What we can learn from jellyfish

Jellyfish and lamprey eels have some of the lowest energy costs for swimming of any animal, and now scientists have figured out how they do it. Fish, humans, and boats move forward by propelling water backwards thereby generating thrust. Jellyfish and eels however are able to generate low pressure regions that help pull them through the […]

Farming fungus: A new bee-haviour

An accident in the lab has lead to the discovery that a specific species of bee, native to Brazil, farms fungus for their larvae to eat. This finding raises concerns about the use of fungicides in agriculture. Researchers made the discovery while attempting to breed queen bees, but found white fungus growing out of control, […]

Unlocking the secrets of electric eels

Videos of the electric eels in the experiment are available here, and here. (Video credit: Kenneth Catania) Electric eels use their high-voltage discharge not only to stun their prey, but to also to track it before attacking, according to new research. The eels are able to track prey in this manner without the use of […]

You catch more flies with a frog’s tongue

Frogs capture their prey with the flick of a sticky tongue, and now new research is showing just how the tongue can be as sticky as adhesive tape. Now, by filming frog tongues at high-speed, researchers have captured, for the first time, how the tongue manages to immediately adhere to different surfaces. The video showed […]

How Sperm whales speak

Sperm whales learn different ‘dialects’ of their ‘click’ sounds through cultural learning, a method of learning found in both Orcas and humans, say researchers. This reinforces the idea that the same processes responsible for the formation of human cultures can operate in animal societies. Sperm whales live in clans – groups of families that can […]

Eastern Golden Eagle populations and environmental change

Using GPS trackers and studying feather samples from 42 Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) researchers found that they exhibit migratory connectivity, as individuals from the same breeding population migrate to the same wintering area. This means that subpopulations of the Golden Eagle are more vulnerable to environmental changes than currently expected. The authors found that individual […]

Filming the brain activity of a fly

Using imaging technology together with technology for detecting neuronal activity from specific groups of cells, a team of researchers has been able to “film” the activity of the entire central nervous system of a developing fly, Drosophila melanogaster. This type of methodology is expected to help advance the understanding of the neuronal networks that dictate […]

Black bears scared by drones

  Black bears are scared by drones flying overhead, even though they do not appear startled to observers. Researchers flew a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over wild American black bears outfitted with heart rate monitoring equipment and GPS trackers. They found that, although the bears appeared calm outwardly, their heart rate increased suddenly, jumping […]

Ants too have their guides

  It takes a lot of coordination for a group to carry a large load together. It’s a rare ability in the animal world, but one shared by ants and humans. Like humans, longhorn crazy ants (Paratrechina longicornis) use individuals for steering the direction of the group. This collective movement appears to arise by the […]

The secrets of stink bugs: A new chemical compound and selective egg colouration

Stink bugs, Podisus maculiventris, are able to change the colour of the eggs they lay to better protect them from UV radiation, according to new findings. The researchers expected the colour variation to come from differing levels of melanin, however they found a new compound responsible for the pigmentation. While stink bugs are the first […]

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