David Wake, Expert on Salamanders and Evolution, Dies at 84

While on a college field trip to collect beetles, he found salamanders. He became an authority and later grew alarmed by the disappearance of many amphibians.

#amphibians, #deaths-obituaries, #evolution-biology, #global-warming, #salamanders, #university-of-california-berkeley, #wake-david-1936-2021, #wildlife-die-offs

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Some Male Birds Fly Under False Colors to Attract Mates, Study Suggests

Elaborate feather microstructures allow male tanagers to enhance their colors, making them seem as if they are higher quality mates.

#animal-behavior, #birds, #color, #evolution-biology, #feathers, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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This Endangered Bird Lost Its Song in Australia

New generations of a critically endangered species of songbird are failing to learn the tunes they need for courtship. It could lead to extinction.

#australia, #biodiversity, #birds, #evolution-biology

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When the Aliens Arrive, What Will They Look Like? A Zoologist Has Answers

In “A Zoologist’s Guide to the Galaxy,” Arik Kershenbaum uses his knowledge of the various species here on Earth to speculate about what might exist out there.

#books-and-literature, #evolution-biology, #extraterrestrial-life, #kershenbaum-arik, #planets, #space-and-astronomy, #stars-and-galaxies, #the-zoologists-guide-to-the-galaxy-what-animals-on-earth-reveal-about-aliens-and-ourselves-book

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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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How Do Blind Worms See the Color Blue?

Eyeless roundworms may have hacked other cellular warning systems to give themselves a form of color vision.

#bacteria, #color, #evolution-biology, #eyes-and-eyesight, #genetics-and-heredity, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #light, #research, #science-journal, #senses-and-sensation, #worms, #your-feed-science

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7 Virus Variants Found in U.S. Carrying the Same Mutation

Scientists don’t know yet whether the mutation makes the variants more contagious, but they are concerned that it might.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #evolution-biology, #viruses, #your-feed-healthcare, #your-feed-science

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Tiny Blobs of Brain Cells Could Reveal How Your Mind Differs From a Neanderthal’s

Researchers grew clusters of brain cells in the lab with a gene carried by our ancient ancestors.

#brain, #evolution-biology, #genetic-engineering, #genetics-and-heredity, #monkeys-and-apes, #neanderthal-man, #research, #your-feed-science

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Running Is a Total Body Affair

We can thank our heads and shoulders — and not just our knees and toes — that we evolved to run as well as we do.

#american-journal-of-physical-anthropology, #content-type-service, #evolution-biology, #exercise, #harvard-university, #head-body-part, #muscles, #running

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The Coronavirus Is a Master of Mixing Its Genome, Worrying Scientists

New studies underscore how coronaviruses frequently mix their genetic components — which could contribute to the rise of dangerous variants.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #research, #rna-ribonucleic-acid, #your-feed-healthcare

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Darwin’s Dim View of the Second Sex

The father of evolutionary theory held women to be intellectually inferior to men, with one notable exception. Michael Sims explains.

#books-and-literature, #content-type-personal-profile, #darwin-charles-robert, #evolution-biology, #martineau-harriet-1802-76, #women-and-girls

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These Lizards Have a Hot Trick to Escape Hungry Snakes

On some Japanese islands where lizards live, the ones that fear predators have higher body temperatures that help them run faster.

#anatomy-and-physiology, #ecology-letters-journal, #evolution-biology, #izu-islands-japan, #japan, #lizards, #miyake-island-japan, #research, #snakes, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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A Question Hidden in the Platypus Genome: Are We the Weird Ones?

Researchers have produced the most comprehensive platypus genome yet, as well as that of another monotreme, an echidna.

#australia, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #mammals, #platypus, #research, #your-feed-science

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How Did Mistletoe Get Into the Treetops?

Before someone hung it up in your home, some animal had to get it into the canopies where it thrives to this day.

#american-naturalist-the-journal, #christmas, #evolution-biology, #mammals, #mistletoe, #research, #trees-and-shrubs, #your-feed-science

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The Coronavirus Is Mutating. What Does That Mean for Us?

Officials in Britain and South Africa claim new variants are more easily transmitted. There’s a lot more to the story, scientists say.

#antibodies, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #immune-system, #influenza, #vaccination-and-immunization, #viruses, #your-feed-science

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He’s Too Quiet for His Mate to Hear Him. So He Makes a Megaphone.

Some tree crickets amplify their calls with leaves, giving them an opportunity to mate that they otherwise might miss.

#animal-behavior, #bangalore-india, #biology-and-biochemistry, #crickets, #evolution-biology, #insects, #proceedings-of-the-royal-society-b-journal, #research, #your-feed-science

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Does Autism Hold the Key to What Makes Humans Special?

In Simon Baron-Cohen’s “The Pattern Seekers,” the psychologist posits that the systematizing part of our brain, so pronounced in people with autism, might be what makes us unique.

#autism, #baron-cohen-simon, #books-and-literature, #evolution-biology, #the-pattern-seekers-a-new-theory-of-human-invention-book

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This Plant Evolved to Hide From a Predator. It Might Be Us.

While people deliberately breed plants, a team of researchers say humans have inadvertently prompted this one to develop camouflage.

#camouflage, #china, #current-biology-journal, #evolution-biology, #flowers-and-plants, #herbs, #research, #your-feed-science

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He Was a Stick, She Was a Leaf; Together They Made History

A surprise clutch of eggs has solved a century-old leaf insect mystery.

#biology-and-biochemistry, #brock-paul, #cumming-royce, #evolution-biology, #insectarium, #insects, #le-tirant-stephane, #montreal-quebec, #papua-new-guinea, #reproduction-biological, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science, #zookeys-journal

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The Coronavirus Won’t Stop Evolving When the Vaccine Arrives

The coronavirus is not a shape shifter like the flu virus, but it could become vaccine resistant over time. That prompts researchers to urge vigilance.

#china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #denmark, #evolution-biology, #food-and-drug-administration, #immune-system, #moderna-inc, #pfizer-inc, #plos-biology-journal, #university-of-pittsburgh, #vaccination-and-immunization, #your-feed-healthcare

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Jane Goodall on Chimps, Presidents and Other Alpha Males

The 86-year-old primatologist says it takes more than having opposable thumbs to save our planet.

#africa, #environment, #evolution-biology, #global-warming, #goodall-jane, #trump-donald-j

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How Some Skinks Lost Their Legs and Then Evolved New Ones

The lizards have complicated a rule of thumb that in evolution, once you lose a body part, you don’t regain it.

#evolution-biology, #philippines, #proceedings-of-the-royal-society-b-journal, #reptiles, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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We’ve Rarely Seen a Dinosaur Brain Like This Before

While later dinosaurs in this lineage were giant herbivores with tiny brains, this small species packed a lot more power in its skull.

#animal-behavior, #brain, #brazil, #dinosaurs, #evolution-biology, #fossils, #journal-of-anatomy, #paleontology, #research, #skull-body-part, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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Meet the Diabolical Ironclad Beetle. It’s Almost Uncrushable.

Just about any other living thing would be liquefied at the forces this insect can withstand.

#anatomy-and-physiology, #beetles, #evolution-biology, #nature-journal, #research, #skeletons

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Why So Blue, Tarantula? A Mystery Gets a New Clue

The large arachnids have long been thought to be colorblind, but new evidence suggests they can perceive each others’ brilliant coloring.

#camouflage, #color, #evolution-biology, #proceedings-of-the-royal-society-b-journal, #research, #spiders, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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The Pandemic, from the Coronavirus’s Perspective

The career of the coronavirus so far is, in Darwinian terms, a great success story.

#acquired-immune-deficiency-syndrome, #aristotle, #bats, #caves-and-caverns, #cell-journal, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #evolution-biology, #fauci-anthony-s, #hahn-beatrice-h, #monkeys-and-apes, #plague, #rats, #sars-severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome, #worobey-michael-g-1970

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The Coronavirus Is Mutating, and That’s Fine (So Far)

SARS-CoV-2 has been slowly changing in small ways, without getting more dangerous.

#australia, #cell-journal, #china, #content-type-service, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #evolution-biology, #hong-kong, #immune-system, #influenza, #italy, #mutation, #new-south-wales-australia, #rna-ribonucleic-acid, #rumors-and-misinformation, #sars-severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome, #vaccination-and-immunization, #victoria-australia, #viruses, #wuhan-china

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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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When These Sea Anemones Eat, It Goes Straight to Their Arms

They’re the first animals known to turn food into extra limbs.

#arms, #evolution-biology, #fish-and-other-marine-life, #nature-communications-journal, #research, #sea-anemones, #tentacles, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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How a Praying Mantis Says ‘Boo!’

A study of startle displays hints at why provoked creatures have such a wide range of reactions.

#animal-behavior, #evolution-biology, #praying-mantis, #proceedings-of-the-royal-society-b-journal, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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She Doesn’t Make Animals Cry, but She Collects Their Tears

By studying the numerous ways animals keep their eyes wet and healthy, scientists hope to help address human vision problems.

#animals, #birds, #crying, #evolution-biology, #eyes-and-eyesight, #frontiers-in-veterinary-science, #reptiles, #research, #turtles-and-tortoises, #veterinary-medicine, #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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Lizard Popsicles, Anyone?

The coolest reptiles on the planet occasionally freeze solid.

#argentina, #evolution-biology, #lizards, #patagonia-argentina, #reptiles, #research, #your-feed-science

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The Male Anglerfish’s Evolutionary Solution to Female Rejection

Commingling tissues and blood would normally prompt a massive immune response. These deep sea lovers found a workaround.

#biology-and-biochemistry, #evolution-biology, #fish-and-other-marine-life, #genetics-and-heredity, #immune-system, #reproduction-biological, #research, #science-journal, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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The Groundbreaking Scientist Who Risked All in Pursuit of His Beliefs

“A Dominant Character,” by Samanth Subramanian, recounts the turbulent life of J.B.S. Haldane, the great British biologist and political activist.

#a-dominant-character-the-radical-science-and-restless-politics-of-j-b-s-haldane-book, #books-and-literature, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #great-britain, #haldane-j-b-s, #science-and-technology, #subramanian-samanth

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Viking Age Smallpox Complicates Story of Viral Evolution

An extinct version of the smallpox virus dating to 1,400 years ago prompts speculation about viruses becoming more lethal over time.

#cambridge-university, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #immune-system, #science-journal, #smallpox, #viruses, #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 Ultra-Black Fish Disappear in the Deepest Seas

Researchers have found fish that absorb more than 99.9 percent of the light that hits their skin.

#animals, #biology-and-biochemistry, #color, #current-biology-journal, #evolution-biology, #fish-and-other-marine-life, #research, #your-feed-animals

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It’s Not a Snake, but Beware of Its Venomous Bite

Animals called caecilians may have been among the first vertebrates on land to lace their bites with venom.

#amphibians, #evolution-biology, #iscience-journal, #poisoning-and-poisons, #research, #snakes, #teeth-and-dentistry

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Happy Father’s Day to All the Fish Dads Underwater

Paternal care has evolved dozens of times in aquatic life, and is more common than maternal or combined parenting.

#animal-behavior, #benun-sutton-frieda, #evolution, #evolution-biology, #fathers-day, #fish-and-other-marine-life, #genetics-and-heredity, #parenting, #research, #wilson-anthony, #your-feed-science

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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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Did a Mutation Turbocharge the Coronavirus? Not Likely, Scientists Say

A preliminary report posted online claimed that a mutation had made the virus more transmissible. Geneticists say the evidence isn’t there.

#academic-and-scientific-journals, #biology-and-biochemistry, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #viruses, #your-feed-science

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When Crocodiles Once Dived Like Dolphins and Whales

They didn’t have blowholes, but an ancient lineage of crocodilians returned to the oceans in a manner similar to some marine mammals.

#crocodiles, #dolphins-and-porpoises, #ears-and-hearing, #evolution-biology, #fossils, #oceans-and-seas, #paleontology, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #research, #schwab-julia-a, #whales-and-whaling, #your-feed-science

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Does the Coronavirus Pandemic Have a Purpose?

Only if we give it one. The coronavirus is neither good nor bad. It wants only to reproduce.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #philosophy, #religion-and-belief

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How Siblings’ Gender Can Affect a Child’s Development

Whether siblings are of the same sex or not can affect how much time children spend with their parents, romantic relationships and risk-taking, research shows.

#children-and-childhood, #evolution-biology, #families-and-family-life, #gender, #parenting

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As Mating Rituals Go, Valentine’s Day Isn’t So Bad

Four reproductive tales from the animal kingdom, where sealing the deal doesn’t always turn out so great for one partner.

#animal-behavior, #bedbugs, #evolution-biology, #octopus, #reproduction-biological, #research, #snails, #turtles-and-tortoises, #valentines-day, #your-feed-science

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