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Preview: Brightsurf Science News :: Zoology News

Zoology Current Events and Zoology News from Brightsurf

Zoology Current Events and Zoology News Events, Discoveries and Articles from Brightsurf

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Ancient fish scales and vertebrate teeth share an embryonic origin

Mon, 20 Nov 17 00:00:40 -0800

Latest findings support the theory that teeth in the animal kingdom evolved from the jagged scales of ancient fish, the remnants of which can be seen today embedded in the skin of sharks and skate.

Production timings could stem illegal wildlife laundering

Thu, 16 Nov 17 00:11:00 -0800

Production timings for artificially propagated plants and animals could help flag items offered for sale before they should legally be available.

It's (not) complicated: 'Friends of friends' relationships may be simpler than they seem

Tue, 14 Nov 17 00:13:20 -0800

Not only are immediate friendships an important aspect of our life, but so are our extended acquaintances and friends' of friends connections, according to new Oxford University research. The findings shed light on how social networks can evolve, by showing that complex social patterns observed across the animal kingdom may be simpler than they appear. These relationships are known as 'indirect social connections,' and show where each individual is positioned within the overall social network.

Flower attracts insects by pretending to be a mushroom

Tue, 14 Nov 17 00:00:50 -0800

The mysterious flowers of Aspidistra elatior are found on the southern Japanese island of Kuroshima. Until recently, scientists thought that A. elatior has the most unusual pollination ecology among all flowering plants, being pollinated by slugs and amphipods. However, direct observation of their ecosystem has revealed that they are mainly pollinated by fungus gnats, probably thanks to their resemblance to mushrooms.

Now you see me! New insect mimics dead leaves -- but sings loud enough for humans to hear

Mon, 13 Nov 17 00:09:00 -0800

A new species of bushcricket which mimics dead leaves to the point of near invisibility and sings so loud humans can hear it has been examined for the first time using advanced technologies to reveal unusual acoustic properties of its wings. Scientists investigating the newly-described species, named Typophyllum spurioculis, found that when the males sing the entire wing resonates at the frequency of the call -- something which does not happen in other species of bushcrickets.

A warbler's flashy yellow throat? There are genes for that

Wed, 08 Nov 17 00:09:10 -0800

Birds get their bright red, orange and yellow plumage from carotenoid pigments -- responsible for many of the same bright colours in plants. But how songbirds turn carotenoids into the spectacular variety of feathered patches found in nature has remained a mystery. Now University of British Columbia (UBC) research might have pinpointed some of the genetic machinery responsible for the plumage coloration in Audubon's and myrtle warblers, related but distinctly feathered North American songbirds.

Chimpanzees shown spontaneously 'taking turns' to solve number puzzle

Wed, 01 Nov 17 00:16:10 -0700

A new study from Kyoto and Oxford universities and Indianapolis Zoo has shown chimpanzees spontaneously taking turns to complete a number sequencing task.

MSU biologists discovered the pathwaysof groups of the lophophore

Tue, 31 Oct 17 00:06:50 -0700

Scientists from Moscow State University have proved that lophophorates -- the invertebrates with special tentacular apparatus -- are relatives. Scientists have examined some representatives of one of the phylum of this group. The results were published in BMC Evolutionary Biology. The study was carried out within the framework of the 'Animals' branch of the Noah's Ark project supported by a grant from the Russian Science Foundation (RNF).

Bears not bothered by diet high in saturated fats

Mon, 30 Oct 17 00:10:30 -0700

A new study found that captive bears fed a diet high in saturated fats and low in

Saguaro and other towering cacti have a scrambled history

Mon, 23 Oct 17 00:12:50 -0700

Biologists continue to debate the genealogy of the cactus family, even differing by a factor of 10 about how many different genera there are. A study based on new genome sequences of four columnar cacti, including saguaro and cardon, illustrates why this is. Because of the long lives of these columnar cacti, ancient genes drop out at random and give the impression of parallel evolution in those species that retain the genes.

Bycatch responsible for decline of New Zealand sea lion

Wed, 11 Oct 17 00:03:50 -0700

Getting caught in fishing nets is a major cause of death for the increasingly endangered New Zealand sea lion, according to new research from the New Zealand's University of Otago and Massey University and the University of Toronto.

Herbivores help protect ecosystems from climate change

Wed, 11 Oct 17 00:14:00 -0700

Plant-eating critters are the key ingredient to helping ecosystems survive global warming, finds new UBC research that offers some hope for a defence strategy against climate change.

'Fake fin' discovery reveals new ichthyosaur species

Tue, 10 Oct 17 00:01:50 -0700

An ichthyosaur first discovered in the 1970s but then dismissed and consigned to museum storerooms across the country has been re-examined and found to be a new species.

House sparrow decline linked to air pollution and poor diet

Tue, 03 Oct 17 00:00:30 -0700

House sparrows are well-adapted to living in urban areas, so it is surprising their numbers have fallen significantly over the past decades. An investigation by Spanish researchers into this worrying trend, published in open-access journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, finds that sparrows living in urban areas are adversely affected by pollution and poor nutrition. The study also finds the birds suffer more during the breeding season, when resources are needed to produce healthy eggs.

Fish may use different behaviors to protect against parasites

Wed, 20 Sep 17 00:10:40 -0700

New research indicates that fish may adapt their behavior to defend against parasite infection. The findings are published in the Journal of Zoology.

Threatened Alabama snail renamed after a case of mistaken identity

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

Confusion surrounding the identity of the Painted Rocksnail, a species listed as federally threatened, has been cleared up after over 100 years of mistaken identity. Dr. Nathan Whelan and his collaborators determined that reports of the Painted Rocksnail outside the Coosa River system in Alabama were misidentifications. They found that the species is rarer and more restricted than previously thought. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

New research suggests bird songs isolate species

Wed, 13 Sep 17 00:03:40 -0700

Two birds that look the same, but have songs so different they can't recognize each other, should be considered distinct species, suggests new research. Among 72 related populations of Central and South American birds the researchers tested, they found evidence for 21 new species.

South Africa's long-legged bees adapted to pollinate snapdragon flowers

Wed, 13 Sep 17 00:02:30 -0700

New research shows that, in an extraordinary case of adaptation, the disproportionately long front legs of South Africa's oil-collecting Rediviva bee species have evolved in response to the equally long oil-producing spurs of snapdragons.

Scientists track the brain-skull transition from dinosaurs to birds

Mon, 11 Sep 17 00:16:00 -0700

The dramatic, dinosaur-to-bird transition that occurred in reptiles millions of years ago was accompanied by profound changes in the skull roof of those animals -- and holds important clues about the way the skull forms in response to changes in the brain -- according to a new study. It is the first time scientists have tracked the link between the brain's development and the roofing bones of the skull.

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 porcelain crab species from Colombia named

Thu, 07 Sep 17 00:08:20 -0700

New, hairy-clawed porcelain crab species discovered in the southern Caribbean.

Sense of smell is key factor in bird navigation, new study shows

Tue, 29 Aug 17 00:04:20 -0700

How do birds navigate over long distances? This complex question has been the subject of debate and controversy among scientists for decades, with Earth's magnetic field and the bird's own sense of smell among the factors said to play a part. Now, researchers from the universities of Oxford, Barcelona and Pisa have shown in a new experiment that olfaction -- or sense of smell -- is almost certainly a key factor in long-distance oceanic navigation, eliminating previous misgivings about this hypothesis.

Shocking gaps in basic knowledge of deep sea life

Mon, 21 Aug 17 00:11:50 -0700

Human interference in the deep sea could already be outpacing our basic understanding of how it functions. As a result, without increased research and an immediate review of deep ocean conservation measures, the creatures that live there face an uncertain future, Oxford University scientists have warned.

Scientists unlock planthoppers' role in rice stripe virus reproduction

Thu, 10 Aug 17 00:03:10 -0700

Recently, researchers from the Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have discovered how a severe rice virus reproduces inside the small brown planthopper, a major carrier of the virus, and have published this work in eLife.

Family break-ups lead to domestic violence in fruit fly relationships

Wed, 09 Aug 17 00:03:50 -0700

Male fruit flies with strong family ties are less likely to become abusive during mating than others, according to new Oxford research.

A portable DNA sequencer enables researchers to monitor the evolution of Zika virus

Wed, 09 Aug 17 00:00:40 -0700

Article in Nature describing the analysis of 54 new whole genomes suggests that Zika virus arrived in Brazil in February 2014 and spread silently through the Americas for at least a year.

Scientists discover unknown virus in 'throwaway' DNA

Fri, 04 Aug 17 00:05:40 -0700

A chance discovery has opened up a new method of finding unknown viruses. In research published in the journal Virus Evolution, scientists from Oxford University's Department of Zoology have revealed that Next-Generation Sequencing and its associated online DNA databases could be used in the field of viral discovery. They have developed algorithms that detect DNA from viruses that happen to be in fish blood or tissue samples, and could be used to identify viruses in a range of different species.

How do birds get their colors?

Fri, 04 Aug 17 00:10:50 -0700

Birds exhibit an extraordinary diversity of plumage pigmentation patterns. It has been overlooked, however, that complex patterns can be produced only with the contribution of melanins because these are the only pigments under direct cellular control.

Hot dogs: Is climate change impacting populations of African wild dogs?

Wed, 19 Jul 17 00:13:30 -0700

Climate change may be harming the future of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) by impacting the survival rates of pups, according to one of the first studies on how shifting temperatures are impacting tropical species. Led by scientists from ZSL (Zoological Society of London) and published in the Journal of Animal Ecology, the study highlights how African wild dogs -- already classified as Endangered by the IUCN Red List -- raise fewer pups at high temperatures.

Scientists unlock planthoppers' potential to control future crop disease outbreaks

Tue, 18 Jul 17 00:08:50 -0700

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Zoology have discovered how a severe rice virus reproduces inside the small brown planthopper, a major carrier of the virus.

Bac-for good: Bacteria passed between generations benefits you more than others

Mon, 17 Jul 17 00:11:20 -0700

Bacteria passed straight to children have more healthcare benefits than if they are transmitted via the surrounding environment, new Oxford University research reveals.

New light on the secret life of badgers

Mon, 17 Jul 17 00:00:40 -0700

Badgers are more sociable than often thought, with implications for how they transmit disease, new Oxford University research reveals. Using security tracking technology more commonly used to protect museum artwork, the Oxford research has revealed fresh insights into the animals' social behavior.

Marine vessels are unsuspecting hosts of invasive species

Tue, 11 Jul 17 00:01:50 -0700

A new Tel Aviv University study finds that ships play an unknowing but dominant role in introducing and dispersing tough-shelled non-indigenous organisms into new environments.

Drowsy dormice doze into decline

Wed, 21 Jun 17 00:14:00 -0700

Britain's population of hazel dormice, famed for their sleepy lifestyle, has declined by more than 70 percent in just over two decades, new research from the University of Exeter has shown.

Bee antennae offer links between the evolution of social behavior and communication

Thu, 15 Jun 17 00:13:20 -0700

As bees' social behavior evolved, their complex chemical communication systems evolved in concert, according to a study published online by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The glue that keeps cells together

Wed, 14 Jun 17 00:01:00 -0700

Studies conducted by the Biocentre shed new light on cell-cell contacts: Physical effects play an important role in their generation and stability as the journal 'Nature Physics' reports.

Earning a living in a changing climate -- the plant perspective

Wed, 14 Jun 17 00:02:30 -0700

Some of the world's plants are using 'last-stand' strategies to survive rather than thrive as global climate change gathers apace. Ecologists assessed plant strategies in less suitable climates by tapping into big data collated from 16 different countries in 3 different continents over the past 50 years.

Epigenetic signaling axis regulates proliferation and self-renewal of neural stem/progenitor cells

Mon, 12 Jun 17 00:13:20 -0700

In a recent study published in Stem Cell Reports, a team led by Drs. LIU Changmei and TENG Zhaoqian from the State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, found a novel epigenetic signaling axis (composed of PRC1, microRNA, and PRC2) that regulates self-renewal and proliferation of NSPCs.

Scientists discover how some pigs cope in cold climates

Wed, 31 May 17 00:05:50 -0700

A new paper in the Journal of Molecular Cell Biology revealed that pig breeds such as Tibetan pigs and Min pigs use a unique method to survive when exposed to cold environments. This has important implications for the swine industry as cold weather is a major cause of death in new-born piglets.

Fossil skeleton confirms earliest primates were tree dwellers

Tue, 30 May 17 00:01:20 -0700

Earth's earliest primates dwelled in treetops, not on the ground, according to an analysis of a 62-million-year-old partial skeleton discovered in New Mexico -- the oldest-known primate skeleton.

Zika spread secrets tracked through new gene sequencing study

Wed, 24 May 17 00:08:30 -0700

An international research collaboration studying the genetics of Zika virus in Brazil and beyond has provided a new understanding of the disease and its rapid spread through space and time. The research has significant public health implications and has the potential to improve responses to future outbreaks. The research published today in Nature, was led by the universities of Birmingham and Oxford in partnership with FioCruz Bahia, the University of São Paulo, and supported by the Brazilian Ministry of Health.

Crazy for ant eggs

Tue, 23 May 17 00:00:30 -0700

The 'yellow crazy ant' lays trophic eggs to provide nutrition to their larvae.

Good grief! Losing a friend brings wild birds closer together

Wed, 17 May 17 00:05:20 -0700

New Oxford University research has revealed that instead of grieving, wild birds appear to adjust to the loss of a flockmate by increasing both the number and intensity of their relationships with other birds.

How poison frog tadpoles escape their cannibalistic siblings

Mon, 15 May 17 00:06:30 -0700

Poison frog tadpoles are dependent on parent for transportation, which helps them become separated from their cannibalistic siblings. A new study found that if all tadpoles hatch into the same pool and an adult frog enters it, tadpoles are highly attracted to the adult and try to mount it in order to escape their siblings -- even if the frog does not show any willingness to conduct transportation behaviors.

How do fishes perceive their environment?

Wed, 03 May 17 00:12:00 -0700

Fishes perceive changes in water currents caused by prey, conspecifics and predators using their lateral line. The tiny sensors of this organ also allow them to navigate reliably. However, with increasing current velocities, the background signal also increases. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now created a realistic, three-dimensional model of a fish for the first time and have simulated the precise current conditions. The virtual calculations show that particular anatomical adaptations minimize background noise.

Long lost monitor lizard 're-discovered' on Papua New Guinean island

Tue, 02 May 17 00:12:10 -0700

Scientists have recently found and re-described a monitor lizard species from the island of New Ireland in northern Papua New Guinea. It is the only large-growing animal endemic to the island that has survived until modern times. The lizard, Varanus douarrha, was already discovered in the early 19th century, but the type specimen never reached the museum where it was destined as it appears to have been lost in a shipwreck.

For a green alga, spotted salamanders are stressful hosts

Tue, 02 May 17 00:06:30 -0700

New research shows how two drastically different organisms -- a green alga and the spotted salamander -- get along as cellular roommates. Scientists at the American Museum of Natural History and Gettysburg College found that this symbiosis, the only known example that includes a vertebrate species, puts stress on algal cells, changing the way they make energy, but does not seem to negatively impact salamander cells.

Thought Antarctica's biodiversity was doing well? Think again

Tue, 25 Apr 17 00:04:40 -0700

Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are not in better environmental shape than the rest of the world.

Fish cooperate for selfish reasons

Wed, 19 Apr 17 00:16:00 -0700

Why do animals help raise offspring that aren't their own? A new study by an international team of researchers from Sweden, Canada and the UK shows that fish cooperate to raise another fish's offspring to reduce their own risk of being eaten by a predator.

Homing pigeons share our human ability to build knowledge across generations

Tue, 18 Apr 17 00:14:50 -0700

Homing pigeons may share the human capacity to build on the knowledge of others, improving their navigational efficiency over time, a new Oxford University study has found. The ability to gather, pass on and improve on knowledge over generations is known as cumulative culture. Until now humans and, arguably some other primates, were the only species thought to be capable of it.