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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: 13 hours 22 min ago

Toxoplasmosis: How a cat parasite exploits immune cells to reach the brain

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 07:59

Scientists have previously shown that a parasite from cats can infect people's brain and affect our behaviour. Now, researchers at Stockholm University have discovered how the parasite takes control of our cells.

Insights on fast cockroaches can help teach robots to walk

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 07:55

Scientists show 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.

New algorithm recognizes distinct dolphin clicks in underwater recordings

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:17

Scientists have developed a new algorithm that can identify distinct dolphin click patterns among millions of clicks in recordings of wild dolphins. This approach could potentially help distinguish between dolphin species in the wild.

Heart monitors on wild narwhals reveal alarming responses to stress

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:17

Stress from human disturbances could cause behavioral responses in narwhals that are inconsistent with their physiological capacities, researchers say. They found that narwhals released after entanglement in nets and outfitted with heart monitors performed a series of deep dives, swimming hard to escape, while their heart rates dropped to unexpectedly low levels of three to four beats per minute.

Crafty crows know what it takes to make a good tool

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:17

Biologists have discovered how New Caledonian crows make one of their most sophisticated tool designs -- sticks with a neatly shaped hooked tip. New Caledonian crows are the only species besides humans known to manufacture hooked tools in the wild. The study reveals how crows manage to fashion particularly efficient tools, with well-defined 'deep' hooks.

It's all in the ears: Inner ears of extinct sea monsters mirror those of today's animals

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:16

A new study has revealed that an extinct group of marine reptiles called sauropterygians evolved similar inner ear proportions to those of some modern day aquatic reptiles and mammals.

The unique pentraxin-carbonic anhydrase protein regulates the ability of fish to swim

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:16

A study has shown that carbonic anhydrase VI (CA VI) is present in some species as a combination of two proteins.

New discovery, more bees mark Michigan's first, full bee census

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 08:24

The first complete bee census in Michigan has confirmed a new species and revealed that the actual number of bee species in Michigan exceeded earlier estimates.

Exploring a world without food animals

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 20:22

What would happen if U.S. farmers stopped producing animals for food and Americans went vegan? Some have called for a move in that direction to address increasing concerns about U.S. health, eating habits, and climate change. Researchers recently explored those questions and found surprising results.

New species of extinct marsupial lion discovered in Australia

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 17:37

A team of Australian scientists has discovered a new species of marsupial lion which has been extinct for at least 19 million years. The findings are based on fossilized remains of the animal's skull, teeth, and humerus (upper arm bone) found in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area of remote northwestern Queensland.

Unique field survey yields first big-picture view of deep-sea food webs

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 12:16

A new article documents the first comprehensive study of deep-sea food webs, using hundreds of video observations of animals caught in the act of feeding off the Central California coast. The study shows that deep-sea jellies are key predators, and provides new information on how deep-sea animals interact with life near the ocean surface.

Needle in a haystack: Research in mice paves way to teasing out cause and effect between gut microbes and disease

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 11:27

Overcoming a major hurdle in the field of microbiome research, scientists have developed a method to elucidate cause-effect relationships between gut bacteria and disease. The approach could help identify disease-modulating microbes and open doors to precision-targeted therapies derived from microbial molecules. The work identifies new class of gut bacteria that regulate intestinal inflammation and colitis in mice.

It's good to be rare, for some species

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 10:25

For many species, rarity is not a guarantee of impending extinction. Instead, the traits that enable some species to be rare may hold the ticket to their survival. A new paper predicts what these traits might be and how having them could place chronically rare species at an advantage during crises.

Separated since the dinosaurs, bamboo-eating lemurs, pandas share common gut microbes

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 10:24

A new study finds that bamboo lemurs, giant pandas and red pandas share 48 gut microbes in common -- despite the fact that they are separated by millions of years of evolution.

New species discovered in Malaysian rainforest during unprecedented, top-to-bottom survey

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 08:01

This fall, the California Academy of Sciences partnered with The Habitat Penang Hill and colleagues to conduct a rainforest survey on Malaysia's island state of Penang. A 117-member team documented flora and fauna from the tops of trees to the dark reaches of caves and discovered several species previously unknown to science living just miles from a major metropolis. Survey results will contribute to this ancient rainforest's nomination as a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

Recently discovered fossil shows transition of a reptile from life on land to life in the sea

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 07:07

Using modern research tools on a 155-million-year-old reptile fossil, scientists report they have filled in some important clues to the evolution of animals that once roamed land and transitioned to life in the water.

Stress test: New study finds seals are stressed-out by sharks

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 07:06

While a little added stress may be helpful to flee a dangerous situation, or to meet an approaching deadline, it's no secret that prolonged exposure to the stress hormone cortisol is linked to health problems. So, what effects does stress have on animals in the wild that need to navigate the same waters as the ocean's top predator -- great white sharks?

Dahl's toad-headed turtle threatened by fragmented habitat, shrinking populations

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 15:03

A recent study shows that the Dahl's Toad-headed Turtle (Mesoclemmys dahli), a rare reptile found only in Colombia, is threatened with extinction due to alarmingly small and fragmented populations and high levels of inbreeding.

Tigers cling to survival in Sumatra's increasingly fragmented forests

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 15:02

A research expedition tracked endangered tigers through the Sumatran jungles for a year and found tigers are clinging to survival in low density populations. The study found that well-protected forests are disappearing and are increasingly fragmented: Of the habitat tigers rely on in Sumatra, 17 percent was deforested between 2000 to 2012 alone. Their findings have renewed fears about the possible extinction of the elusive predators.

Variation within species is critical aspect of biodiversity

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 10:00

Concerns about biodiversity tend to focus on the loss of species from ecosystems, but a new study suggests that the loss of variation within species can also have important ecological consequences.

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