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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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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.

Puffins that stay close to their partner during migration have more chicks

Fri, 07 Apr 17 00:01:20 -0700

Puffin pairs that follow similar migration routes breed more successfully the following season, a new Oxford University study has found.

Whiteflies provide insight into stabilizing manmade drones during takeoff

Wed, 05 Apr 17 00:03:10 -0700

Tel Aviv University research explores how the whitefly, a tiny insect, successfully takes off without flapping its wings. This may hold the secret to stabilizing the take-off of small robotic manmade flyers such as miniaturized drones.

Book purchases of liberals and conservatives reveal partisan division

Mon, 03 Apr 17 00:14:10 -0700

Reader preferences for liberal or conservative political books also attract them to different types of science books, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Chicago and Yale and Cornell universities. The result supports observations that the divisiveness of politics in the United States has spread to scientific communication as well, endangering the role of science as politically neutral ground.

New study sheds light on how mosquitoes wing it

Thu, 30 Mar 17 00:13:30 -0700

The unique mechanisms involved in mosquito flight have been shared for the first time in a new Oxford University collaboration, which could inform future aerodynamic innovations, including tiny scale flying tech.

Genetics Society of America honors Richard Lewontin with 2017 Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal

Fri, 24 Mar 17 00:16:10 -0700

The Genetics Society of America is pleased to announce that Richard C. Lewontin, Ph.D., is the 2017 recipient of the Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal for lifetime achievement in the field of genetics. This award recognizes Lewontin's extensive impact on our understanding of evolution, a broad and deep influence that has shaped the field.

Evolutionary advantage of the common periwinkle

Fri, 24 Mar 17 00:14:20 -0700

A special kind of small sulfur-rich proteins, the metallothioneins, have an extraordinarily large capability for binding heavy metals. An international team of scientists has now discovered that the marine common periwinkle, which is widely considered a delicacy, contains the largest version of the protein found yet, with one additional cadmium-binding domain and a one-third higher detoxification capacity. As they report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, this feature may help the snail survive in heavy-metal-polluted environments.

CAS scientists review the basic and translational studies of hedgehog signaling

Thu, 09 Mar 17 00:14:00 -0800

Previously, in recognition of their work on this topic, Prof. WANG Yu from the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Professor Andrew P. McMahon from University of South California were invited by the journal Elife to comment on latest work from scientists at Stanford, Harvard, and Oxford on newly discovered mechanisms of chemical modulation of HH signaling.

Survival instinct, not family bonds, weave massive spider colonies together

Tue, 07 Mar 17 00:06:50 -0800

Spiders will live in groups if environmental conditions make it too difficult for single mothers to go it alone, new research shows.

Chronic administration of nandrolone decanoate

Thu, 02 Mar 17 00:05:10 -0800

Investigations by researchers of Zoology Department of Cotton College, Guwahati, and Gauhati University, Guwahati, Assam, India, have revealed that long term exposure to elevated doses of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) can significantly affect aldosterone concentration and serum sodium/ potassium levels in albino mice.

Sponge bacterium found to encapsulate arsenic drawn from environment

Mon, 27 Feb 17 00:15:40 -0800

A new Tel Aviv University study sheds light on a unique biological model of arsenic detoxification. According to the new research, the Entotheonella bacterium that inhabits the Theonella swinhoei sponge is one of the only known cases of a bacterium protecting its host from metal poisoning.

Using dogs to find cats

Thu, 23 Feb 17 00:03:10 -0800

Investigators are using specially-trained detection dogs to determine the numbers and distribution of cheetah in a region of Western Zambia. The research represents the first demonstration of this strategy for wide-ranging species that are often threatened.

Blood ties fuel cooperation among species, not survival instinct

Wed, 22 Feb 17 00:15:30 -0800

A new Oxford University study has found that survival instinct does not influence species cooperative breeding decisions. Instead, it has found communal living and helping behavior, to be a natural result of monogamous relationships reinforcing stronger genetic bonds in family groups. Siblings with full biological ties are more likely than others to stay with their family, than they are to break away. This is particularly beneficial in harsh environments, like the desert, but not the overall reason why they choose to live in this way.

UT mole study shows anyone can be backyard scientist

Mon, 20 Feb 17 00:02:10 -0800

Scientific findings are awaiting discovery in your backyard. The requirement? A keen sense of observation and patience. Vladimir Dinets, a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, research assistant professor of psychology, recently completed a study on moles' behavior that proves the concept. His laboratory? A molehill-dotted city lawn in downtown Chico, California.

Can facial recognition systems help save lemurs?

Thu, 16 Feb 17 00:10:50 -0800

Michigan State University's biometrics team, led by Anil Jain, modified their human facial recognition system to create LemurFaceID, the first computer facial recognition system for lemurs. Once optimized, LemurFaceID can assist with long-term research of the endangered species.

LemurFaceID: Using facial recognition software to identify lemurs

Thu, 16 Feb 17 00:07:50 -0800

A team of lemur biologists and computer scientists has modified human facial recognition methods to develop a semi-automated system that can identify individual lemurs. The new technology, dubbed LemurFaceID, is reported this week in the open-access journal BMC Zoology.