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Preview: Brightsurf Science News :: Endangered Animals News

Endangered Animals Current Events and Endangered Animals News from Brightsurf

Endangered Animals Current Events and Endangered Animals News Events, Discoveries and Articles from Brightsurf

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Welfare of zoo animals set to improve

Mon, 18 Sep 17 00:03:00 -0700

The wellbeing of zoological animals is set to improve following the successful trial of a new welfare assessment grid, a new study in the journal Veterinary Record reports.

Scientists show molecular basis for ants acting as 'bodyguards' for plants

Mon, 18 Sep 17 00:13:30 -0700

Though you might not think of ants as formidable bodyguards, some do an impressive job protecting plants from enemies. Examing the relationship between the Amazon rainforest plant Cordia nodosa in Peru and the ant species Allomerus octoarticulatus, University of Toronto scientists found the degree to which the ants express two genes significantly impacts the amount of protection they provide to their hosts.

When it comes to the threat of extinction, size matters

Mon, 18 Sep 17 00:16:10 -0700

Animals in the Goldilocks zone -- neither too big, nor too small, but just the right size -- face a lower risk of extinction than do those on both ends of the scale, according to an extensive global analysis.

Wolves understand cause and effect better than dogs

Fri, 15 Sep 17 00:09:50 -0700

A rattle will only make noise if you shake it. Animals like the wolf also understand such connections and are better at this than their domesticated descendants. Researchers at the Wolf Science Center of the Vetmeduni Vienna say that wolves have a better causal understanding than dogs and that they follow human-given communicative cues equally well. The study in Scientific Reports provides insight that the process of domestication can also affect an animal's causal understanding.

Once-abundant ash tree and antelope species face extinction -- IUCN Red List

Thu, 14 Sep 17 00:04:00 -0700

North America's most widespread and valuable ash tree species are on the brink of extinction due to an invasive beetle decimating their populations, while the loss of wilderness areas and poaching are contributing to the declining numbers of five African antelope species, according to the latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM. Today's IUCN Red List update also reveals a dramatic decline of grasshoppers and millipedes endemic to Madagascar, and the extinction of the Christmas Island Pipistrelle bat.

Light at the end of the tunnel: Restored forest now shelters dozens of endangered species

Thu, 14 Sep 17 00:09:20 -0700

A twenty-year effort to protect and manage tiny remnants of a dilapidated forest in Benin, along with its agricultural and fallow vegetation surroundings, resulted in 14 ha of rich secondary forest, which corresponds to the size of nearly 20 sacred groves. This sanctuary now protects the critically endangered red-bellied monkey together with 52 endangered plant species. The study is published in the open access journal Nature Conservation.

Electric eels leap to deliver painful, Taser-like jolt

Thu, 14 Sep 17 00:11:10 -0700

The electric eel has always been noted for its impressive ability to shock and subdue its prey. It's recently become clear that electric eels also use a clever trick to deliver an intense, Taser-like jolt to potential predators: they leap from the water to target threatening animals, humans included, above water. Now, a researcher reporting in Current Biology on Sept. 14 has measured (and experienced) just how strong that jolt can be.

'Mysterious' ancient creature was definitely an animal, research confirms

Thu, 14 Sep 17 00:11:50 -0700

It lived well over 550 million years ago, is known only through fossils and has variously been described as looking a bit like a jellyfish, a worm, a fungus and lichen. But was the 'mysterious' Dickinsonia an animal, or was it something else? A new study by researchers at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, and the British Geological Survey provides strong proof that Dickinsonia was an animal.

Lion conservation requires effective international cooperation

Wed, 13 Sep 17 00:04:00 -0700

In response to the alarming population declines of one of the most charismatic representatives of the megafauna, the lion, a team of international wildlife lawyers and lion experts joined efforts to assess the current and potential future role of international treaties regarding the carnivore's conservation. As a result, their review, published in the open-access journal Nature Conservation, provides concrete recommendations for optimizing the contributions of the various treaties to lion conservation.

Sexually aroused male flies unable to sleep after close encounters with females

Tue, 12 Sep 17 00:11:40 -0700

The urge to mate appears to override the need to sleep in flies, according to new research that hints at the importance of sleep for animals.

In mice, calorie restriction reduces fat but increases fur

Tue, 12 Sep 17 00:06:10 -0700

Calorie restriction may help mice stay slim and live longer, but it also means less fat to keep their bodies warm. Researchers in Brazil have found that mouse skin responds to caloric restriction by stimulating fur growth, increasing blood flow, and altering cell metabolism to increase energy efficiency. The study, published Sept. 12 in Cell Reports, reveals that animals may use this as an evolutionary adaptation to stay warm -- and alive -- in limited food conditions.

Looking stressed can help keep the peace

Mon, 11 Sep 17 00:05:20 -0700

This is the first research to suggest scratching may have evolved as a communication tool to help social cohesion.

The evolutionary origin of the gut

Mon, 11 Sep 17 00:15:30 -0700

How did the gut, the skin and musculature evolve? This question concerns scientists for more than a century. Through the investigation of the embryonic development of sea anemones, a very old animal lineage, researchers from the University of Vienna have now come to conclusions which challenge the 150-year-old hypothesis of the homology (common evolutionary origin) of the germ layers that form all later organs and tissues.

Half-a-billion-year-old fossils shed light animal evolution on earth

Mon, 11 Sep 17 00:15:00 -0700

Scientists have discovered traces of life more than half-a-billion years old that could change the way we think about how all animals evolved on Earth.

Fathers can influence the sex of their offspring, scientists show

Mon, 11 Sep 17 00:02:00 -0700

It has traditionally been thought that in mammals only mothers are able to influence the sex of their offspring. But a new study in wild mice led by Dr Aurelio Malo of Oxford University's Department of Zoology has shown that fathers can, in fact, influence sex ratios.

New evidence suggests octupuses aren't loners

Mon, 11 Sep 17 00:09:00 -0700

Octopuses are usually solitary creatures, but a new site in the waters off the east coast of Australia is the home of up to 15 gloomy octopuses (Octopus tetricus) that have been been observed communicating -- either directly as in den evictions or indirectly through posturing, chasing or color changes, according to findings reported in the journal Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology.

Young birds suffer in the city

Fri, 08 Sep 17 00:14:30 -0700

City life is tough for young birds. But if they survive their first year, they are less susceptible to the effects of stress, according to research from Lund University in Sweden.

Neuroscientists explore the risky business of self-preservation

Thu, 07 Sep 17 00:02:30 -0700

Northwestern University researchers have learned that the escape response for prey is more nuanced than previously thought. In a study of larval zebrafish, the researchers are the first to find that the animal's innate escape response incorporates the speed of the approaching predator -- not just the proximity of the predator -- in its calculation of how best to flee. The new information can help scientists understand the neural mechanics that fuel the most elemental self-preservation instincts.

How tails help geckos and other vertebrates make great strides

Thu, 07 Sep 17 00:05:20 -0700

A wagging tail is often associated with dogs' emotions, but the side-to-side motion may also help them take longer strides and move faster, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, Riverside. The research was done on leopard geckos, which are ideal animals for the study of tail function because they naturally lose their tails as a defense mechanism against predators in a process called autotomy.

Study demonstrates courts' critical, underappreciated role in climate policy

Thu, 07 Sep 17 00:07:50 -0700

The most extensive study to date shows that both climate lawsuits and their reliance on scientific data have increased over the past decade.

Monarch butterflies disappearing from western North America

Thu, 07 Sep 17 00:08:10 -0700

Monarch butterfly populations from western North America have declined far more dramatically than was previously known and face a greater risk of extinction than eastern monarchs, according to a new study in the journal Biological Conservation.

Tick tock

Wed, 06 Sep 17 00:14:30 -0700

Around the world, ticks are one of the most important vectors of zoonotic diseases -- animal diseases communicable to humans -- and they're everywhere.

A touch of EroS

Wed, 06 Sep 17 00:05:00 -0700

Researchers interested in the evolution of multicellular life were looking for bacteria that stimulate Salpingoeca rosetta, single-cell saltwater dwellers that are the closest living relatives of animals, to form the rosette-shaped colonies that give them their name. But one bacterium had quite a different stimulating effect: It motivated S. rosetta to have sex.

The sniff test of self-recognition confirmed: Dogs have self-awareness

Tue, 05 Sep 17 00:05:10 -0700

A new research carried out by the Department of Psychology of the Barnard College in the USA, in publication on the journal Behavioural Processes, used a sniff-test to evaluate the ability of dogs to recognize themselves. The experiment confirms the hypothesis of dogs' self-cognition proposed last year by Professor Roberto Cazzolla Gatti of the Biological Institute of the Tomsk State University, Russia.

Research dog helps scientists save endangered carnivores

Tue, 05 Sep 17 00:05:20 -0700

Scat-sniffing research dogs are helping scientists map out a plan to save reclusive jaguars, pumas, bush dogs and other endangered carnivores in the increasingly fragmented forests of northeastern Argentina, according to a new study from Washington University in St. Louis.

Reindeer grazing protects tundra plant diversity in a warming climate

Mon, 04 Sep 17 00:09:30 -0700

Climate warming reduces the number of plant species in the tundra, but plant-eating animals, such as reindeer and voles, can turn this negative effect into something positive. The results of a study coordinated from Umeå University in Sweden are now published in Nature Communications.

Superfly flight simulator helps unravel navigation in the brain

Mon, 04 Sep 17 00:10:50 -0700

Researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan have identified two independent pathways in the fly brain that are integrated to allow successful navigation during flight. Published in Nature Neuroscience, the study combined a flight simulator designed for flies with imaging of active neurons to show that landmark locations are processed separately in the fly brain from self-motion.

Adventitious root formation on cycads saves trees, but informs new conservation dilemmas

Mon, 04 Sep 17 00:03:40 -0700

A Guam study highlights the need for experience in working with cycad and other endangered plants for successful conservation efforts.

Bacteria act as aphrodisiac for the closest relatives of animals

Fri, 01 Sep 17 00:06:00 -0700

Choanoflagellates are a ubiquitous but enigmatic one-celled ocean organism that may give clues to the origin of multicellularity in animals. New research has turned up a surprising kink in the organism's sex life: swarming and mating are triggered by a marine bacterium common in their environment. UC Berkeley and Harvard researchers traced this response to a protein secreted by the bacteria. The choanos seem to be eavesdropping on bacteria to determine their life history.

Why are coyote populations difficult to control?

Thu, 31 Aug 17 00:07:40 -0700

Conventional wisdom suggests that coyote control efforts actually result in an increase in the number of coyotes due to increasing litter sizes and pregnancy rates among individuals that survive.

More research needed on effects of maternal stress in wild animals

Thu, 31 Aug 17 00:16:00 -0700

If a human mother is stressed while pregnant, research shows her child is much more likely to have emotional, cognitive or even physiological problems, such as attention deficit, hyperactivity, anxiety, language delay, obesity, diabetes and hypertension. Conversely, the results of maternal stress on the offspring of other animals -- particularly wildlife under threat from predators -- is believed to be positive, and contributes to their survival.

New research on fossil whales' teeth shows they were ferocious predators

Wed, 30 Aug 17 00:02:30 -0700

International research involving Monash biologists has provided new insights into how the feeding habits of the whale -- the biggest animal -- have evolved.

Hope for improving protection of the reticulated python

Wed, 30 Aug 17 00:06:30 -0700

Trading in skins of the reticulated python is such a lucrative business that illegal exports are rising sharply and existing trade restrictions are being circumvented on a large scale. This is endangering the stability of populations. Therefore, researchers from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research and the Royal Zoological Society Scotland are developing genetic methods for tracking down individual origins and potential trade routes of the skins.

Tracking down the whale-shark highway

Wed, 30 Aug 17 00:15:30 -0700

MBARI biological oceanographer John Ryan and his colleagues recently discovered that whale sharks in the Eastern Tropical Pacific follow fronts -- the dynamic boundaries between warm and cold ocean waters.

An alternative to wolf control to save endangered caribou

Tue, 29 Aug 17 00:16:30 -0700

The iconic woodland caribou across North America face increasing predation pressures from wolves. A short-term solution to caribou conservation would be to kill wolves. But a new government policy looks at reducing the invasive species moose numbers propping up the wolf population. In a recent study published in the journal PeerJ, researchers evaluate the effects of this policy on the caribou population.

Otters learn by copying each other

Tue, 29 Aug 17 00:13:40 -0700

Otters can learn how to solve puzzles by watching and copying each other, new research shows.

Keeping pandas off endangered list ledge

Mon, 28 Aug 17 00:05:30 -0700

Things aren't all black and white for giant pandas. The beloved Chinese icons have basked in good press lately -- their extinction risk status downgraded from 'endangered' to 'vulnerable,' their good fortunes have shown to rub off on their less charismatic forest neighbors that benefit from panda-centric conservation efforts.

Guelph study shows endangered sharks, rays further threatened by global food markets

Fri, 25 Aug 17 00:00:50 -0700

A majority of shark fins and manta ray gills sold around the globe for traditional medicines come from endangered species, a University of Guelph study has revealed. Using cutting-edge DNA barcoding technology, researchers found 71 per cent of dried fins and gills collected from markets in Canada, China and Sri Lanka came from species listed as at-risk and therefore banned from international trade.

Fantastic beasts and why to conserve them

Thu, 24 Aug 17 00:14:30 -0700

Beliefs in magical creatures can impact the protection of biodiversity and the field of conservation needs to consider them seriously, researchers have warned.

Ice age era bones recovered from underwater caves in Mexico

Thu, 24 Aug 17 00:15:50 -0700

When the Panamanian land bridge formed around 3 million years ago, Southern Mexico was in the middle of a great biotic interchange of large animals from North and South America that crossed the continents in both directions.

Comparing food allergies: Animals and humans may have more in common than you think

Wed, 23 Aug 17 00:02:30 -0700

Not only people, but mammals like cats, dogs and horses suffer from symptoms and problems of food intolerance and allergies. The Messerli Research Institute of Vetmeduni and Meduni Vienna, now condensed the knowledge about human and animal food allergies and intolerance into a new European position paper. It highlights the strong similarities in symptoms and triggers of adverse food reactions and stresses the need for more comparative studies on mechanisms and diagnosis of food intolerance.

Root behavior changes as woody trees age

Wed, 23 Aug 17 00:00:10 -0700

Comparing nighttime and daytime root extension in several species of Serianthes leads to interesting results.

A potential breeding site of a Miocene era baleen whale

Tue, 22 Aug 17 00:14:20 -0700

Baleen whales are amongst the largest animals to have ever lived and yet very little is known about their breeding habits. One researcher's second look at previously found baleen whale fossils from Japan provides new evidence of a now long-gone breeding ground of the extinct baleen whale Parietobalaena yamaokai dating back over 15 million years.

Mouse model of human immune system inadequate for stem cell studies

Tue, 22 Aug 17 00:08:10 -0700

A type of mouse widely used to assess how the human immune system responds to transplanted stem cells does not reflect what is likely to occur in patients, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

No microbes? No problem for caterpillars

Tue, 22 Aug 17 00:08:50 -0700

Caterpillars have far less bacteria and fungi inhabiting their gut than other animals and the microbes that inside them seem to lack any identifiable role, aside from occasionally causing disease.

A holodeck for flies, fish and mice

Mon, 21 Aug 17 00:05:00 -0700

Inspired by Star Trek, biologists are enabling new experiments in virtual reality.

When fish swim in the holodeck

Mon, 21 Aug 17 00:02:50 -0700

Standard behavior experiments to investigate behavior in popular lab animals only incompletely mimic natural conditions. The understanding of behavior and brain function is thus limited. Virtual Reality helps in generating a more natural experimental environment but requires immobilization of the animal, disrupting sensorimotor experience and causing altered neuronal and behavioral responses. Researchers have now developed a VR system for freely moving animals to overcome most of these limitations.

Chemicals from gut bacteria maintain vitality in aging animals

Mon, 21 Aug 17 00:09:00 -0700

A class of chemicals made by intestinal bacteria, known as indoles, help worms, flies and mice maintain mobility and resilience for more of their lifespans, Emory scientists have discovered.

Personifying places can boost travel intentions

Mon, 21 Aug 17 00:00:20 -0700

People who see animals as people and assign human traits to non-human objects are more likely to travel to destinations that are presented as being human-like, according to Queensland University of Technology research. A study from the QUT Business School, found that writing about a destination as if it were human could boost its appeal as a travel destination.

Why tiger snakes are on a winner

Mon, 21 Aug 17 00:00:10 -0700

Australian tiger snakes have 'hit the jackpot' because prey cannot evolve resistance to their venom. While that may sound foreboding, University of Queensland School of Biological Sciences expert Associate Professor Bryan Fry said this discovery had medical benefit for humans.