Biology


Dinosaurs Dinosaur Fossils South America Species Years
- 66 million years ago, the last dinosaurs vanished from Earth. We're still trying to understand why. New fossils of abelisaurs —  distant relatives of the tyrannosaurs —  from north Africa suggest that African dinosaurs remained diverse up to the very end. And that suggests their demise came suddenly, with  the impact of a giant asteroid . The causes of the mass extinction have been debated for two centuries.  Georges Cuvier , the father of palaeontology, ... [Read More]


Metabolism Host Research Bacteria Health Gut
- Mounting evidence suggests that the secret to understanding human health and combating metabolic diseases lies hidden within the microscopic world of our gut bacteria. Recent research by scientists at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) and Cornell University reveals that a specific fatty acid produced by gut bacteria directly influences fat metabolism in animals. This research is pivotal as it sheds light on the complex interplay between the diet, gut microbiota , and host metabolic health, ... [Read More]


Sharks Names Babcock Orton Museum Years American Museum
- Until recently, Orthacanthus gracilis could have been considered the "John Smith" of prehistoric shark names, given how common it was. Three different species of sharks from the late Paleozoic Era—about 310 million years ago—were mistakenly given that same name, causing lots of grief to paleontologists who studied and wrote about the sharks through the years and had trouble keeping them apart. But now Loren Babcock, a professor of earth sciences at The Ohio State University, has ... [Read More]

Source: phys.org

Toads Hosts Parasites Invasion Host Front
- When the first cane toads were brought from South America to Queensland in 1935, many of the parasites that troubled them were left behind. But deep inside the lungs of at least one of those pioneer toads lurked small nematode lungworms. Almost a century later, the toads are evolving and spreading across the Australian continent. In new research published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, we show that the lungworms too are evolving: for reasons we do not yet understand, worms taken from ... [Read More]

Source: rawstory.com

Pollinators Plant Pollination Plants Relationships Pollinator
- Within the realm of plants known for their deceptive pollination strategies, a team from Kobe University has discovered a species that transforms its flowers into a nurturing space rather than a fatal trap.  This finding challenges the traditional dichotomy of mutualism and parasitism, illuminating the intricate evolution of plant-pollinator relationships. A fatal trap Most plants engage animals for pollination by offering them rewards. However, the Arisaema genus stands out for its unique ... [Read More]

Source: earth.com

Roper River Shark Speartooth Rivers Yugul Mangi Rangers Species
- Charles Darwin University (CDU) researchers and First Nations Yugul Mangi Rangers have discovered a new population of a rare and threatened shark species in the Northern Territory's Roper River. The Speartooth Shark or Glyphis glyphis is a rare species of river shark that inhabits only a small number of tropical rivers and adjacent marine waters in northern Australia and southern Papua New Guinea. The species is currently listed as Critically Endangered under Australia's national environmental ... [Read More]

Source: phys.org

Sword Bills Hummingbirds Birds Species Sword Bills
- This bird evolved a sword...to avoid a fight. Sometimes nature surprises us with extraordinary products of evolution. One prime example is the extraordinary sword-billed hummingbird ( Ensifera ensifera ). These relatively small birds have carved a niche in the animal kingdom with their extraordinary morphology. They boast one of the world's longest bills, setting them apart in a world of aerial acrobats. Surprisingly, despite the namesake 'swords,' these hummingbirds do not employ their bills ... [Read More]


Species Mixed Species Bottlenose Dolphins Groups Study Dr Jonathan Syme
- In-depth research of two of Australia's dolphin species shows how their behaviors have evolved to co-exist and form mixed-species groups in northwestern Australia. In the first extensive study of its kind, published in the journal Animal Behaviour , Flinders University researchers shed light on the intricate mechanisms facilitating the co-existence of two species of dolphins, the Australian humpback dolphin (Sousa sahulensis) and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus). Using ... [Read More]

Source: phys.org

Bears Brown Bear Brown Bears Takahiro Segawa Populations Range
- The brown bear is one of the largest terrestrial carnivores alive today, with a broad distribution throughout the Northern Hemisphere. In contrast to numerous other large carnivores that faced extinction by the end of the last Ice Age (cave bear, sabretoothed cats, cave hyena), the brown bear is one of the lucky survivors that made it through to the present. The question has puzzled biologists for close to a century – how was this so? Brown bears are ecologically flexible and have a broad ... [Read More]


Lungs Gills Fish Oxygen Land Animals
- Roughly 375 million years ago, a funny-looking fish named Tiktaalik ventured ashore using novel adaptations: lobed fins to propel itself to "walk" on land and air sacs in its throat to breathe oxygen from the air. Tiktaalik , which also had gills, is the earliest known common ancestor of tetrapods, or four-legged animals. Over hundreds of millions of years, tetrapods evolved into countless species, including Homo sapiens . So, if humans evolved from fish, why don't we have gills? Part of the ... [Read More]


Species Invasive Species Plants Damage Ecosystem Native Species
- Asian carp in the Mississippi River. Kudzu vine in Fiji. Burmese pythons in Florida. Lionfish in the Caribbean. Water hyacinth in China. Cane toads in Australia. All of these plants and animals are Invasive Species that cause catastrophic damage in their new ecosystems. In many cases, humans are responsible for their spread and reacting to their impact. According to the United States Forest Service , an invasive species is both non-native to the ecosystem and capable of causing ... [Read More]

Source: earth.com

Frog Mushroom Fungus Frogs Amphibian Chytrid Amphibian
- A frog has been spotted in the wilds of Karnataka in southwest India sporting a truly sassy accoutrement. In what has to be the most goblin thing that ever goblined, scientists have recorded for the first time a living amphibian from whose skin had sprouted a mushroom. The frog? A Rao's Intermediate Golden-backed Frog ( Hylarana intermedia ). The mushroom? A Bonnet Mushroom (of the genus Mycena ). The pairing? Truly iconic. In a relatively short paper published in the journal Reptiles & ... [Read More]


Amphibians Species Change Toad Habitat Fungus
- Amphibians are a unique group of animals that live on every continent except for Antarctica. Loads of amphibian species are threatened by extinction, and many are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Many amphibians are incredibly fragile, partly due to their unique way of breathing . Minute changes in their environment can lead to a species becoming endangered, or worse. The rate of extinction of amphibians is higher than almost every other group ... [Read More]

Source: earth.com

Fossil Evelyn Kustatscher Tissues Specimen Preservation Dr Rossi
- Paleontological analysis shows renowned fossil thought to show soft tissue preservation is in fact just paint. A 280-million-year-old fossil that has baffled researchers for decades has been shown to be, in part, a forgery following new examination of the remnants. The discovery has led the team led by Dr. Valentina Rossi of University College Cork, Ireland (UCC) to urge caution in how the fossil is used in future research. Tridentinosaurus antiquus was discovered in the Italian Alps in 1931 ... [Read More]


Dr Olah Species Extinction Risk Extinction Risk Study
- Australian birds that live on islands are among the species most at risk of extinction, a first-of-its-kind study from The Australian National University (ANU) has shown. The study is published in the journal Emu—Austral Ornithology . Australia has more than 750 native bird species. But lead-author Dr. George Olah said many of them are facing an uncertain future. "The numbers are quite sad. By 2020 eight species were already considered extinct, and 10% were threatened with extinction," he ... [Read More]

Source: phys.org

Lions Lion Population Conservation Populations Areas
- A hundred years ago over 200,000 lions roamed Africa and Asia. Today, that number is about 20,000. That's a 90% reduction in the population of one of the most charismatic creatures in the world. So, is the lion endangered? It seems like it should be easy to say whether a species is endangered or not. The poor vaquita in the Sea of Cortez is an unarguably, critically endangered animal. At last count, scientists think there are fewer than 19 individuals. Lions, however, are more complicated. They ... [Read More]

Source: earth.com