Dunbar’s Number Debunked: You Can Have More Than 150 Friends

A new study questions that figure, known as Dunbar’s number. The Oxford professor for whom it is named, Robin Dunbar, dismissed the findings as “absolutely bonkers.”

#biology-letters-journal, #friendship, #monkeys-and-apes, #research, #robin-dunbar, #stockholm-university

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New Study Sheds Light on Why Grasshoppers Flocked to Vegas

In a new study, ecologists document the impact that the world’s brightest city has on the insect population.

#biology-letters-journal, #grasshoppers, #las-vegas-nev, #lighting, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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The Power of Playing Dead

A study shows that pretending to be immobile — sometimes for an hour or more — helps larvae of insects called antlions outlast hungry predators.

#animal-behavior, #biology-and-biochemistry, #biology-letters-journal, #evolution-biology, #insects, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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Revealed: The Shipworm Sex Tapes

Nature’s weirdest clam surprises scientists once again, this time in video footage of its mating habits.

#animal-behavior, #biology-and-biochemistry, #biology-letters-journal, #clams, #fish-and-other-marine-life, #marine-borers-shipworms, #oregon, #reproduction-biological, #shipway-reuben, #sperm, #wood-and-wood-products, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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Another Thing a Triceratops Shares With an Elephant

It’s not just large size and something pointy near their faces.

#biology-letters-journal, #dinosaurs, #flowers-and-plants, #paleontology, #research, #seeds, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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Pythons Slithered Through Europe Before Coiling Around the World

The oldest known fossils of the predatory snakes were found at a German site, changing the snake family tree.

#biology-letters-journal, #europe, #fossils, #germany, #paleontology, #research, #skeletons, #snakes, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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To Study Blinking, a Scientist Needed a Literal Bird’s Eye View

It took a customized headpiece to monitor when and how much a grackle blinked in flight.

#animal-behavior, #animal-cognition, #biology-letters-journal, #birds, #cameras, #eyes-and-eyesight, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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These Hummingbirds Take Extreme Naps. Some May Even Hibernate.

To adapt to life in the Andes Mountains, some South American species go into exceptionally deep torpor to save energy.

#andes-mountains, #biology-letters-journal, #evolution-biology, #hibernation, #hummingbirds, #research, #south-america, #your-feed-science

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A Honeybee’s Tongue Is More Swiss Army Knife Than Ladle

Once again, insects prove to be more complicated than scientists thought they were.

#animal-behavior, #bees, #biology-letters-journal, #flowers-and-plants, #jianing-wu, #research, #tongue, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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Dolphins Have Hidden Fingers. So Do Seals. These Sea Creatures Did Not.

A recent analysis of the flippers of living and extinct marine animals shows the enduring power of “baby mittens.”

#biology-letters-journal, #crocodiles, #dolphins-and-porpoises, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #evolution-biology, #fingers, #fish-and-other-marine-life, #paleontology, #penguins, #reptiles, #research, #sea-lions, #seals-animals-and-sealing, #whales-and-whaling, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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Vampire Bats Self-Isolate, Too

When these mammals are ill, they have fewer interactions with family and friends, new study suggests. “It’s like us,” said one researcher.

#bacteria, #bats, #biology-letters-journal, #central-america, #infections, #research, #south-america, #viruses, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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Nature’s Noisiest Liars Carry Secrets in Their Calls

Many mammals that have loud calls to deceive other animals seem to have a particular learning style in common.

#biology-letters-journal, #elephants, #evolution-biology, #koalas, #mammals, #reproduction-biological, #seals-animals-and-sealing, #voice-and-speech, #your-feed-science

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How a Velvet Ant (Which Is a Wasp) Got Its White Fluff

The thistledown velvet ant, which is actually a wasp, resembles creosote fuzz. But mimicry isn’t the reason, a new study suggests.

#biology-letters-journal, #camouflage, #color, #deserts, #evolution-biology, #insects, #mojave-desert-calif, #research, #ultraviolet-light, #wasps-insects

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How Many Hot Dogs Can Someone Eat In 10 Minutes?

The world’s best hot dog eaters could outeat a grizzly bear or a coyote, but would fall far behind a wolf or a Burmese python, a new study finds.

#animal-behavior, #athletics-and-sports, #biology-letters-journal, #contests-and-prizes, #hot-dogs-and-frankfurters, #research, #sports-medicine

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Elephants Really Can’t Hold Their Liquor

Humans and other species have a gene mutation that lets them digest alcohol. In other species, it’s missing.

#alcoholic-beverages, #biology-letters-journal, #elephants, #ethanol, #evolution-biology, #fruit, #genetics-and-heredity, #janiak-mareike, #mammals, #melin-amanda, #research, #your-feed-science

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Praying Mantises: More Deadly Than We Knew

New research shows these ferocious insects don’t just hunt like robots.

#biology-letters-journal, #hunting-and-trapping, #insects, #praying-mantis, #rossoni-sergio, #your-feed-science

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