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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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Australian fire beetle avoids the heat

Thu, 15 Feb 18 00:05:30 -0800

The Australian jewel beetle Merimna atrata has several heat sensors. Originally it was thought that it uses them to detect forest fires as the insect lays its eggs in the wood of burned eucalyptus trees. Researchers at the University of Bonn were finally able to refute this hypothesis. Instead, the beetle appears to need its heat sensors for a different purpose: to not burn its feet on landing. The study has now been published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The 'Super-Ranger' badgers that may hold the key to limiting the spread of bovine TB

Wed, 14 Feb 18 00:09:00 -0800

Researchers have discovered a new ranging behavior in male badgers, which will aid the implementation of a nationwide TB vaccination program, recently announced by the Department of Agriculture, Food and The Marine in Ireland.

Climate change, urbanization driving opossum's northward march

Thu, 08 Feb 18 00:03:40 -0800

The headline reads like something from the satirical newspaper The Onion: 'Grand Forks opossum slain; body to go to University of Michigan for research.'

Shoals of sticklebacks differ in their collective personalities

Tue, 06 Feb 18 00:08:30 -0800

Research from the University of Cambridge has revealed that, among schooling fish, groups can have different collective personalities, with some shoals sticking closer together, being better coordinated, and showing clearer leadership than others.

Warming climate shrinks British Columbia beetles

Tue, 30 Jan 18 00:13:10 -0800

Some of B.C.'s beetles are shrinking as their habitats get warmer, according to new UBC research. The study provides evidence that climate change is affecting the size of organisms.

MSU biliogists: Bryozoans, brachiopods, and phoronida originate from the common ancestor

Tue, 30 Jan 18 00:12:00 -0800

An associate of the Faculty of Biology of Lomonosov Moscow State University studied the nervous system of adult phoronida using modern methods and presented new facts in the long-lasting discussion about the taxonomy of invertebrates proving that phoronids, barchiopods, and bryozoans are relatives despite earlier arguments. The results of the work were published in Scientific Reports. The study was carried out within the framework of the 'Noah's Ark' project supported with a grant of Russian Science Foundation (RSF).

Two new snout moth genera and three new species discovered in southern China

Thu, 25 Jan 18 00:01:50 -0800

New members have joined the ranks of the snout moths -- one of the largest groups within the insect order known formally as Lepidoptera, comprising all moths and butterflies. Recently, a team of four taxonomists from the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences described two genera and three species previously unknown to science. Their study is published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

The bacterial 'Game of Thrones'

Thu, 25 Jan 18 00:08:30 -0800

Much like animals and to a degree humans, bacteria enjoy a good fight. While their aggressive characteristics are broadly known, their approach to conflict is less understood. In research published in Current Biology, researchers at the University of Oxford have shed light on this area of bacterial behavior, revealing that they approach conflict in much the same way as a human platoon, responding to a threat with a coordinated, collective retaliation.

Novel body structure likely tied to mating in new extinct insect species

Thu, 25 Jan 18 00:07:50 -0800

Based on 2-D and 3-D data of several morphological features, researchers scanned all specimens with different μ-Ct devices at Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility (BSRF) and Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility (SSRF).

Think of honeybees as 'livestock,' not wildlife, argue experts

Thu, 25 Jan 18 00:13:30 -0800

Contrary to public perception, die-offs in honeybee colonies are an agricultural not a conservation issue, argue Cambridge researchers, who say that manged honeybees may contribute to the genuine biodiversity crisis of Europe's declining wild pollinators.

War in Ukraine has escalated HIV spread in the country

Mon, 15 Jan 18 00:00:50 -0800

Conflict in Ukraine has increased the risk of HIV outbreaks throughout the country as displaced HIV-infected people move from war-affected regions to areas with higher risk of transmission, according to analysis by scientists.

Zoology: Luminescent lizards

Mon, 15 Jan 18 00:05:40 -0800

Chameleons are known to communicate with conspecifics by altering their surface coloration. Munich researchers have now found that the bony tubercles on the heads of many species fluoresce under UV light and form impressive patterns.

Species identification in the water bottle

Fri, 12 Jan 18 00:05:50 -0800

Environmental DNA analysis makes it possible to detect water organisms without having to capture them first. For the first time, a team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) systematically investigated the effect of various environmental factors on environmental DNA analyses. By doing so, the researchers have made an important step towards the standardized application of this method for the monitoring of water bodies.

Study shows treeshrews break evolutionary 'rules'

Fri, 05 Jan 18 00:11:40 -0800

According to a study published in the journal Ecology and Evolution, Tupaia glis, the common treeshrew, defies two widely tested rules that describe patterns of geographical variation within species: the island rule and Bergmann's rule.

Researchers show high-performance breathing in bones

Wed, 03 Jan 18 00:14:10 -0800

Dinosaurs are far from extinct, but dominate as birds still most regions of the globe. Part of this huge success is due to the evolution of air sacs, which are crucial for the high efficiency of their respiratory system. Scientists at the University of Bonn analyzed the structure of bones that are in contact with air sacs and found both in extinct and extant species a hitherto unknown type of bony tissue. The results now are published in Biology Letters.

Insights on fast cockroaches can help teach robots to walk

Fri, 08 Dec 17 00:14:40 -0800

A study scientists from the University of Cologne have published in Frontiers in Zoology shows for the first time that fast insects can change their gait -- like a mammal's transition from trot to gallop. These new insights could contribute to making the locomotion of robots more energy efficient.

Replicating peregrine falcon attack strategies could help down rogue drones

Mon, 04 Dec 17 00:08:30 -0800

Researchers at Oxford University have discovered that peregrine falcons steer their attacks using the same control strategies as guided missiles. The findings could be applied to the design of small, visually guided drones that can take down other 'rogue' drones in settings such as airports or prisons.

Migration makes breeding harder for seabirds

Thu, 30 Nov 17 00:01:00 -0800

An Oxford University-led collaboration has for the first time revealed the key drivers of seabird migration. The new study suggests that puffin colonies that travel great distances during the winter often find it more difficult to breed than others, and that escaping your habitat with far flung migration therefore carries a cost.

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.