Feline uncertain? Cats do give clues if the fur ’s about to fly, study finds
Study of 105 pairs of interacting felines decodes the cat behaviour that puzzles humans – and flags up the unsubtle battle cry of claws and yowlingWhen cats get together it can be difficult to tell rough and tumble play from a full-blown scrap. Now researchers say they have decoded feline behaviour to help owners spot when the fur might be about to fly.DrNoema Gajdo š‑Kmecová, first author of the research from the University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy, in Ko šice, Slovakia – a cat owner herself – said understanding feline interactions could be difficult.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 26, 2023 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Science correspondent Tags: Animal behaviour Zoology Cats Pets Animals Science Slovakia Europe World news Source Type: news

Plucky idea: the feather library providing a visual A to Z of India ’s birds
Finding a trapped silverbill during lockdown inspired Esha Munshi to create an invaluable record of species in an uncertain worldPhotographs supplied by the Feather LibraryEsha Munshi, an architect based in Ahmedabad, has “breathed birds” as far back as she can remember. She has travelled all over India on birding trips and has, she says, spotted 1,060 of the 1,400 bird species in the country.But it was at home, during the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, that she saw an Indian silverbill caught in the protective netting on her balcony, attracting the attention of her cat. Although the bird escaped, some of its feathers were...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 24, 2023 Category: Science Authors: Kalpana Sunder Tags: Birds India Wildlife Environment South and central Asia World news Zoology Biology Science Source Type: news

Human gene linked to bigger brains was born from seemingly useless DNA
Biologists have long known that new protein-coding genes can arise through the duplication and modification of existing ones. But some protein genes can also arise from stretches of the genome that once encoded aimless strands of RNA instead. How new protein genes surface this way has been a mystery, however. Now, a study identifies mutations that transform seemingly useless DNA sequences into potential genes by endowing their encoded RNA with the skill to escape the cell nucleus—a critical step toward becoming translated into a protein. The study’s authors highlight 74 human protein genes that appear to have ari...
Source: ScienceNOW - January 5, 2023 Category: Science Source Type: news

David Lewis obituary
My friend David Lewis, who has died aged 85, was an academic botanist and pro-vice chancellor at the University of Sheffield.David ’s scientific speciality was the symbiotic relationship between mycorrhizal fungi and their plant partners. Away from university administrative duties, he also served as editor (1970-1983) and then executive editor (1983-1995) of the New Phytologist, elevating its status from a national to an inte rnational botanical journal. He was a regular contributor to the publication himself; his last paper appeared just two years before he died.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 5, 2023 Category: Science Authors: Tim Birkhead Tags: University of Sheffield Academic experts Academics Zoology Biology Source Type: news

Insects and us: a mind-blowing 20 quadrillion ants and what they mean for the planet
There are 2.5m of these tiny creatures for each human and they play a big role as ecosystem engineers, as well as providing insights on everything from the climate to ageingAnts can be better than pesticides for growing healthy crops, study findsRead more in our series Biodiversity: what happened next?To most of us, they are small, uninteresting and sometimes annoying, but 2022 revealed just how ubiquitous ants are and how indispensable they are to the planet. Scientists revealed in September thatthere are an estimated 20 quadrillion (or 20 million billion) ants globally – that’s 2.5 million for every person on the pla...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - December 28, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Anna Turns Tags: Insects Environment Animals Wildlife Biodiversity Zoology Science Source Type: news

Scientists claim first discovery of mammal eaten by dinosaur
Paleontologists say they have identified foot of mouse-sized mammal in fossilised rib cage of predatory microraptorIt may have been a pressing fear for the fictional characters in the 1993 film Jurassic Park, but scientists believe they have uncovered the first known incident of a mammal being eaten by a dinosaur.However, the fossils from 120m years ago are not of a human ancestor, but instead the foot of an animal inside the ribcage of a small feathered dinosaur, known as a microraptor.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - December 21, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Harry Taylor Tags: Dinosaurs Fossils Science Zoology Evolution Source Type: news

Teeth suggest ancestors of diplodocus may have eaten meat
Analysis shows ‘earliest members of two main veggie dinosaur lineages were not exclusively herbivorous’With its huge feet, long neck and penchant for plants, the diplodocus may be one of history ’s biggest vegetarians. But research has revealed the sauropod’s ancestors may have had a taste for flesh.Scientists studying the teeth of some of the earliest dinosaurs to roam the Earth say they have uncovered telltale clues as to what they ate.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - December 16, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Science correspondent Tags: Dinosaurs Palaeontology Fossils Science Evolution Zoology Biology Source Type: news

Snake tooth found lodged in man's finger after a year of " unmerciful pain "
Snake expert Collie Ennis made a shocking discovery after removing what he thought was a splinter from his finger. After months of painful swelling and infections, Ennis finally found the culprit: a small snake's tooth that had been lodged in his finger for a year. "It started just before the…#trinitycollegedublin #zoology #twitter #collieennis #mexican #ennis #memnoch #herpetologicalsocietyofireland (Source: Reuters: Health)
Source: Reuters: Health - December 8, 2022 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

Hero city: Crippled by Russian attacks, Ukraine's science hotbed refuses to give up
KHARKIV, UKRAINE— In an SUV pockmarked by shrapnel, Mykola Shulga wends his way along the Kharkiv highway, dodging concrete barriers and antitank obstacles scattered along the road like giant toy jacks. On the northern outskirts of his broken city, he reaches the ruins of Pyatykhatky, an academic enclave set amid oak and maple groves. “This was one of the most beautiful areas of Kharkiv,” he says, on a brisk October day. Before the war, it was home to many researchers at Ukraine’s largest science center, the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology (KIPT). But months of shelling left some of the district’...
Source: ScienceNOW - December 7, 2022 Category: Science Source Type: news

Discovered in the deep: the extraordinary sawshark with a weapon-like snout
With the help of fishers in Madagascar and Tanzania, scientists discovered two new species of rare sixgill sawsharksSwimming through the ocean are sharks that look as if they have a hedge trimmer fixed to their heads and a dangling moustache part way along it. These are sawsharks and they use their formidable headgear to slash through shoals of fish. The moustache is a sensory device that helps the sharks detect prey.“Sawsharks are something extraordinary,” says Simon Weigmann from the Elasmobranch Research Laboratory in Hamburg, Germany.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - December 7, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Helen Scales Tags: Sharks Oceans Marine life Wildlife Environment Animals Biology Zoology Science Source Type: news

Discovered in the deep: is this the world ’s longest animal?
A submersible off the coast of Western Australia chanced upon an 45-metre-long deep-sea siphonophore arranged in a feeding spiral, trailing its deadly tentaclesIn 2020, about 600 metres (2,000ft) down in an underwater canyon off the coast of Western Australia, scientists encountered along gelatinous creature suspended in a giant spiral. “It was like a rope on the horizon. You couldn’t miss it,” says Nerida Wilson from the Western Australian Museum. “It was so huge.”It was a deep-sea siphonophore, a relative of the portuguese man o ’ war, or blue bottles, that bob like party balloons on the sea surface, trailing...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - November 30, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Helen Scales Tags: Marine life Oceans Environment Wildlife Australia news Zoology Biology Science Source Type: news

‘The sheer scale is extraordinary’: meet the titanosaur that dwarfs Dippy the diplodocus
One of the largest creatures to have walked the Earth is to become the Natural History Museum ’s new star attractionIt will be one of the largest exhibits to grace a British museum. In spring, the Natural History Museum in London will display the skeleton of a titanosaur, a creature so vast it will have to be shoehorned into the 9-metre-high Waterhouse gallery.One of the most massive creatures ever to have walked on Earth,Patagotitan mayorumwas a 57-tonne behemoth that would have shaken the ground as it stomped over homelands which now form modern Patagonia. Its skeleton is 37 metres long, and 5 metres in height – sign...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - November 26, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Robin McKie Science Editor Tags: Dinosaurs Natural History Museum Science Culture Museums Argentina UK news Americas Evolution Fossils World news Biology Zoology Source Type: news

Discovered in the deep: the squid that makes a decoy out of its own skin
Self-camouflage is just one of the tricks of Brenner ’s bobtail squid, a newly found species that is also helping research into microbes in the human gutBobtail squid are the second smallest group of squid in the world, at between 1cm and 5cm from neck to rounded, stumpy butt, and they only come out at night.In 2019, scientists named a new species, Brenner ’s bobtail squid (Euprymna brenneri), after finding them while night-diving off the Japanese island of Okinawa. “When you shine a light on them, they freeze,” says Oleg Simakov from the University of Vienna, one member of the squid-finding team. This makes them e...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - November 23, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Helen Scales Tags: Marine life Oceans Environment Wildlife Biology Science Zoology Source Type: news

Christie ’s cancels T rex skeleton auction after doubts raised
Sale of 1,400kg skeleton withdrawn after New York Times reported claims of similarities to T rex sold in 2020Christie ’s has called off the auction of a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton days before it was due to go under the hammer in Hong Kong after a US fossil company raised doubts about parts of the skeleton named “Shen”.Christie ’s said in a statement that Shen – a 1,400kg (3,100lb) skeleton – had been withdrawn from its autumn auctions week, which starts in Hong Kong on Friday.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - November 21, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Agence France-Presse in Hong Kong Tags: Dinosaurs Fossils Science World news Hong Kong Archaeology US news Palaeontology Asia Pacific Zoology Source Type: news

Tyrannosaurus rex skull expected to fetch £13m at US auction
Fossil named Maximus unearthed in South Dakota rated one of most complete T rex skulls ever foundA Tyrannosaurus rex skull discovered in South Dakota is expected to sell for between $15 and $20m ( £13m-£17m) when it is auctioned next month in New York, Sotheby’s has said.The 76m-year-old skull, nicknamed Maximus, is being sold by an anonymous seller at a live auction on 9 December.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - November 8, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Rupert Neate Tags: Dinosaurs Fossils Science US news Zoology World news Source Type: news