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Current Carnivores News and Events, Carnivores News Articles.
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Dishing the dirt on an early man cave
Fossil animal droppings, charcoal from ancient fires and bone fragments litter the ground of one of the world's most important human evolution sites, new research reveals. A team of Russian and Australian scientists have used modern geoarchaeological techniques to unearth new details of day-to-day life in the famous Denisova Cave complex in Siberia's Altai Mountains. (2019-09-26)

What wolves' teeth reveal about their lives
UCLA biologist discovers what wolves' broken teeth reveal about their lives. (2019-09-24)

West African camera survey details human pressures on mammals in protected areas
When University of Michigan wildlife ecologist Nyeema Harris started her multiyear camera survey of West African wildlife, she sought to understand interactions between mammals and people in protected areas such as national parks. (2019-09-23)

Anthropologist contributes to major study of large animal extinction
University of Arkansas anthropology assistant professor Amelia Villaseñor contributed a large, multi-institutional study explaining how the human-influenced mass extinction of giant carnivores and herbivores of North America fundamentally changed the biodiversity and landscape of the continent. (2019-09-20)

Not the hairstyle, but the content: Hair indicates whether wild animals were 'stressed'
Scientists of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) have now demonstrated that the 'stress' hormone cortisol is deposited in hair of wild mongooses in Portugal and determined baselines for cortisol in these carnivores. It is now possible to investigate whether different habitats and changed living conditions, such as the return of the Iberian lynx, place a particular burden on the mongooses. The results were recently published in the scientific journal 'PLoS ONE'. (2019-09-17)

Prehistoric puma poo reveals oldest parasite DNA ever recorded
The oldest parasite DNA ever recorded has been found in the ancient, desiccated feces of a puma. (2019-08-27)

What a group of bizarre-looking bats can tell us about the evolution of mammals
Bats with skulls and teeth adapted to a wide range of diets are helping scientists understand how major groups of mammals first evolved. (2019-08-14)

Clemson adds 'vampire elephants,' 'ecological zombies' to human-wildlife conflict debate
New research by Clemson University scientists Shari Rodriguez and Christie Sampson in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, examines the effects non-carnivorous species such as feral hogs and elephants can have on humans and livestock and the potential consequences of excluding these animals from research focused on mitigating wildlife impacts on livestock. (2019-08-12)

A hog in wolf's clothing
Most research on human-wildlife conflict has focused on the ways tigers, wolves, and other predators impact livestock even though noncarnivores also threaten livestock. New research by Dr. Shari Rodriguez and Dr. Christie Sampson from Clemson University, publishing August 6, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, examines the effects of these less-studied relationships, particularly for feral hogs and elephants, and the potential consequences of excluding these animals from research focused on mitigating wildlife impacts on livestock. (2019-08-06)

Intense look at La Brea Tar Pits explains why we have coyotes, not saber-toothed cats
The most detailed study to date of ancient predators trapped in the La Brea Tar Pits is helping Americans understand why today we're dealing with coyotes dumping over garbage cans and not saber-toothed cats ripping our arms off. (2019-08-05)

Predators' fear of humans ripples through wildlife communities, emboldening rodents
Giving credence to the saying, 'While the cat's away, the mice will play,' a new study indicates that pumas and medium-sized carnivores lie low when they sense the presence of humans, which frees up the landscape for rodents to forage more brazenly. (2019-07-17)

Some crocs of the past were plant eaters
Based on careful study of tooth remains, researchers have found that ancient groups of crocodyliforms -- the group including living and extinct relatives of crocodiles and alligators -- were not the carnivores we know today, as reported in the journal Current Biology on June 27, 2019. In fact, the evidence suggests that a veggie diet arose in the distant cousins of modern crocodylians at least three times. (2019-06-27)

Some extinct crocs were vegetarians
Based on careful study of fossilized teeth, scientists Keegan Melstom and Randall Irmis at the Natural History Museum of Utah at the University of Utah have found that multiple ancient groups of crocodyliforms -- the group including living and extinct relatives of crocodiles and alligators -- were not the carnivores we know today. Evidence suggests that a veggie diet arose in the distant cousins of modern crocodylians at least three times. (2019-06-27)

Dental microwear provides clues to dietary habits of lepidosauria
High-resolution microscopic images of the surface of dental enamel of lepidosauria, which is a subclass of reptiles including monitor lizards, iguanas, lizards, and tuatara, allow scientists to determine their dietary habits. The enamel wear patterns reveal significant differences between carnivores and herbivores, but also allow finer distinctions, such as between algae-, fruit-, and mollusk-eating species. These findings are the result of research by a team led by scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. (2019-06-21)

Scientists estimate: Half of tropical forests under hunting pressure
Over half of the tropical forests is under hunting pressure. According to scientists at Radboud University, hunting causes an abundance decline of on average 27 and 40% of medium and large-size mammals in the tropics of central and south America, Africa and Asia. Even forests that are considered intact according to satellite images, could be partially defaunated. These results are published in PLOS Biology. (2019-05-14)

Giant panda's bamboo diet still looks surprisingly carnivorous
Giant pandas are unusual in being extremely specialized herbivores that feed almost exclusively on highly fibrous bamboo, despite belonging to a clade (Carnivora) of primarily flesh-eating carnivores. But a study reported in Current Biology on May 2 suggests that the switch to a restricted vegetarian diet wasn't, in some respects, as big an evolutionary leap as it seems. (2019-05-02)

For giant pandas, bamboo is vegetarian 'meat'
New research using an approach called nutritional geometry sheds light on giant panda evolution, and their unusual transition from carnivorous ancestry to extreme specialized herbivory. (2019-05-02)

Fossils found in museum drawer in Kenya belong to gigantic carnivore
Paleontologists at Ohio University have discovered a new species of meat-eating mammal larger than any big cat stalking the world today. Larger than a polar bear, with a skull as large as that of a rhinoceros and enormous piercing canine teeth, this massive carnivore would have been an intimidating part of the eastern African ecosystems occupied by early apes and monkeys. (2019-04-18)

Can multiple carnivores coexist in cities?
A new citizen science study shows how urbanization may affect interactions between carnivores in small suburban forest patches, using camera trap images from Raleigh, N.C., and Washington, D.C. (2019-04-16)

New study questions effects of reintroducing top predators
There's little evidence that reintroducing top predators to ecosystems will return them to the conditions that existed before they were wiped out, according to new research. (2019-04-03)

New study models the proposed reintroduction of the Eurasian lynx to Scotland
Experts have used an innovative approach to model the proposed reintroduction of the Eurasian lynx to Scotland. (2019-03-29)

Half-a-billion-year-old fossil reveals the origins of comb jellies
One of the ocean's little known carnivores has been allocated a new place in the evolutionary tree of life after scientists discovered its unmistakable resemblance with other sea-floor dwelling creatures. (2019-03-21)

Local extinction of Southern California mountain lions possible within 50 years
Two isolated mountain lion populations in southern California's Santa Ana and Santa Monica Mountains are at risk of local extinction, perhaps as soon as within 50 years, according to a study published in the journal Ecological Applications. The extinction risk is due to low genetic diversity and mortality that affects the stability of the population. But increasing connectivity could help. (2019-03-20)

Landscapes of fear, and the large carnivores they feature, important in African ecosystems
A new study focused on Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park, where entire populations of large-mammal predators were nearly extinguished during the Mozambican Civil War, illustrates how the loss of an ecosystem's top carnivores can have far-reaching consequences for prey and plant populations, turning 'landscapes of fear' into 'landscapes of fearlessness' in which emboldened herbivores graze and suppress plants. (2019-03-07)

Ecologists find a 'landscape of fearlessness' in a war-torn savannah
Using a series of well-designed experiments in Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park, a Princeton-led research team confirmed each step in a trophic cascade between the elimination of predators (including leopards, African wild dogs, and hyenas) and growth of local plants. They demonstrated that the fear of predators alone can drive change in herbivore behaviors in large-mammal ecosystems. (2019-03-07)

In developing nations, national parks could save endangered species
A new study of animal populations inside and outside a protected area in Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park, shows that protecting such an area from human interaction and development preserves not only chimps but many other mammal species. (2019-03-07)

More humans always mean fewer African carnivores, right? Nope
African carnivores face numerous threats from humans. So, it's a fair assumption that the presence of more humans automatically equates to decreases across the board for carnivores. New research led by Michigan State University and published in the current issue of Ecological Applications, however, shows that's not always the case. (2019-03-01)

Maasai farmers only kill lions when they attack livestock
Maasai farmers do not kill lions for retribution whenever they lose sheep or cattle, new research shows. (2019-02-26)

Wild carnivores stage a comeback in Britain
Once-endangered carnivorous mammals such as otters, polecats and pine martens have staged a remarkable comeback in Britain in recent decades, a new review shows. (2019-02-25)

Neandertals' main food source was definitely meat
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany describe two late Neandertals with exceptionally high nitrogen isotope ratios, which would traditionally be interpreted as the signature of freshwater fish consumption. By studying the isotope ratios of single amino acids, they however demonstrated that instead of fish, the adult Neandertal had a diet relying on large herbivore mammals and that the other Neandertal was a breastfeeding baby whose mother was also a carnivore. (2019-02-18)

Solving the mystery of Serengeti's vanishing wild dogs
More than 25 years ago, African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) disappeared from Serengeti National Park. A firestorm of debate followed when one researcher claimed that handling by scientists was the cause. New research refutes that claim and offers another explanation. (2019-01-31)

Conserving large carnivores in Alaska requires overhauling state policy
Large carnivore management in Alaska should be based on rigorous science and monitoring of the status and trends of carnivore populations, according to a Perspective article published Jan. 15 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by William Ripple of Oregon State University, and colleagues. (2019-01-15)

'Outdated' management plan increases risks to Alaska's large carnivores
Alaskan wildlife management that prioritizes reducing bear and wolf populations so hunters can kill more moose, caribou and deer is both backward and lacks scientific monitoring. (2019-01-15)

More young and other traits help mammals adapt to urban environments
Species of mammals that live in urban environments produce more young compared to other mammals. But next to this common 'winning trait', mammals deal with different strategies to successfully inhabit cities. This is what Radboud University ecologist Luca Santini and colleagues found in a study that they will publish in Ecology Letters on 21 December. 'This is the first step of many to understand why certain mammals manage to live in cities and why other species don't.' (2018-12-21)

Camera trap study reveals the hidden lives of island carnivores
Researchers placed 160 cameras on 19 of the 22 Apostle Islands in northern Wisconsin to see which carnivores were living there. After taking more than 200,000 photos over a period of three years, the team discovered that several carnivores are living on various islands in this remote archipelago in Lake Superior. (2018-12-21)

Snowed in: Wolves stay put when it's snowing, study shows
Wolves travel shorter distances and move slower during snowfall events, according to new research by University of Alberta biologists. The effects were most pronounced at night, when wolves hunt, and behaviour returned to normal within a day. (2018-12-19)

A fresh look at winter footprints: Environmental DNA improves tracking of rare carnivores
A new project shows that animal footprints contain enough DNA for species identification. The study, led by the USDA Forest Service, extracted DNA from snow samples collected within animal tracks and applied newly developed molecular genetic assays. The assays positively detected the DNA of each species, outperforming traditional lab techniques on previously undetectable genetic samples. This method could revolutionize winter surveys of rare species by greatly reducing or eliminating misidentifications and missed detections. (2018-11-26)

Human ancestors not to blame for ancient mammal extinctions in Africa
New research disputes a long-held view that our earliest tool-bearing ancestors contributed to the demise of large mammals in Africa over the last several million years. Instead, the researchers argue that long-term environmental change drove the extinctions, mainly in the form of grassland expansion likely caused by falling atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. (2018-11-22)

New research offers detail and insight into deep-time evolution of animal life on islands
A paper appearing in PLOS ONE from an international team of investigators describes two new fossil relatives of marsupials that shed light on how a unique island ecosystem evolved some 43 million years ago during the Eocene. (2018-11-14)

Yellowstone streams recovering thanks to wolf reintroduction
In the first study of its kind, research by Oregon State University scientists shows that the return of large terrestrial carnivores can lead to improved stream structure and function. (2018-11-08)

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