WWII code found on pigeon still can’t be cracked to this day

In 1982, a local resident of Bletchingley, about 20 miles south of London, found the remains of a pigeon while cleaning his home’s chimney. Among the remains, the man found a red cylinder that contained a single sheet of paper marked with 27 codes, each comprised of 4 to 5 characters, delivered through the famous British Pigeon Service most likely sent from

Urban grasshoppers courting more loudly to overcome traffic

As urban city environments continue to spread, more and more research is being done to measure the effects human pollution of all sorts is affecting the local wildlife. Researchers from the University of Bielefeld in Germany have recently released the results of a study focused on the mating tunes of grasshoppers. They found that the city-boy grasshoppers had a 1 to

Dogs learn words by associated objects with size and texture, instead of shape like humans do

which your pet seems to actually understand what you’re telling him – no matter how silly the actual act of speaking to a dog might seem to you. Whether its catching a ball or climbing up ramps or chairs to get to your bed, dogs learn to understand commands.. The fact that dogs can identify and retrieve objects simply by shouting

Hope delayed from sharks in the Atlantic

Sharks are in a dire position right now, with their numbers decreasing by the millions each year. However, conservationists failed to win new protections for threatened sharks in the Atlantic Ocean at the annual meeting of a major international fisheries commission; they still have hope for following years though, because for the first time, the International Commission for the Conservation

Reverting autism in mice

Autism is a condition we’re just starting to learn about, and currently, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects up to 1 in 110 people. The problem here is that while some drugs do treat some symptoms, none can deal with the social deficits common to ASD in humans. As it turns out, mice, can be autistic as well – in the

Penguins are egotistical, mathematical simulation shows

There’s a rather common image that might pop inside someone’s head when thinking of penguins – an entire flock of such animals, standing very close together, keeping themselves warm as they confront extreme sub-zero antarctic temperatures. Don’t be fooled, though. According to the results of a mathematical simulation that modeled penguin huddling, the penguins stick together to keep themselves warm,

Salmon versus Gold clash in Alaska

It’s the already a clichee: the big, international company wants to do some highly profitable operations, threatening the native wildlife and environment.   This time, the corporate behemoth is Northern Dynasty Minerals, of British Columbia, who teamed up with other companies, and now name themselves the Pebble Partnership. In the other corner lies native groups, commercial fishermen, village councils, local

Paralyzed dogs can walk again after nose cell transplant

In a remarkable medical feat, physicians at Cambridge University have restored movement in the hind legs of 23 dogs after they transplanted nerve cells from the animals’ noses. The results suggest that the procedure might hold similar promising prospects for humans suffering from spinal cord injuries. The researchers used 34 pet dogs for their experimental procedure, of which 23 had an actual

Apes go through mid life crisis too

They may not take up surfing or start drinking or just being weird around cupcakes, but chimpanzees go through mid life crisis too – just like humans.   A survey of 508 great apes in captivity published today shows that the animals just get the blues from the late 20s to mid 30s, and their sense of well being just

New study estimates 1 million marine species – one third still unknown

The world’s oceans are teeming with life, a new census estimating almost 1 million species out there; but marine life is declining, with the main causes being overfishing, ocean acidification and coastal damage. Avoiding a crisis The new numbers are just estimates, but they are much lower than previous studies, which put the number of species at around 10 million;

World’s leggiest creature found

The elusive millipede species has 750 legs and was thought to be extinct. The leggiest creature lives in California – no big surprise there, is smaller than the average pinky and has a really strange anatomy. Aside for the 750 legs sported by females (about 550 by males), they spin silk from long hairs that cover their body, practically creating

Poisoning rats is poisoning birds

Law-makers in Canada and the US are making moves to restrict rat poisons based on blood thinners as studies show that the toxins accumulate in birds of prey and other animals. Blood thinning and rats For many people, rats are the worst pets, and they will use all sorts of methods to get rid of them; one method, really common

Brainless slime redefines intelligence, could solve real problems

Single cell amoebae can remember, make decisions and anticipate change, urging researchers to redefine what we perceive as intelligence as soon as possible. For gardeners, they are usually a pest, for some hikers, a nice view, and for researchers, they are protists, a taxonomic group reserved for “everything we don’t really understand,” says Chris Reid of the University of Sydney.

Brazil begins cloning of endangered wild species

As one of the largest countries in the world, Brazil is home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. At the same time, however, it also boosts a number of unique species currently threatened with extinction. Recently, scientists have embarked on a quest to clone wild animal species under threat of obliteration in attempt to aid in

Tick bite helps spread vegetarianism

What would you like with your burger? Some anaphylaxis, maybe? No? How about nausea, stomach cramps, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, congestion, sneezing, headaches or asthma? If this would happen to me, I would definitely say pass. What does this have to do with a tick or with anything for that matter, one might ask. As it turns out, if you get

Crocodile skin around its jaws is 10 times more sensitive than that of human fingertips

Considering their heavy scale armor, and ferocious apatite, “sensitive” might not be the first adjective that comes to mind when describing crocodiles or alligators. A new study has sought to answer a long lasting riddle for biologists after it finally found the purpose of peculiar black spots or domes on crocodile and alligator heads. Apparently, these act as extremely sensitive sensors,

Amazing animals: the harp sponge

The harp sponge, or the candelabra sponge, as it is sometimes called is a species discovered recently, surprising not only due to its aspect, which is quite unique, but also through its behavior: unlike most sponges, which filter water and retain food, the harp sponge is actually carnivorous. Here’s a video explaining how this fascinating creatures goes by.

Wrens teach password for food to their eggs

The superb fairy-wren is a small Australian bird whose nests are often invaded by cuckoo birds. The cuckoos lay their eggs in the wrens’ nests, leaving their young to be taken care of by the wren family. This is bad for the actual wren chicks, because it limits the amount of resources, like food, that they receive. The fairy-wren has

Cockatoo figures out how to use tools – and manufacture them

For researchers working with the bird, it came as a shock that Figaro was able to learn how to use a tool at all – let alone learn it by himself. While a hook-like twig might not be the most complex tool in the world, it still did the job, allowing the bird to grab the nut he was longing

World’s rarest whale, thought to be extinct, beached on New Zealand

The first recollection of the spade-toothed whale came in 1872, but no actual proof of its existence has been found ever since. Recently, biologists were dumbstruck when they heard not one, but two specimens of the highly elusive whale species beached on the shores of New Zealand. Unfortunately the two whales, mother and cub, died however scientists have learned a