The Cape Parrot – a new species

Genetic analysis of the Cape parrot, currently considered a Poicephalus robustus sub-species, shows that it is genetically distinct from other P. robustus subspecies and should be elevated to the species level. The researchers believe this may allow for better planning and implementation of conservation strategies for the Cape Parrot. The researchers genotyped 138 specimens from […]

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 […]

The secrets of the Serengeti

Over 300,000 photographs of wild animals in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania have been cataloged and should provide data for future ecological research and educational projects. The photographs were of 40 separate species including lions, zebras, honey badgers and the rare zorilla and aardwolf. Between June 2010 and May 2013  225 camera traps gathered pictures over […]

Adoption in Eastern Grey Kangaroos: A Consequence of Misdirected Care?

For the first time, researchers have observed wild kangaroos adopting young kangaroos. In a six-year study of eastern grey kangaroos in Australia, 11 of 326 juveniles were adopted and four of them involved ‘switches’ between mothers. In these switches a mother adopted a juvenile while simultaneously abandoning her own, or a previously adopted, offspring. The […]

Physicians and veterinarians should collaborate to make pet owners healthier

    A group of physicians is recommending certain precautions and greater collaboration between veterinarians and physicians to reduce the risk of diseases associated with owning a pet. Pets are a potential source for more than 70 human diseases yet the researchers who reviewed existing studies found that physicians generally fail to regularly discuss the […]

Why coyotes move to the city

Sick coyotes are more likely to seek easily accessible food sources such as garbage in developed areas according to a new study. Across North American cities reports of coyote-human problems have increased, and biologists are trying to understand why. The authors used GPS collars to follow 19 coyotes in the Edmonton area. Half of the […]

Unique woodpecker species where male travels more during winter migration

Female northern flickers, a woodpecker species who breeds during summer all across Canada, spends its winter farther north on average than males, according to a new study. Sex differences in migration distances are well known, but this is the first time researchers observed female birds that travel less distance than males. The authors believe this […]

Birds watch where they’re going

Flying birds rely on movements in the surrounding environment to control their position in space, a new study has found. The authors filmed hummingbirds hovering in front of a projection screen and examined the birds’ response to moving bars and spiral patterns compared to static images. The researchers found flying birds are sensitive to movements […]

Fruit bats echolocate with wing clicks

Researchers have shown that Old World fruit bats – long thought to be non-echolocating species – use sound to help them navigate in the dark. Experiments showed that the fruit bats were making the noises not with their larynxes, but with their wing flaps. Although this form of echolocation is not as sophisticated as in […]

Resolving a mastodon mystery in the Yukon

A re-examination of mastodon fossils from Alaska and the Yukon indicates that they are much older than previously thought. Previous studies dated the fossils to the last ice age, about 18,000 years ago. However, at that time the area was largely grassland, and mastodons were forest-dwelling animals. The new study used modern radiocarbon dating methods […]

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