Humans are proud to be one of the only species to have identifying names and words that separate them from the other members of the animal kingdom. For a long time it was thought that humans were the only ones with a language. But it recently has been found that now they are not the only ones with such capabilities.
An extremely challenging study published by a team of researchers from the Stanford School of Medicine claims that through some unknown mechanism mammals can bias the sex of their offspring in order to win the genetic lottery and produce extra grandchildren. The holy graal of modern evolutionary biology After analyzing 90 years of breeding records from the San Diego Zoo,
Research on nematodes have always been convenient for scientists. For one, they grow and breed really fast, making them ideal for work pertaining to genetics. Some of them have amazing properties, like the planaria or “flatworm”, which some scientists believe it possesses the indefinite ability to regenerate its cells and thus practically never grow old. It soon became the object of
What if the world’s greatest unsolved heists were made by aviary burglars? Bear with me for a second. A bird is small enough to fit through cages and window cracks, it can fly in and out fast and on the sly, and if it ever gets caught, it won’t turn its partners in crime since … well, it can’t speak.
It’s a dog eat dog out there, and any advantage you can get is more than welcome – as strange as it may be. According to a research published in Biology Letters on 3 July, Hawk moths create an ultrasonic noise that could be used to scare off an attacking bat and to jam the bat’s sonar. Radar jamming is
In the aftermath of heavy rains from Tropical Storms Debby and Andrea, a giant mosquito species has surfaced and invaded central Florida. Authorities have issued warnings to residents to be extra careful of these very aggressive bloodsuckers that can grow up to 20 times the size of a typical mosquito. Their bite isn’t a lot more painful though, however seeing how
A new visualization technique developed by researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute used a thin sheet of laser light that beams, stepwise, into different planes of a specimen to create intricate and detailed snapshots of cells. In these pictures featured above and below you can see how zebrafish and fruit fly embryos were imaged using this novel technique. Here’s how it all
Living fossils, fast adapters Sturgeons have been conserved as fossils ever since the early Cretaceous – some 130 million years ago; they are what we call ‘living fossils’. But a new study by University of Michigan researchers revealed that in some aspects, sturgeons are one of the fastest-evolving fish on the planet. “Sturgeon are thought of as a living fossil
At 55 million years old, it represents the earliest known member of this broad group of animals that includes humans. It may be no bigger than a mouse, but it is a primate, and a very valuable one at that; paleontologists have named it Archicebus, which roughly translates as “ancient monkey”. The team which described this fossil puts it at
Benjamin Wegener, a researcher at Monash University’s School of Biological Sciences and his team has shown that for squids, it’s really a dog eat dog out there: certain females consume male ejaculate and sperm as if they were foods, providing more energy for both themselves and future eggs. For females, it’s really a big win – the sperm is very
Eggs, drugs and human lives For the standards of the criminals who poach and smuggle animals in Central America, it was just another day. But for the rest of the world, the murder of conservationist Jairo Mora Sandoval is a tragedy – a tragedy highlighting the risks faced by biologists whose passion for nature puts them on the front line
The reemergence of the critically endangered population of Huemul deer (Hippocamelus bisulcus) marks a fantastic achievement by local governments and conservationists worldwide. Brought back from the brink of extinction, when populations measured less than 1% of original numbers, the Huemul populations have not only stabilized – but have started increasing, according to a new study. The south Andean deer, as
Tho global meat giants with shady food and environmental safety records shook hands as they are planning to become the world’s biggest meat producer. Smithfield Foods, the largest pork producer in the U.S., has been bought by China’s Shuanghui International Holdings Limited for $4.7 billion. The global meat industry, which is grasped firmly by a handful of companies will become
Researchers have for the first time described an unique snail species that can only be found high on top Mount Kaputar in New South Wales, Australia. The snails exhibit an atypical coloring – fluorescent pink – and can grow as large as eight inches long, true giants by snail standards. Though Triboniophorus aff. graeffei has been reported by locals
50 years ago, if you took a cod from European waters, you’d have to cut it to be able to cook it. Nowadays, cooks easily fit one fish in a frying pan, even with a few vegetables. As unimportant as this fact may seem,it is actually a good reflection of the huge drop in fish numbers. Blame it on the
Every living being is important, however in a transnational-based society everything has a price label on it, even humans. A recent study, for instance, has assessed the economic value of sharks, both alive and dead. The researchers involved in the study found that shark ecotourism currently generates more than US$314 million annually worldwide and is expected to more than double to
The Brazilian rain forest is a home to a slew of birds of all shapes, sizes and coloring – some 1,700 species to be more precise. One of such bird is the goofy looking toucan, which can be easily recognized by its extremely long beak which can reach half the size of the bird’s body. Human intervention in the area through
Turtles are maybe the most majestic creatures in the reptile world, and have always been a source of inspiration for man. Everybody knows the fable of the turtle and the hare, which teaches how slow, but sturdy and resilient strides can outwit inconsistent sprints. The turtle’s really serious about it, and as evidence it practices what it preaches. You see,
Researchers in Japan made good use of a new, state-of-the-art micro sculpting technique to create objects so small that they are the size of a single bacteria. One of these objects is the smallest bunny in the world, only a few micrometers wide, but the researchers have also demonstrated other shapes as well. Their work has applications in new technology that may
Did you know you may have chimp-like feet?