensive genetic study of humpback whale populations in the North Pacific Ocean has identified five distinct populations -- at the same time a proposal to designate North Pacific humpbacks as a single "distinct population segment" is being considered under the Endangered Species Act. ...> Full Article|
|Some song sparrows are more effusive than others in defending territory. New University of Washington findings show consistent individual differences not only for how aggressive individual song sparrows are but also for how much they use signals to communicate aggressive intentions. ...> Full Article|
|The pitch of male koalas' mating calls is about 20 times lower than it should be, given the Australian marsupial's relatively small size. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology have discovered their secret: koalas have a specialized sound-producing organ that has never before been seen in any other land-dwelling mammal. The key feature of this newly described organ is its location outside the voice box, what scientists call the larynx. ...> Full Article|
|The Burmese python's ability to ramp up its metabolism and enlarge its organs to swallow and digest prey whole can be traced to unusually rapid evolution and specialized adaptations of its genes and the way they work, an international team of biologists says in a new paper set to be published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Todd Castoe, of the University of Texas at Arlington, is lead author. ...> Full Article|
|A surprising example of apparent inheritance of an experience: Researchers found that when a mouse is trained to become afraid of a certain odor, his or her pups will be more sensitive to that odor, even though the pups have never encountered it. ...> Full Article|
|Wolves can learn from observing humans and pack members where food is hidden and recognize when humans only pretend to hide food, reports a study for the first time in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology. ...> Full Article|
The mating roar of a male harbor seal is supposed to attract a partner, not a predator. Unfortunately for the seals, scientists have found evidence that marine-mammal-eating killer whales eavesdrop on their prey. Previous research had shown mammal-eating killer whales are nearly silent before making a kill, neither vocalizing nor using their echolocation. The likely reason, researchers say, is the excellent hearing of the seals, porpoises, and other animals the whales stalk.
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|The Pseudomorphini Tribe of the Family Carabidae is a group of extraordinary beetles reported to live with ants in the soil and in the rainforest canopy. Mostly dull colored and relatively small, scientists discovered the first species in the Western Hemisphere to astonish with great size and beautiful color pattern, more typical for representatives from Australia. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys. ...> Full Article|
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered that males of the laboratory roundworm secrete signaling molecules that significantly shorten the lifespan of the opposite sex.
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A study by the University of Liverpool has found that the red squirrel population along the Sefton coastline appears to be recovering from a serious outbreak of squirrelpox in 2008.
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|Two new beautiful wasp species are added to the rare pompilid genus Abernessia. Both wasps are distinguished by the large size (almost 3cm in length) and the beautiful black coloration. This enigmatic genus is part of the spider wasp family Pompilidae, which takes its vernacular name from the preference of the representatives to parasitize spiders. The study was published in the open access journal Zookeys. ...> Full Article|
|The lowland tropics were once though filled with widespread species, while moderate and higher elevations were thought to contain species with more restricted distributions. That idea is turning out to be partially incorrect. A new study describes four species once considered to be the collared treerunner, a lizard known to the scientific community as Plica plica. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys. ...> Full Article|
In a paper published in Nature Genetics, researchers from Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, Korea Genome Research Foundation, BGI, and other institutes presented the first high-depth minke whale genome and their new findings on how whales successfully adapted to ocean environment. The data yielded in this study will contribute to future studies of marine mammal diseases, conservation and evolution.
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|Many owl species have developed specialized plumage to effectively eliminate the aerodynamic noise from their wings -- allowing them to hunt and capture their prey in silence. A research group working to solve the mystery of exactly how owls achieve this acoustic stealth will present their findings at the APS's Division of Fluid Dynamics meeting, work that may one day help bring "silent owl technology" to the design of aircraft, wind turbines, and submarines. ...> Full Article||