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Animals in the news. Dogs, elephants, horses and kangaroos. Read the latest research involving animals of every sort and description.
Updated: 58 min 18 sec ago

Genome sequencing reveals extensive inbreeding in Scandinavian wolves

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 12:14

Researchers have for the first time determined the full genetic consequences of intense inbreeding in a threatened species.

Righty blue whales sometimes act like lefties, study finds

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 10:09

To support their hulking bodies, blue whales use various acrobatic maneuvers to scoop up many individually tiny prey, filtering the water back out through massive baleen plates. In most cases, the whales roll to the right as they capture their prey, just as most people are right-handed. But, researchers now show that the whales shift directions and roll left when performing 360° barrel rolls in shallow water.

Thinking big by burning small

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 08:12

Creative fire management can increase habitat for wildebeest and other grazing animals in national parks, research indicates. The work shows that small, repeated fires can have a concentrating effect on animals, and create 'grazing-lawn ecosystems' where food quality is higher and herbivores can see predators from further away.

Recovery of West Coast marine mammals boosts consumption of chinook salmon

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 06:54

The researchers estimate that from 1975 to 2015, the yearly biomass of chinook salmon consumed by pinnipeds (sea lions and harbor seals) and killer whales increased from 6,100 to 15,200 metric tons, and from five to 31.5 million individual salmon.

No more deer in the headlights: Study finds large mammals do use road crossing structures

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 08:38

A pilot study finds that large mammals are more likely to use wildlife crossing structures than move past a random location in the surrounding habitat. Animal movement also varied between crossing structures in different locations, suggesting that location might be more important than design. These findings are a first step towards a better understanding of the effectiveness of wildlife crossing structures.

Old World monkeys could be key to a new, powerful rheumatoid arthritis therapy

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 12:21

A peptide only found in Old World monkeys has the potential to stop rheumatoid arthritis progression better than established treatments, new research indicates.

Bacterium in a beetle makes it a leaf-eater

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 11:27

A leaf-eating beetle has evolved a symbiotic relationship that allows the insect to break down pectin. The findings on the novel function of the bacterium, which has a surprisingly tiny genome -- much smaller than previous reports on the minimum size required for an organism not subsisting within a host cell.

Production timings could stem illegal wildlife laundering

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 11:26

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

Shifting presence of North Atlantic right whales tracked with passive acoustics

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 08:48

A new study confirms what marine mammal researchers have suspected for a while: right whales use nearly the entire eastern seaboard during the winter, and they move around a lot more than was previously thought. How long they spend in some areas of their range has also changed in recent years.

How to keep cows happy

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 08:48

New research now shows that removing splashes of colors, shadows or water puddles from corrals, keeping noise levels down and not using dogs and electric prods can dramatically reduce the stress cattle experience.

'Left-handed' fish and asymmetrical brains

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 07:20

Biologists have discovered the relationship between “handedness”, brain structure and genes in extremely specialized cichlid fish.

Flower attracts insects by pretending to be a mushroom

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 07:20

The mysterious flowers of Aspidistra elatior are found on the southern Japanese island of Kuroshima. Until recently, scientists thought that  A. elatior  had 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.

Microbiome transplants provide disease resistance in critically-endangered Hawaiian plant

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 12:23

A team of researchers transplanted microbes to restore the health of a critically endangered Hawaiian plant that, until now, had been driven to extinction in the wild and only survived in managed greenhouses under heavy doses of fungicide.

Combating devastating amphibian disease

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 10:33

Amphibian chytridiomycosis, caused by infection with the Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis fungus, is the most devastating vertebrate disease on record.

Parasitic plants rely on unusual method to spread their seeds

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:42

Three species of non-photosynthetic plants rely mainly on camel crickets to disperse their seeds.

How food poisoning bacteria Campylobacter uses other organisms as Trojan horse to infect new hosts

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 07:19

New research has shown how the food poisoning bacteria Campylobacter can multiply and spread inside micro-organisms called amoebae- which could lead to a better understanding of how bacteria survive and help efforts to prevent the spread of infection.

Early-life behavior of grey seal pups at sea

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 07:12

Male and female grey seal pups show distinct behavioral differences as they learn to forage effectively in the early stages of their independence.

First wild alligator snapping turtle in Illinois since 1984

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 10:36

Researchers report the first sighting in 30 years of a wild alligator snapping turtle in Illinois. The discovery may be a sign of hope for this state-endangered species, or the animal could be the last of its kind to have survived in Illinois without human intervention, the researchers say.

Seals, birds and humans compete for fish in the Baltic Sea

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 08:47

In Sweden and in other parts of Europe there are concerns that seals and birds compete with humans for fish resources. For the Baltic Sea, an international study now shows that this competition is a reality.

A genus of European paper wasps revised for the first time using integrative taxonomy

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 07:56

The European and Mediterranean species of the paper wasp genus Polistes were recently revised. For the first time for this group, scientists applied an integrative taxonomic approach which combines traditional morphological methods with DNA barcoding. As a result, the researchers were able to identify a new species from Morocco.

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