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

How animals hold elections – democracy isn’t an exclusive human social trait

Elections in the States are currently topping headlines all over the world, as people debate over their favorite candidate and the direction this country is heading towards. Still, as always, elections seemed to be plagued by scandals, lies or manipulation. Yes, democracy is far from being perfect, the alternatives aren’t any better either. I don’t mean to stir into politics,

Researchers find contamination in Canadian oilsands operation, but aren’t allowed to talk about it

Researchers from Environment Canada (EC) and the University of Alberta have published a study in which they showed contaminants accumulated in the snow near oilsands operations, despite what oil companies are claiming. They also discovered contaminants in precipitation from testing in the region.   Perhaps even more disturbing is that fact that researchers were discouraged to talk about their results,

Half-black, half-orange lobster discovered and on display, just in time for Halloween

I swear this isn’t some practical joke for Halloween. Massachusetts fisherman recently caught a highly peculiar lobster with a genetic anomaly which caused it to have one half colored in black, and the other in orange. According to the New England Aquarium, this kind of  coloring isn’t entirely unheard of, but it happens once in every 50 million lobsters. Splits, which are

‘Penis worm’ pokes holes in 100 year-old theory

The largest branch of animals in the tree of lifes are the protostomes – historically defined by the order in which they develop a mouth and an anus as embryos. But new gene-expression data conducted on “penis worms” suggests otherwise. The mouth and the anus Biologists will have to rename and rethink the protostomes, explains Andreas Hejnol, an evolutionary developmental

9 colorful, tree dwelling, extremely small tarantulas found in Brazil

Biologists working in Brazil have discovered nine new species of orange, purple and pink tarantulas lurking around in the trees. The haul of new spider species came from a lengthy study conducted in the Amazon by tarantula specialist Dr Rogerio Bertani of the Instituto Butantan in Sao Paulo. He described these new findings in the ZooKeys magazine. “These are the

Bees can bite too, not only sting

Honeybees are among the most well armed insects, remarkably enough however it seems that we’ve only seen one side of their undercoat. Apparently, according to a recent discovery by Greek scientists, honeybees use a biting attack to ward off intruders. The bite delivers a toxin that paralyzes their victims, don’t worry though, they can’t bite humans. Actually, researchers are considering

Hermit crabs socialize in order to back stab their neighbor and steal their ‘homes’

There are around 800 hermit crab species living in the ocean. These crustaceans like to mind their own business and are rarely seen alongside one another, hence their species’ name. The dozen or so terrestrial hermit crab species, however, are forced to engage socially in order to survive. Their social pattern reveals a selfish agenda, though, after a recent study

Ornithologists remotely tracks endangered Yosemite Great Gray Owls with sound tech

The Great Gray Owls of Yosemite are a unique species, after they separated from their cousins some 30,000 years ago when an ice age forced them into isolation. Though similar to the Great Gray Owls, commonly encountered through out North America and the Asian taiga forests, the Yosemite branch is genetically distinct, but unfortunately also endangered with only 200 specimens