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Scientists discover why elusive aye-aye developed such unusual features
A new study has, for the first time, measured the extent to which the endangered aye-aye has evolved similar features to squirrels, despite being more closely related to monkeys, chimps, and humans. (2018-07-31)

Northern Ireland's recovering pine marten population benefits red squirrels
The recovery of pine marten in Ireland and Britain is reversing native red squirrel replacement by invasive grey squirrels, according to new research presented at the British Ecological Society's annual meeting in Belfast today. (2019-12-12)

Hibernating squirrels and hamsters evolved to feel less cold
The ground squirrel and the Syrian hamster, two rodents that hibernate in the winter, do not feel cold in the same way as non-hibernators, such as rats or mice. Yale researchers have discovered that hibernating rodents evolved cold-sensing neurons with diminished ability to detect temperatures below 20 degrees Celsius. The work appears Dec. 19 in the journal Cell Reports. (2017-12-19)

Squirrels have long memory for problem solving
Squirrels can remember problem-solving techniques for long periods and can apply them to new situations, researchers have discovered. (2017-07-13)

Measuring the impact of a changing climate on threatened Yellowstone grizzly bears
A new analysis of Yellowstone grizzly bear diets reveals that grizzlies in the region continue to feed upon the products of an endangered tree species currently declining at the hands of climate change. Such changes are forcing some bears to look for more varied food sources. The researchers say the results call for increased monitoring efforts in the region. (2017-05-11)

Natural selection plays major role in an organism's capacity to evolve and adapt
It's widely assumed within the evolutionary biology field that weak selection provides an advantage to an organism's ability to evolve. But new research, published in the journal Science, may offer the first experimental proof that strong selection pressure enhances an organism's evolvability, by boosting robustness. (2020-12-03)

Think Pink: Texas A&M student aids in discovery of fluorescent pink flying squirrel
Texas A&M graduate student aids in the discovery of flying squirrels fluorescing pink in UV light. (2019-02-04)

Charismatic invasive species have an easier time settling into new habitats
An international study, in which the University of Cordoba participated, assessed the influence of charisma in the handling of invasive species and concluded that the perception people have of them can hinder our control over these species and condition their spread (2020-04-21)

Mammals that hibernate or burrow less likely to go extinct
According to a new study published in the American Naturalist, mammals that hibernate or that hide in burrows are less likely to turn up on an endangered species list. The study's authors believe that the ability of such (2009-01-28)

Varmint hunters' ammo selection influences lead exposure in avian scavengers
Varmint hunters' choice of ammunition plays a role in the amount of lead that scavengers such as golden eagles could ingest, a new study shows, and offers a way to minimize the lead exposure to wildlife. (2016-12-29)

Could Squirrel trade have contributed to England's medieval leprosy outbreak?
Genetic analysis of a pre-Norman skull unearthed in a garden in Suffolk has added to a growing body of evidence that East Anglia may have been the epicentre of an epidemic of leprosy that spread through medieval England. The authors of the new study suggest that an explanation for the prevalence of leprosy in medieval East Anglia may possibly be found in the sustained Scandinavian trade in squirrel fur -- an animal known to carry the disease. (2017-10-25)

Pine martens like to have neighbors -- but not too near
Pine martens need neighbors but like to keep their distance, according to new research. (2020-05-15)

Protecting mainland Europe from an invasion of grey squirrels
The first genotyping of grey squirrels sampled from Italy and the UK shows a direct link between their genetic diversity and their ability to invade new environments. (2014-06-05)

Researchers discover link between stress and unhealthy microbiomes
Red squirrels living in a low-stress environment harbor healthier communities of micro-organisms, a result that might hold implications for human health, according to a new University of Guelph-led study. (2016-01-06)

Despite 'peacenik' reputation, bonobos hunt and eat other primates too
Unlike the male-dominated societies of their chimpanzee relatives, bonobo society -- in which females enjoy a higher social status than males -- has a (2008-10-13)

How is rattlesnake venom like fine wine? Both have regional varieties
If you're a rattlesnake, you want to bring the right weapon to a squirrel fight. And that venomous weapon varies from place to place, evolutionarily calibrated to overpower the local squirrels' defenses, according to new research from The Ohio State University. (2016-05-19)

Squirrels listen in to birds' conversations as signal of safety
Grey squirrels eavesdrop on the chatter between nearby songbirds as a sign of safety, according to a paper by Marie Lilly and colleagues at Oberlin College in the United States, publishing Sept. 4, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. (2019-09-04)

Pets do make a difference for patients in long-term care facilities
Animal-assisted therapy can effectively reduce the loneliness of residents in long-term care facilities, according to a study published in the July 2002 issue of Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. Although animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is claimed to have a variety of benefits, until now almost all published results have been anecdotal. This study found that even one AAT session of 30 minutes per week was effective in reducing loneliness to a statistically significant degree. (2002-06-28)

New Jurassic non-avian theropod dinosaur sheds light on origin of flight in Dinosauria
A new Jurassic non-avian theropod dinosaur from 163-million-year-old fossil deposits in northeastern China provides new information regarding the incredible richness of evolutionary experimentation that characterized the origin of flight in the Dinosauria. (2019-05-08)

Study reveals new ways deadly squirrelpox is transmitted to red squirrels
Native red squirrels have declined throughout Britain and Ireland for the last century due to a combination of habitat loss and the introduction of the North American eastern grey squirrel. More recently its few remaining populations have been devastated by an insidious pox virus passed to them by the alien invaders. (2014-02-24)

In harm's way: Wolves may not risk 'prey switching' say USU ecologists
Utah State University researchers report Yellowstone wolves seldom hunt bison, though plentiful, and instead pursue elk, a scarcer, yet safer, target. (2017-04-10)

Scary chupacabras monster is as much victim as villain
As Halloween approaches, tales of monsters and creepy crawlies abound. Among the most fearsome is the legendary beast known as the chupacabras. (2010-10-21)

Leaving home is beneficial for male squirrels but not for females, study shows
In the world of squirrels, moving away from your home turf has better outcomes for males than for females, according to a new study by University of Alberta ecologists. (2019-12-13)

'Mega-fires' may be too extreme even for a bird that loves fire
Fire is a natural part of western forests, but the changing nature of fire in many parts of North America may pose challenges for birds. One bird in particular, the Black-backed Woodpecker, specializes in using recently-burned forests in western North America, but new research suggests that these birds actually prefer to nest near the edges of burned patches -- and these edges are getting harder to find as wildfires have become bigger and more severe. (2019-08-06)

When it comes to security, think 'natural'
Security organizations could be more effective if officials learn from occurrences in the environment, University of Arizona researchers suggest in the May 20 issue of the journal Nature. (2010-05-20)

Parasite carried by grey squirrels negatively impacts red squirrel behavior
Research published in the Journal of Animal Ecology reveals a new mechanism of how grey squirrels affect native red squirrels in Europe through parasite-mediated competition. (2020-04-16)

Scientists on the prowl for 'the ultimate Pokémon'
Researchers are on a real-life search for what one calls 'the ultimate Pokémon': Zenkerella, an elusive scaly-tailed squirrel that has never been spotted alive by scientists. However, biologists recently found three newly dead specimens that hint at how the 'living fossil' has evolved over the past 49 million years. Based on DNA results, the researchers determined that Zenkerella is a very distant cousin of two scaly-tailed squirrels that glide from tree to tree. (2016-08-16)

The nature of nurture is all about your mother, study says
When it comes to survival of the fittest, it's all about your mother -- at least in the squirrel world. New research from the University of Guelph shows that adaptive success in squirrels is often hidden in the genes of their mother. 'Some squirrels are genetically better at being mothers than others,' said Andrew McAdam, a professor in U of G's Department of Integrative Biology and co-author of the study published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society. (2015-03-31)

Researchers discover 3 extinct squirrel-like species
Paleontologists have described three new small squirrel-like species that place a poorly understood Mesozoic group of animals firmly in the mammal family tree. The study supports the idea that mammals -- an extremely diverse group that includes egg-laying monotremes such as the platypus, marsupials such as the opossum, and placentals like humans and whales -- originated at least 208 million years ago in the late Triassic, much earlier than some previous research suggests. (2014-09-10)

Miraculous High-Tech Glasses Could Help Millions See Better
Her new glasses are no miracle, but donât try telling that to Jenna Meck, a visually impaired 21-year-old junior at Meredith College in Raleigh. She says the battery-powered, self-focusing, computer-controlled telescopic glasses are the next best thing. (1997-02-06)

Hiding in plain sight: New species of flying squirrel discovered
A new study published May 30 in the Journal of Mammalogy describes a newly discovered third species of flying squirrel in North America -- now known as Humboldt's flying squirrel, or Glaucomys oregonensis. It inhabits the Pacific Coast region of North America, from southern British Columbia to the mountains of southern California. (2017-06-06)

Red squirrels in the British Isles are infected with leprosy bacteria
Microbiologists at EPFL and the University of Edinburgh have discovered that red squirrels in Britain and Ireland carry the two bacterial species that cause leprosy in humans. (2016-11-10)

Human leprosy found in British red squirrels
Scientists have discovered human leprosy in British red squirrels, uncovering one leprosy-driving bacterial strain, in particular, that is similar to that responsible for outbreaks of the disease in medieval Europe. (2016-11-10)

Hibernation: The Opposite of Sleep?
Is animal hibernation really a blissful, season-long slumber, or is it more like a months-long bout with insomnia? Brian Barnes reports in the Sept/Oct issue of The Sciences magazine on the hibernation patterns of arctic ground squirrels, which appear to go through something more closely resembling an icy stupor rather than a restful sleep (1996-08-28)

The keys to the squirrel's evolutionary success in the face of climate change have been identified
Squirrels form a diverse family of rodents. Nearly 300 species have been described, and they occur in every land environment on the planet, from tropical forests to hot and cold deserts. But why are there so many species? A study led by researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid and the Institute of Geosciences (UCM-CSIC) has examined the characteristics of squirrel species that contribute to their evolutionary success in the face of global climate change. (2020-11-25)

Fish, selective hunting strategies and a delayed-return lifestyle among ancient foragers
A unique trove of bone material from the 9,200 year old coastal settlement Norje Sunnansund in Blekinge, Sweden, has revealed that surprisingly sophisticated hunting strategies were used at the time. One key find was that the early Mesolithic humans practiced so-called selective hunting -- seemingly in order to maximize gain and preserve the local population of certain species. (2017-03-08)

Biological invasions threaten developing countries
Invasions from alien species such as Japanese knotweed and grey squirrels threaten the economies and livelihoods of residents of some of the world's poorest nations, new University of Exeter research shows. (2016-08-23)

A no-brainer? Mouse eyes constrict to light without direct link to the brain
Experimenting with mice, neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine report new evidence that the eye's iris in many lower mammals directly senses light and causes the pupil to constrict without involving the brain. (2017-06-19)

AAAS names UAF zoophysiologist as 2011 fellow
University of Alaska Fairbanks zoophysiologist Brian Barnes has been named a 2011 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. (2012-01-13)

Logged rainforests can be an 'ark' for mammals, extensive study shows
Research reveals that large areas of 'degraded' forest in Southeast Asia can play an important role in conserving mammal diversity. (2016-08-22)

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