Animals, Biology, News

Chimps ‘tell’ each other where the best fruit trees are found and how big these are

chimp language

Chimps, our favorite primate cousins, communicate with each other through a complex gesture language, partially decoded by scientists. Depending on the situation and the gesture, chimps tell each other things like “Stop that,” “Climb on me,” or “Move away.” Now, an exciting new study found that chimps also communicate through vocalization. Researchers found that the primates would “speak” to their peers and relay what their favorite fruits are and where the best trees can be found.

Animals, Environment, News

Ocean life facing major extinction

The oceans are likely heading towards a mass extinction, if we don't act fast. Image via Mafia Island.

In a groundbreaking analysis based on data extracted from hundreds of studies, scientists concluded that humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented and irreparable damage to the ocean environments. The patterns are clear, and extremely worrying, researchers say – but we still have time to act.

Animals, Biology, News

This reptile chews food like a “steak knife”

tuatara chewing reptile

The New Zealand tuatara (Sphenodon) is one of those unique animals that warrants revision for biology textbooks. The lizard-like reptile that is the only survivor of a group that was globally widespread at the time of the dinosaurs uses its highly specialised jaws to slice its food like a “steak knife”. Typically, chewing is associated with high metabolism in animals, but in this instance this is far from being the case.

Animals, Biology, News

Drexel University to Exhibit Half-Male, Half-Female Butterfly

Image via Drexler University.

Buttereflies are pretty awesome insects – the pupal transformation into a butterfly through metamorphosis is one of the most spectacular processes in the biological world. For one month, until February 16, Drexler University will exhibit a spectacular sample: a butterfly suffering from bilateral gynandromorphism – in other words, a butterfly that is half male, half female.

Animals, Biology, News

Just like animals, plants closer to the Equator tend to be darker

Many flowers that appear uniform in color to humans (left) have patterns in the ultraviolet spectrum (right) that are used by pollinators. Interestingly, these patterns can also protect pollen from damage caused by solar UV radiation. (Credit: U. Pittsburgh)

In 1833, biologist Constantin Wilhelm Lambert Gloger showed that animals with warm blood that live closer to the equator tend to be darker. The finding took surprised biologists at the time and now, a new study has shown that this applies for flowers too.

Animals, Biology, News

Monkeys can also recognize themselves in mirrors, but only with training

This shot shows a scene during the Chinese experiment designed to train monkeys to recognize themselves in the mirror and become aware. Credit: Neng Gong and colleagues/Current Biology 2015

Only humans and great apes can recognize themselves when looking in a mirror, but new findings suggest that it’s possible for rhesus monkeys to realize they’re looking at themselves if trained properly. The findings bear important implications for humans as well, since they suggest patients with impairment of self-recognition can have their condition remedied with training.

Animals, Did you know?

How caterpillars gruesomely turn into butterflies

Metamorphosis

In short, for a caterpillar to turn into a butterfly it digests itself using enzymes triggered by hormones, before sleeping cells similar to stem cells grow into the body parts of the future butterfly. So you thought puberty was mean? Wait till you read on.

Animals, News, World Problems

Shrimps become less tastier as a result of climate change

Northern shrimp hauled aboard a shrimp boat. Credit: Wikimedia

The effects of climate change on food stock quality is well documented, yet a new study suggests that climate change might not only affect survival rates of marine life, but also how it tastes too. The findings came after an international team of researchers sought to see how high water acidity affects the sensory quality of shrimp.