Worker Ants Store Fat To ShareIn a fascinating new study from the September/October 2006 issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, Daniel A. Hahn (University of Florida) explores the ability of ants to store excess fat and pass it to colony members through lipid-rich oral secretions or unfertilized eggs. For perennial organisms, such as ant colonies, investing heavily in nutrient stores when food availability is high is a potential bet-hedging strategy for dealing........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/26/2006 5:24:51 PM)
Chinese Tallow Tree For BuildingA preliminary study by USDA FS Southern Research Station (SRS) scientists and cooperators shows that Chinese tallow tree, a nonnative invasive plant in the southeastern United States, holds promise as a material for bio-based composite building panels. In a technical note in the June 2006 issue of Forest Products Journal, the scientists report positive results from tests on 3 different types of panels made from Chinese tallow tree.
Because........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 7/25/2006 8:09:44 PM)
Clam WormWhat type of habitat do clam worms prefer?
Despite their name, clam worms are common in a variety of benthic habitats, including sandflats, mudflats, shellfish beds, and algal mats. Some species can also be found living among barnacles and encrusting algae (fouling communities) on man-made structures, such as pilings.
Where can they be found in the coastal U.S.?
Clam worms are ubiquitous in distribution, common in marine........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/24/2006 11:08:32 PM)
Life on Earth More Than 3.8 Billion Years AgoTen years ago, an international team of scientists reported evidence, in a controversial cover story in the journal Nature, that life on Earth began more than 3.8 billion years ago-400 million years earlier than previously thought. A UCLA professor who was not part of that team and two of the original authors will report in late July that the evidence is stronger than ever.
Craig E. Manning, lead author of the new study and a professor of........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/24/2006 6:52:02 AM)
Bird House For Purple MartinsWatch the mosquito eating frenzy begin! Panels lift for easy cleaning & for removing old nests. Safety railing helps stop baby birds from falling. The 12 house nest is designed with excellent ventilation & is 20" x 19" x 18".
Easy snap fit assembly in less than 15 minutes. Pole not included. Limited lifetime warranty.........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/20/2006 6:41:52 PM)
Canada Geese In MassachusettsPerhaps no sound more clearly evokes an image of wildness than the honking of migrating geese. Canada geese have passed through Massachusetts on their journeys to and from their arctic breeding grounds for centuries. Previous to the 1930's, it was unusual for geese to nest here, yet today in Massachusetts you can find Canada geese any time of the year. In fact, in some areas, people feel that there are too a number of geese! Why the change?.
........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/18/2006 5:59:01 AM)
Need To Halt Destructive Fishing PracticeA long-awaited report by the United Nations shows the need for an international moratorium on bottom trawling and other destructive fishing practices that damage deep sea life, Conservation International (CI) said.
The U.N. Division for Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea (DOALOS) evaluated measures to protect the vulnerable deep oceans of the high seas - the 64 percent of ocean that lies beyond the national jurisdictions of any individual........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/17/2006 7:39:40 PM)
Free BambooWoodland Park Zoo's largest fundraiser of the year takes place July 14, and the Northwest Animal Rights Network is holding a large rally from 4:30 to 6:30, telling the zoo and its donors that Bamboo, a 39-year-old asian elephant, should be sent to The Elephant Sanctuary (TES) in Tennessee.
Help us free Bamboo from the confines of the zoo system, where she has endured tiny yards, periods of abuse and all-night chaining, and a very stressful........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/14/2006 5:22:26 AM)
How Spiders Invade New TerritoryHow do spiders fly to new territory with a single strand of thread? This question has long puzzled the scientists. Now researchers have developed a new model that explains how spiders are able to 'fly' or 'parachute' into new territory on single strands of silk - sometimes covering distances of hundreds of miles over open ocean. By casting a thread of silk into the breeze spiders are able to ride wind currents away from danger or to parachute........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/12/2006 11:03:26 PM)
Extinction Crisis For AmphibiansA strange new fungus disease that kills frogs and toads and every other species of amphibian is spreading around the globe and -- combined with pollution and overdevelopment -- is driving more and more of the creatures to extinction, a coalition of the world's top biologists warns.
At least one-third of the world's known amphibians are threatened by the combination of attacks, and up to 122 species have become extinct within the past 25........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/11/2006 10:30:00 PM)
Draw a forest bird and win a trip to Mombasa!Draw a painting of your preferred forest bird in your Maasai neighbourhood, write a song or poem and win the first train trip in your lifetime to Mombasa! A competition for 22 primary schools in the Masaai area in Kenya was held to involve and raise awareness amongst school children of the Loita-Purko Naimina Enkiyio Integrated Forest Conservation and Development Project.
Since the availability and frequency of birds are an indicator of........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/11/2006 8:28:18 PM)
Mouse Rides Frog in IndiaIt could be the most spirited interspecies escape since The Rescuers. But unlike the 1977 Disney movie, this situation is anything but fun.
Photographed Friday in the northern Indian city of Lucknow (India map), a mouse perches on a frog in waist-deep (for a frog, anyway) floodwaters-a small sign of the early arrival of annual summer monsoon rains.
So far, more than 30 people have died in India as a result of this year's monsoon-driven........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/11/2006 8:21:40 PM)
Key Migrant In Yellowstone EcosystemA mammal that embarks on the longest remaining overland migration in the continental United States could vanish from the ecosystem that includes Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, as per a research studyby the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and National Park Service. No, it's not the bison, the grizzly bear, or even the wolf, but the pronghorn antelope, which travels more than 400 miles between fawning grounds and wintering areas.........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/11/2006 7:11:05 AM)
Midgets And Giants In The Deep SeaHow is the deep sea like a desert island? It sounds like a child's riddle, but it's actually a serious scientific question with implications for both terrestrial and marine biology. Biologists have long observed that when animals colonize and evolve on isolated islands, small animals tend to become larger while large animals tend to become smaller. Recent research led by MBARI postdoctoral fellow Craig McClain suggests that a similar trend........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/11/2006 6:59:20 AM)
Corals Switch SkeletonLeopards may not be able to change their spots, but corals can change their skeletons, building them out of different minerals depending on the chemical composition of the seawater around them.
That's the startling conclusion drawn by a Johns Hopkins University marine geologist, writing in the recent issue of the journal Geology.
Postdoctoral fellow Justin Ries and his collaborators say this is the first known case of an animal altering........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/7/2006 9:20:45 PM)
Voluntary Closures Of High-seas Deepwater TrawlingIn a global first, four major fishing companies announced recently a voluntary halt to trawling in eleven deep-sea areas of the southern Indian Ocean. This will protect and conserve the bottom of the sea floor, or benthos, associated fish fauna and related biodiversity in one of the largest marine protected area enclosures ever.
"By setting aside an area almost equal to Australia's Great Barrier Reef National Park, these businesses are........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/7/2006 9:06:49 PM)
Stunning OctopodThis stunning octopod, Benthoctopus sp., seemed quite interested in ALVIN's port manipulator arm. Those inside the sub were surprised by the octopod's inquisitive behavior. Image courtesy of Bruce Strickrott, Expedition to the Deep Slope.........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/7/2006 6:53:04 PM)
In War-Torn Congo, Elephants Beat the OddsDespite a decade of civil war and rampant poaching, elephants and other large mammals are still hanging on in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Virunga National Park. In this World Heritage Site, a recent wildlife census by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) recorded an increase in several wildlife populations since the last count, in 2003. The results are largely due to........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/7/2006 7:26:11 AM)
Solvng Plant Growth Hormone EnigmaGardeners and farmers have used the plant hormone auxin for decades, but how plants produce and distribute auxin has been a long-standing mystery. Now scientists at the University of California, San Diego have found the solution, which has valuable applications in agriculture.
The study, reported in the July 1 issue of the journal Genes and Development, describes the discovery of a whole family of auxin genes, and shows that each gene is........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 7/4/2006 9:51:26 AM)
replacing the rotting sharkDamien Hirst is in talks with US hedge fund manager Steve Cohen to replace the shark in his iconic work, The physical impossibility of death in the mind of someone living, 1991.
The animal suspended in formaldehyde has deteriorated dramatically to the naked eye since it was first unveiled at the Saatchi Gallery in 1992 because of the way it was preserved by the artist. The solution which surrounds it is murky, the skin of the animal is........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/1/2006 8:47:32 AM)
Evolutionary Origin Of Fins, LimbsGainesville, Fla. -- Performance on the dance floor may not always show it, but people are rarely born with two left feet. We have genes that instruct our arms and legs to grow in the right places and point in the right directions. They also provide for the spaces between our fingers and toes and every other formative detail of our limbs.
Evolutionarily speaking, the genetic instructions used to construct and position our limbs were being........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/26/2006 5:13:33 PM)
Global Coral Reef AssessmentA first-of-its-kind survey of how well the world's coral reefs are being protected was made possible by a unique collection of NASA views from space.
A team of international researchers using NASA satellite images compiled an updated inventory of all "marine protected areas" containing coral reefs and compared it with the most detailed and comprehensive satellite inventory of coral reefs. The global satellite mapping effort is called the........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/26/2006 5:03:04 PM)
Vanishing SpeciesSee this site with excellent paintings on vanishing species!
The artist writes:
In my recent work, I explore the dimensionality - emotional, perceptive and symbolic - of vanishing species and traditions. Wildlife and people are reverently depicted, using maps in unique ways to convey the importance of place. These paintings signal the fundamental dichotomy of the beauty and value of wildlife and the longing for resolution of that........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/24/2006 11:18:41 PM)
Secret Sisterhood With SpidersVelvet worms, living fossils that look like a child's rendition of caterpillars, are more closely correlation to spiders and scorpions than to butterflies, as per new research.
Known to researchers as onychophorans, velvet worms have been believed to be similar to the ancestors of modern arthropods, the jointed-legged creatures that includes insects.
Fossils that look very much like today's onychophorans can be found in rocks 540 million........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/24/2006 10:58:32 PM)
Yeast In SpaceFar above the heads of Earthlings, arrays of single-cell creatures are circling Earth in nanostructures.
The sample devices are riding on the International Space Station (courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico, NASA and US Air Force) to test whether nanostructures whose formations were directed by yeast and other single cells can create more secure homes for their occupants - even in the vacuum and........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 7/22/2006 11:16:03 PM)
Coffee, Black, Decaf And A Little LlamaThree llamas and two camels have provided a way to tell whether your waiter swapped regular coffee for decaf in your after-dinner cup. Using the heat-resistant antibodies these camels and llamas make, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are developing a quick test for caffeine that works even with hot beverages.
The researchers plan to adapt their technology to a simple test ("dipstick") that can be used to........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/18/2006 9:20:43 PM)
Hunting Can Increase Wildlife Disease Epidemicsnew study by University of Georgia scientists shows that the common practice of killing wild animals to control disease outbreaks can actually make matters worse in some cases.
As per a research findings published the August 7 edition of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, post-doctoral researcher Marc Choisy and Pejman Rohani, associate professor of ecology and UGA Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/17/2006 5:05:25 AM)
Bird Brains Shrink From ContaminantsThe regions in robins' brains responsible for singing and mating are shrinking when exposed to high levels of DDT, says new University of Alberta research--the first proof that natural exposure to a contaminant damages the brain of a wild animal.
"These residues have been persisting since the late 1960s--that's what is really disturbing," said Dr. Andrew Iwaniuk, a post-doctoral research fellow in the U of A's Department of Psychology. "It........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/13/2006 9:11:23 PM)
Genetic Origin Of California Wild RadishResearchers studying the genetic makeup of wild radishes in California have determined that the California wild radish is descended from hybrids between two species: cultivated radish and the weed, jointed charlock. The hybrid-derived plants apparently have completely eliminated the ancestral species from California, the scientists report.
The discovery is significant because the parental species were replaced by a single, stable hybrid........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 7/13/2006 8:53:09 PM)
Parasites Form The Thread Of Food WebsParasites may be much more important than you think and they might be serving a purpose in the food chain. Researchers have recently found that surprisingly parasites are very important in food webs. The findings of these scientists are reported in the recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The results are from a study performed in Santa Barbara County at the Carpinteria Salt Marsh. This is one of several........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/12/2006 8:54:18 PM)
Preserving a Wild WestWhen Americans think of the Wild West, we often conjure cowboys and ranchlands, grizzly bears and mountains, or a great plain where the buffalo once roamed. But Dr. Joel Berger, senior scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society's North America Program, thinks of pronghorn. As the fastest land animal in North America, these lithe antelope migrate annually across tremendous distances, at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour.
Given the........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/11/2006 8:45:58 PM)
Giant Catfish ProtectedIn honor of the King of Thailand's 60th year on the throne, fishers in northern Thailand have promised to stop catching the critically endangered Mekong giant catfish.
The largest freshwater fish in the world, the giant catfish can grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) long and weigh 650 pounds (300 kilograms).
It is found only in the Mekong River system, which runs through China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
More than 60 fishers........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/11/2006 8:16:37 PM)
Science Captures The Essence Of FruitNew research designed to build scientific understanding of fruit genes could revolutionise the way foods, cosmetics and perfumes are created.
Scientists at New Zealand-based life sciences company HortResearch say they have fine-tuned the science of gene discovery to such a degree that they can now accurately determine which genes create the individual flavours and fragrances found in fruits and flowers.
Combined with traditional........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 7/11/2006 7:18:43 AM)
Soniferous ToadfishSitting in a boat on a still day, the ocean seems gentle, calm and most of all silent. Even the song of a humpback whale, a sound that when produced by an individual off the coast of Newfoundland can be heard by another a couple of thousand miles away in Bermuda, goes unnoticed above the waves. And yes, most marine animals, be they jellyfish, clams or sharks, make no sounds at all.
But there are some fish whose vocal abilities, when heard........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/9/2006 8:09:22 PM)
Moose In MassachusettsA number of people are surprised to learn there are moose(Alces alces)living in Massachusetts. Moose have been absent from the state from the early 1700's. As recently as the 1970's a moose sighting was considered a rare sight. Why are moose here now? As early settlers cleared the extensive forests in the state for pastures and farming, moose habitat disappeared and so did the moose. This was a trend through much of New England. Habitat for........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/9/2006 12:20:23 AM)
West African Black Rhino Might Be ExtinctWhile most subspecies of Africa's two rhinos, the black and white rhino, continue on the road to recovery, this is not true for two of Africa's most threatened rhino subspecies: the West African black (Diceros bicornis longipes) and the northern white (Ceratotherium simum cottoni). The West African black rhino is now feared extinct and numbers of the northern white rhino have reached an all time low in the wild. In both cases, poaching for........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/7/2006 9:15:02 PM)
Big Mission for theTiny ToadThe 250 penny-size Kihansi spray toads at the Bronx Zoo's Reptile House are a demanding lot. "For these frogs we have to find the right balance of temperature, light, and humidity," keeper Alyssa Borek says. "With fourteen timed intervals of misting, we go through forty-six gallons of water a day." In a series of terrariums, spigots spray the tiny yellow toads that recline on tree branches, chirping away in an endless froggy chorus.
It........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/7/2006 7:28:51 AM)
Tigers Get A Business PlanThe Wildlife Conservation Society has launched an ambitious new program that calls for a 50 percent increase in tiger numbers in key areas over the next decade, as per an article in this week's journal Nature. The new initiative, called "Tigers Forever," blends a business model with hard science, and has already attracted the attention of venture capitalists who have pledged an initial $10 million to support it.
The program involves a dozen........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/7/2006 7:22:53 AM)
The Birds and the B's European StarlingThe European starling - long known as a virtuoso songbird and as an expert mimic too - may also soon gain a reputation as something of a "grammar-marm."
This three-ounce bird, new research shows, can learn syntactic patterns formerly believed to be the exclusive province of humans.
Led by Timothy Q. Gentner, assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, San Diego, a study reported in the April 27 issue of Nature........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/4/2006 9:58:20 AM)
Don't Swat at YodaEver wonder what it would be like to see Yoda fly by your head or hear Chewbacca buzz instead of roar? Now you can find out thanks to entomologists Arnold Menke and David Vincent. These bug experts named new wasp species discovered in 1983 after their favorite Star Wars characters: Polemistus chewbacca, Polemistus vaderi, and Polemistus yoda.
"For a recent paper we chose to review the New World species of the poorly-known wasp genus........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/1/2006 9:17:59 AM)