Flaco superfans' theory that NYC's celebrity owl was ill before his death will get tested out by zoologists
New York City’s celebrity owl Flaco died from a traumatic impact, zoologists confirmed a day after he reportedly flew into a building, with further testing planned to determine if the Eurasian eagle-owl may have been sick. What happened in Flaco’s final hours is top of mind for his fans across the…#newyorkcitys #flaco #eurasian #centralparkzoo #manhattan #upperwestside #westnilevirus #avianinfluenza (Source: Reuters: Health)
Source: Reuters: Health - February 25, 2024 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

Felicity Grainger obituary
My father ’s partner, Felicity Grainger, who has died aged 80, began her working life as a research scientist before moving into the world of academic libraries, eventually becoming head of the library services serving three major medical schools.Born in Bournemouth to Stuart Grainger, a bank manager, and Phyllis (nee Brett), after gaining a first-class honours degree in zoology in 1964 from Queen Mary College, London, Felicity received a doctorate in anatomy from University College London, after which she spent 10 years as a researcher in neuroscience in London and Cambridge.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Clare Singleton Tags: Libraries Hospitals Information University of Glasgow Medical research Source Type: news

I discovered a way to identify the millions of species on Earth after a lightbulb moment in the supermarket
I developed DNA barcoding in my back yard using a UV light and a white sheet to collect the moths of my childhood. I believe it could help discover all life on the planetAs a child, I used to roam the countryside collecting moths and butterflies on the edge of the Great Lakes in Canada. It was as idyllic as it sounds: by day, I would scour the fields and forests for butterflies. At night, I would leave a white sheet and UV light in my back yard, rising at 5am to inspect the harvest of moths.By the time I was an adult, I could identify about 700 butterfly and moth species by sight, deciphering the stripes, dots and colours ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 22, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Paul Hebert Tags: Wildlife Genetics Biology Environment Science Zoology Butterflies Insects Biodiversity Conservation Source Type: news

Young great apes tease and annoy their elders in playful behaviour – video
Footage of great apes has revealed that humans are not the only ones to endure seemingly endless bouts of teasing dished out by their young ones who appear intent on pushing their luck.Recordings of chimps, orangutans, bonobos and gorillas found the animals to be masters of the dubious art, embarking on an impressive range of playful and occasionally somewhat aggressive acts ranging from the cheeky and plain silly to the fabulously irritating.From 75 hours of footage taken at San Diego and Leipzig zoos, scientists documented 142 clear instances of great apes teasing their compadres, with most instigated by juveniles aged t...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 14, 2024 Category: Science Tags: Animals Zoology Science Source Type: news

At night, pollution keeps pollinating insects from smelling the flowers
Under the cover of darkness, countless moths and other insects furiously dart around woodlands and deserts, seeking nectar from night-blooming plants—and pollinating them in the process. But the scents the insects home in on have grown fainter. Nitrate radicals, a common pollutant, break them down before they can travel far, a research team reports today in Science . The team thinks the olfactory disruption goes as far back as the Industrial Revolution 200 years ago. The research, involving field studies, wind tunnel experiments, and the latest atmospheric models, has worrisome implications. For...
Source: ScienceNOW - February 8, 2024 Category: Science Source Type: news

When frogs can ’t croak to get a mate, they dance
SEATTLE— Among most male frogs and toads, croaking is a way to say, “Don’t mess with my gal.” But when rushing streams and waterfalls drown out these warnings, more than 40 species have come up with a different strategy: They stick their rear legs up and out , a bit like dancers doing the “ can-can ,” researchers reported here earlier this month at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. This “foot flagging” likely mimics the movements of a possible predator, giving potential intruders pause. “It would be like getting in a bar fight and bei...
Source: ScienceNOW - January 30, 2024 Category: Science Source Type: news

Scientists use robot dinosaur in effort to explain origins of birds ’ plumage
Model used by researchers in South Korea suggests early feathers may have helped creatures such as Caudipteryx to flush out preyThe problem with being an expert on dinosaur behaviour is that little can be inferred from the fossilised bones of beasts that died millions of years ago.For researchers in South Korea, however, the absence of any living creatures to observe was merely another challenge to overcome. Enter Robopteryx, a robot that resembles – if one squints and ignores the wheels – the prehistoric, peacock-sized and fan-tailed omnivore, Caudipteryx.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 25, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Dinosaurs Science Evolution Biology Zoology Birds World news Animals Wildlife Source Type: news

I discovered a tiny frog that lives its whole life inside one plant
Everyone told me there is no water on top of this Brazilian mountain, there won ’t be any frogs. Now I’ve dedicated my life to preserving this incredible speciesI remember the park rangers saying: “Why are you going up there? There is no water on the top, and you’re not going to find any frogs.” I said: “Well I’m going to check it out.”The Espinha ço mountain range in the east of Brazil is a very special place, and it’s mostly unknown. My house looks on to the mountain in Pico do Itambé state park, so I have my breakfast looking at it each morning. You’re surrounded by thunderstorms and strong winds, ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 25, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Bela Barata Tags: Endangered species Environment Conservation Wildlife Brazil Americas World news Animals Amphibians Zoology Biology Source Type: news

Zoologist Arik Kershenbaum: ‘We all want to know whether animals talk and what they’re saying’
The zoologist on observing animal communication in the wild, why dolphins give one another names, and the high likelihood that humans could converse with aliensDr Arik Kershenbaum is a zoologist at Cambridge University who specialises in animal communication, studying wolves, gibbons and dolphins to “understand more not just about their ecology and conservation, but also about the evolution of our own language”. His first book,The Zoologist ’s Guide to the Galaxy, which speculated on alien life, came out in 2020. His new book,Why Animals Talk: The New Science of Animal Communication, will be published on 25 January.W...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 21, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Killian Fox Tags: Zoology Animal welfare Animals Language Evolution Science Dolphins Conservation Source Type: news

Slimy hagfish help solve mysteries of genome duplication
With an eyeless face and slimy body that only a mother could love, hagfish fascinate many biologists. These eel-like, jawless vertebrates have now helped scientists solve a major evolutionary mystery: When did vertebrate genomes double in size and what happened as a result? It’s long been known that in the past, various plants and animals duplicated all their genes in one fell swoop. By sequencing hagfish genomes for the first time, two teams working independently have clarified when two of these genomic upheavals occurred in the early history of vertebrates. In addition to helping explain some of the hagfish’s u...
Source: ScienceNOW - January 17, 2024 Category: Science Source Type: news

Controversial research group linked to Wuhan discovers never-before-seen virus in bats in Thailand with 'almost' as much potential as Covid to infect humans
British zoologist Dr Peter Daszak, a central and controversial figure in the debate about Covid's origins, has revealed he's found a close relative of the virus living in bats found in Thai caves. (Source: the Mail online | Health)
Source: the Mail online | Health - January 10, 2024 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

House-proud Welsh mouse may be ‘tidying’ for fun, say scientists
The rodent was filmed repeatedly gathering objects and placing them in a tray in a shed in Builth WellsMice like to keep themselves clean, but does this diligence extend to their homes? Video footage of a mouse gathering up objects in a shed and placing them neatly inside a box, night after night, has been interpreted as evidence for “mousekeeping”. But there could be other explanations for this curious behaviour, experts say.The Builth Wells rodent, nicked named “Welsh Tidy Mouse” by the shed’s owner, Rodney Holbrook, was recorded gathering clothes pegs, corks, nuts and bolts and placing them in a tray on Holbro...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 8, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Linda Geddes Science correspondent Tags: Animals Wales Zoology Neuroscience UK news Source Type: news

Ukrainian scientists tally the grave environmental consequences of the Kakhovka Dam disaster
Kyiv and Odesa, Ukraine— In the predawn hours of 6 June 2023, a pair of explosions rocked the Kakhovka Dam, a 3-kilometer-long hydropower facility on the Dnipro River in southern Ukraine. Waking up that morning to the unfolding catastrophe, “I couldn’t believe it,” recalls Volodymyr Osadchyi, director of the Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute (UHMI). “I thought it had to be fake news.” But footage captured by a Ukrainian military drone showed water from one of Europe’s largest reservoirs gushing through a gaping breach in the dam. Over the next 4 days, 18 cubic kilometers of water surged downs...
Source: ScienceNOW - January 4, 2024 Category: Science Source Type: news

Calls for reptile star of Attenborough hit to be named after man who found it
Complaints amateur fossil hunter Philip Jacobs was ‘airbrushed’ from BBC film about pliosaur discoveryA campaign has been launched to have a reptile that starred in Sir David Attenborough ’s latest blockbuster documentary named after the amateur fossil hunter who found it, after complaints he was “airbrushed” from the BBC show.Attenborough and the Giant Sea Monster, which won widespread acclaim, has been criticised for only mentioning the finder of the pliosaur skull, Philip Jacobs, in the credits at the end of the programme.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 3, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Steven Morris Tags: David Attenborough BBC One Fossils Television & radio Dorset Science Zoology Media Culture UK news Source Type: news

Mass whale strandings: what is behind the recent spate of ‘suicidal’ urges?
Scientists are still puzzled by these tragic events, usually involving pilot whales. Vital clues, however, may lie in the tight-knit social ties that give each pod a unique cultureIn July this year, responders scrambled to Traigh Mhor beach on the Isle of Lewis, off the west coast of Scotland, to reach astranded pod of long-finned pilot whales. Most had already died. One was refloated and survived. The others were put down with a rifle.It was one of the UK ’s largest mass stranding events (MSE), and the team retrieved samples from the organs and tissues of every pod member. Though exhausting and upsetting, the work revea...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - December 12, 2023 Category: Science Authors: Tom Mustill Tags: Whales Cetaceans Environment Marine life Oceans Wildlife Biology Science Zoology Source Type: news