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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: 23 hours 6 min ago

Meet Madagascar's oldest animal lineage, a whirligig beetle with 206-million-year-old origins

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 11:01

A new study suggests the Malagasy striped whirligig beetle Heterogyrus milloti boasts a genetic pedigree stretching back to the late Triassic period.

Fish shrinking as ocean temperatures rise

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 10:35

One of the most economically important fish is shrinking in body weight, length and overall physical size as ocean temperatures rise, according to new research by LSU Boyd Professor R. Eugene Turner published today. The average body size of Menhaden -- a small, silver fish -- caught off the coasts from Maine to Texas -- has shrunk by about 15 percent over the past 65 years.

Bumblebees shed light on why some individuals are smarter than others

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 10:28

By examining the brains of bees trained to different tasks, the researchers found that the number of connections between nerve cells may hold the answer to questions about individual cognitive differences. Bees with a greater density of nerve connections (known as synaptic complexes) in a specific part of their brains had better memories and learned faster than bees with fewer connections in these areas.

Albatross feces show diet of fishery discards

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 09:04

The first-ever analysis of fish DNA in albatross scat indicates a high level of interaction between seabirds and commercial fisheries. This non-invasive method could be used to assess whether fisheries are complying with discard policies. Extending the analysis to other marine predators could help monitor marine biodiversity and broader marine ecosystem changes.

Burmese python’s hungry escapades may have consequences for human health

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 07:12

As the large, invasive Burmese python eats its way through south Florida's mammals, the mosquitoes in the area have fewer types of animals to bite. Now, more mosquitoes are drawing blood from a rat that carries a virus dangerous to humans.

Toxic cocktail: Okinawan pit viper genome reveals evolution of snake venom

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 06:49

For the first time, researchers have sequenced a habu genome, that of the Taiwan habu, and compared it to that of its sister species.

Excessive social interaction reduced collective response

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 06:29

Researchers have uncovered the detrimental effects of excessive interaction and network connections in a wide range of living and engineered systems.

Warming unlikely to have major impact on animal agriculture in Northeast

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 17:29

Climate change will not significantly impair animal agriculture in the Northeast region of the United States, according to a multidisciplinary team of researchers, who point out there are many variables in the future scenario they envision.

Livestock grazing harming giant panda habitat

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 09:54

One third of the giant panda habitat in China's Wanglang National Nature Reserve has been degraded and lost to livestock grazing, a new study finds. Livestock numbers in the park have increased ninefold in the last 15 years.

Durian industry could suffer without the endangered fruit bat

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 09:50

Scientists have discovered that Southeast Asia's endangered fruit bats -- commonly known as flying foxes -- play an important part in the pollination of the iconic and economically important durian tree.

What is on the menu for dragonflies

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 08:11

Researchers have discovered which species adult dragonflies and damselflies prey upon, as modern laboratory techniques have enabled the study of the insects' diet. In the study, prey DNA was extracted from the tiny dragonfly droppings and the researchers managed to identify dozens of prey species from the samples. The results shed light on dragonflies' position in natural food webs with an unprecedented specificity.

To breed or not to breed? Migratory female butterflies face a monsoonal dilemma

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 08:10

Female butterflies make smart investments, finds a new study.

Prioritized list of invasive alien species threatening the UK's environment

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 06:49

More species urgently need to be considered for inclusion on the EU’s ‘List of Invasive Alien Species of Union Concern’, stresses a new study.

An algorithm that explains how ants create and repair trail networks

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 06:40

Observing ants in the trees of a tropical forest, researchers recorded how, without a plan, the ants make and maintain their networks -- and how they repair the network when it is ruptured.

Monstrous crocodile fossil points to early rise of ancient reptiles

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 17:22

A newly identified prehistoric marine predator has shed light on the origins of the distant relatives of modern crocodiles.

Immature flies in Central Park subsist on duck droppings

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 13:12

Introducing Themira lohmanus, a fly like no other, and the most recently discovered species in the popular Manhattan urban oasis of Central Park. The immature insects subsist on duck droppings.

Animals that play with objects learn how to use them as tools

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 07:52

New Caledonian crows and kea parrots can learn about the usefulness of objects by playing with them -- similar to human baby behavior.

Genes that separate humans from fruit flies found

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 19:59

Genes which determine animal complexity -- or what makes humans so much more complex than a fruit fly or a sea urchin -- have been identified for the first time.

New study changes our view on flying insects

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 08:49

For the first time, researchers are able to prove that there is an optimal speed for certain insects when they fly. At this speed, they are the most efficient and consume the least amount of energy. Corresponding phenomena have previously been demonstrated in birds, but never among insects.

A stinging report: Climate change a major threat to bumble bees

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 06:33

New research is helping to explain the link between a changing global climate and a dramatic decline in bumble bee populations worldwide.

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