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Moving up the food chain can beat being on top
When it comes to predators, the biggest mouths may not take the biggest bite. According to a new study from bioscientists at Rice University, some predators have their greatest ecological impacts before they reach adulthood. (2017-01-17)

Scientists discover fossil of giant ancient sea predator
Paleontologists have discovered that a group of remarkable ancient sea creatures existed for much longer and grew to much larger sizes than previously thought, thanks to extraordinarily well-preserved fossils discovered in Morocco. The giant fossilized anomalocaridid measures one meter in length and dates back to the Ordovician period, suggesting these animals existed for 30 million years longer than previously realized. (2011-05-25)

Moroccan fossils show human ancestors' diet of game
New fossil finds from the Jebel Irhoud archaeological site in Morocco do more than push back the origins of our species by 100,000 years. They also reveal what was on the menu for our oldest-known Homo sapiens ancestors 300,000 years ago: Plenty of gazelle. (2017-06-07)

As super-predators, humans reshape their prey at super-natural speeds
Fishing and hunting are having broad, swift impacts on the body size and reproductive abilities of fish and other commercially harvested species, potentially jeopardizing the ability of entire populations to recover, according to the results of a new study that will appear in the Jan. 12, 2009, online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (2009-01-12)

The fantastic armor of a wonder snail
Deep within the Kairei Indian hydrothermal vent field, two-and-one-half miles below the central Indian Ocean, scientists have discovered a gastropod mollusk, whose armor could improve load-bearing and protective materials in everything from aircraft hulls to sports equipment. (2010-01-19)

Insects were already using camouflage 100 million years ago
Those who go to a masked ball consciously slip into a different role, in order to avoid being recognized. Insects were already doing something very similar in the Cretaceous: They cloaked themselves in pieces of plants, grains of sand, or the remains of their prey, in order, for example, to be invisible to predators. An international research team, with participation from the University of Bonn, has now investigated such 'invisibility cloaks' encased in amber. (2016-06-24)

Personality interactions between animals may dictate outcomes in the wild
Examining the varying personality types of multiple animal species at once--in addition to common single-species studies--could help biologists better predict ecological outcomes, according to a recent University of Pittsburgh study. (2013-09-04)

Despite heavy armor, new dinosaur used camouflage to hide from predators
Researchers reporting in Current Biology have named a new genus and species of armored dinosaur. The 110-million-year-old Borealopelta markmitchelli discovered in Alberta, Canada, on view at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, belongs to the nodosaur family. Now, an analysis of the 18-foot-long (5.5 m) specimen's exquisitely well-preserved form, complete with fully armored skin, suggests that the nodosaur had predators, despite the fact that it was the 'dinosaur equivalent of a tank.' (2017-08-03)

Bigger doesn't mean better for hatchery-released salmon
A recent study in the Ecological Society of America's journal Ecosphere examines hatchery practices in regards to how Chinook salmon hatcheries in the PNW are affecting wild populations over the past decades. (2019-11-14)

Some mollusks equip their armor with eyes
The armored shells of some marine mollusks have evolved to satisfy two conflicting design requirements, protection and sight, a new study shows. (2015-11-19)

Are wolves the pronghorn's best friend?
As western states debate removing the gray wolf from protection under the Endangered Species Act, a new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society cautions that doing so may result in an unintended decline in another species: the pronghorn, a uniquely North American animal that resembles an African antelope. (2008-03-03)

The macabre world of mind-controlling parasites
Many parasites can control the behavior of their hosts -- sometimes in very gruesome ways. A new article published today describes some of the sophisticated interactions between a variety of parasites and their hosts, and highlights how the new field of neuro-parasitology could provide insights into the neurological basis for behavior and decision-making. (2018-05-01)

You don't think your way out of a tiger attack
Assistant Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience Dean Mobbs and other researchers have discovered the presence of two 'fear' circuits in the brain. One circuit deals with immediate threats without using conscious thought. The other circuit deals with more distant threats in a cognitive, strategic fashion. (2018-03-05)

Social animals have more parasite infections but lower infection-related costs
Animals living in large groups tend to have more parasites than less social animals do, but according to a new study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, they may also be better protected from the negative effects of those parasites. (2018-12-19)

Monk seal and hump-backed dolphin are threatened by fishing activities off coast of Mauritania
Catalan researchers have studied the marine trophic network in Mauritania, on the northwest coast of Africa, which is an extremely heavily exploited fishing area, as well as being home to two of the world's most threatened species of marine mammal -- the monk seal and the Atlantic hump-backed dolphin. The results of the study show that industrial and traditional fishing activities along the coast are putting these mammals and local marine ecosystems at great danger. (2011-01-21)

Hop, skip, run, leap: Unpredictability boosts survival for bipedal desert rodents
Sometimes it pays to be unpredictable. A new study shows that when bipedal desert rodents called jerboas are being chased, sudden changes in direction, gait and speed help them elude hungry predators and likely give them a competitive edge over their quadrupedal neighbors. (2017-09-05)

Michigan coyotes: What's for dinner depends on what the neighbors are having
Michigan coyotes in most of the Lower Peninsula are the ''top dogs'' in the local food chain and can dine on a wide variety of small animals, including rabbits and rodents, along with berries and other plant foods, insects, human garbage and even outdoor pet food. (2020-07-20)

Is this the long-sought answer to the question of tropical biodiversity?
The question of 'Why so many species of tropical trees and other organisms' has challenged biologists for centuries. A group of 50 scientists from 12 countries think they have the answer. (2017-06-29)

Canadian and European boreal forests differ but neither is immune to climate change
The boreal forest in Canada and Northwestern Europe differ quite dramatically as a result of different climates. (2016-11-14)

The order of life
A new model that describes the organization of organisms could lead to a better understanding of biological processes (2020-10-30)

Animals' Behavior Can Hasten Their Extinction
These days a species' behavior may not be in its best interests because what works in undisturbed habitats may no longer apply in those altered by people. But most plans for conserving endangered species fail to account for behavior, says Michael Reed of Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. (1999-03-30)

Strange predatory dinosaur from Europe's Late Cretaceous
New research introduces a relative of Velociraptor. The new species, Balaur bondoc has strange morphology including double-clawed feet and fused bones. It lived in Europe during the Late Cretaceous. (2010-08-30)

Threatened whales and dolphins recognize predatory killer whales from their alarming calls
Some killer whales prey on aquatic mammals while others, which prey on fish alone, pose on threat; so how do aquatic mammals know when they are at risk from killer whales? A new study shows that pilot whales and Risso's dolphins flea from a subset of orca calls that have many of the acoustic characteristics of mammal alarm calls, including human screams, which could warn them that the predators intend to strike. (2018-06-12)

Mites can change their diet depending on environmental conditions
A team of scientists from Tyumen State University together with their foreign colleagues discovered that soil mites change their dietary preferences if their habitat is transformed by human activity. The study helped better understand the effect of environmental changes on living beings. (2019-12-12)

Devoted frog fathers guard their eggs from predators
A study led by PhD candidate Mr K. S. Seshadri from the Department of Biological Sciences at the National University of Singapore's Faculty of Science has revealed that male white-spotted bush frogs (Raochestes chalazodes) dedicatedly guard their fertilised eggs from other cannibalistic male frogs and predators. The study confirmed that the adult male white-spotted bush frogs are the sole caregivers of their offspring, predominantly by attending to and guarding the eggs. (2018-02-07)

Vampire bats keep out of trouble by running
Researchers in Cornell University's College of Veterinary medicine have now discovered that common vampire bats not only walk but run, a trait that may have evolved in a place where predators were common and prey were mobile. (2005-03-16)

Radiocarbon dating suggests white sharks can live 70 years and longer
Adult white sharks may live far longer than previously thought, according to a new study that used radiocarbon dating to determine age estimates for white sharks, also known as great whites, in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. This first successful radiocarbon age estimate study analyzed vertebrae samples from eight white sharks; the oldest male was 73, the oldest female 40, suggesting previous studies have significantly underestimated longevity in sharks. (2014-01-08)

Jurassic stick insect performed mimicry to defend against predators
Yang et al. reported the earliest mimetic and defensive strategies of a stick insect from the Middle Jurassic of China, Aclistophasma echinulatum gen. et sp. nov., exquisitely preserving abdominal extensions and femoral spines. The new fossil provides clues into early antipredator defensive strategies and allows inferences as to the potential environment and predators, and reveals mimetic and defensive mechanisms of stick insects from 165 million years ago. (2020-05-18)

Teenage great white sharks are awkward biters
The jaws of adolescent great white sharks may be too weak to capture and kill large marine mammals, according to a new study published in the Journal of Biomechanics by an international team of scientists. (2010-12-02)

Size matters: How the size of a male's weapons affects its anti-predator tactics
When males have to fight for reproductive rights, having larger weapons such as horns gives them an edge. However, this can also limit their mobility, making them more vulnerable to predators. In a recent study, scientists from Japan proved, for the first time, that males of a species adopt different anti-predator tactics--tonic immobility or escape--based on the size of their weapons, opening doors to a better understanding of the evolution of animal behaviors. (2021-01-28)

Study examines the evolutionary fate of 'useless' traits
What happens when traits no longer give creatures a competitive edge? In a recent review, researchers teamed up to take a closer look at the evolutionary fate of useless traits. (2009-09-05)

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)

The new wildlife refuge -- Golf courses?
Golf courses are known as centers for human recreation, but if managed properly, they also could be important wildlife sanctuaries, a University of Missouri-Columbia researcher has found. (2007-07-10)

Invasive marine animals get bigger
Animals and plants that are innocuous in their home environment can become rampaging pests when they invade a new area. A new study shows that for a wide group of marine pests, invasion is coupled with a marked increase in body size. (2003-07-28)

"Ample evidence" that Cape Hatteras beach closures benefit birds
The National Park Service (NPS) requested that the American Ornithological Society (AOS) assemble an expert panel to produce an independent report assessing the appropriateness of the current NPS beach management plan for the barrier islands of North Carolina's Cape Hatteras National Seashore. In this new report, AOS finds evidence that, despite complaints from the public, the restrictions on recreational use provide significant benefits for vulnerable beach-nesting birds and sea turtles. (2020-08-06)

Shorebirds studied in 'Noah's ark'
An international research group, including a scientist from the Zoological Museum (Faculty of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University) has conducted a comparative analysis of incubation rhythms in a range of shorebird species with wide geographical coverage. This became possible due to usage of light loggers (geolocators). (2016-11-29)

Food webs entangle humans in complex relationships with animals, crops and the environment
Reconstructed food webs from the Ancestral Puebloan southwestern United States show the complexity and interconnectedness of humans, other animals, crops and the environment, in an area of uncertain climate and resources, according to researchers, who think climate change and human decisions then, may shed light on future human choices. (2017-04-10)

Smithsonian scientists discover butterfly-like fossil insect in the deep Mesozoic
Large butterfly-like insects known as Kalligrammatid lacewings, which fluttered through Eurasian fern- and cycad-filled woodland during the Mesozoic Era, have been extinct for more than 120 million years. But with new fossil analyses, scientists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History have discovered that these ancient lacewings were surprisingly similar to modern butterflies, which did not appear on Earth for another 50 million years. (2016-02-03)

Bright eyes: Study finds reindeers' eyes change colour with Arctic seasons
Researchers have discovered the eyes of Arctic reindeer change color through the seasons from gold to blue, adapting to extreme changes of light levels in their environment and helping detect predators. It is the first such color change observed in mammals. (2013-10-29)

Future too warm for baby sharks
As climate change causes the world's oceans to warm, baby sharks are born smaller, exhausted, undernourished and into environments that are already difficult for them to survive in. (2021-01-12)

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