Submitted by Luis Georg on Tue, 02/21/2017 - 11:22
Poachers have killed as many as 25,000 forest elephants in Africa’s Minkebe National Park within a decade, according to a fresh survey by Duke University researchers.
Lead researcher John Poulson, an assistant professor of tropical ecology at Duke University, wrote in the newly published study that population of elephants in the national park, which has been a key sanctuary for the species, slipped 78 per cent from 2004 to 2014.
Submitted by Luis Georg on Sun, 02/19/2017 - 10:51
Around a week ago, a New Zealand beach became a distressing grave site when hundreds of pilot whales became stranded on it and many of them died.
The New Zealand the Department of Conservation (DOC) confirmed that more than 600 pilot whales became stranded on the Farewell Spit at the tip of the South Island. Hundreds of volunteers worked with DOC workers to save the whales, but they could save only half of them. More than 300 whales died at the beach.
Submitted by Luis Georg on Wed, 02/08/2017 - 11:51
Researchers have discovered a new type of gecko, an evasive little lizard that can escape predators’ grip by shedding its scales as well as skin.
The new species, dubbed Geckolepis megalepis, has the biggest scales of any fish-scale gecko, some of which measure nearly 8 per cent of its total body length. A team of researchers, led by Mark D. Scherz of Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, discovered it northern Madagascar’s limestone karst.
Submitted by Luis Georg on Mon, 02/06/2017 - 05:39
Frogs use a viscoelastic tongue and non-Newtonian saliva to catch prey, as per a new research paper from researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology has informed. The research paper has been published in Journal of The Royal Society Interface. Frogs use their whip-like tongue and it hits the prey with a strong force. The tongue is very soft and a unique reversible saliva offers the stickiness to this action, which helps frogs to trap their prey. The swift action and stickiness doesn’t give a chance to the prey to escape. Before the prey knows it, it is already in mouth of the frog.
Submitted by Luis Georg on Wed, 02/01/2017 - 06:49
Frog’s sticky spit is one of the catchiest spits on the planet, and it is tailor-made to grab bugs, according to a new research on frog saliva.
Led by Alexis Noel, a PhD student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a team of researchers used high-speed photography as well as an instrument known as Rheometer to analyze saliva collected form 15 frogs under prey-capturing conditions.
Explaining how he collected frog saliva, Noel said he got fifteen frogs, and scraped their tongues for hours. He called it a “pretty disgusting” experience.
Submitted by Luis Georg on Sat, 01/28/2017 - 18:51
A team of American researchers claimed to have identified the chemical compounds that give a great tomato its distinctive sweet, earthy taste. They have also pin pointed the genes that code for these chemicals and where these genes can be found in the tomato genome.
University of Florida researchers said their study could help breeders create tomatoes that would be hardy enough to survive the long and demanding journey from fields to kitchens without sacrificing flavor and taste.
Submitted by Luis Georg on Wed, 01/18/2017 - 08:59
A recently discovered tiny moth that has helmet-like cluster of yellow-white scales atop its head has been named after President-elect Donald Trump, the journal ZooKeys reported.
Dr. Vazrick Nazari, an evolutionary biologist from Ottowa, Canada, said the moth with a wingspan of merely 0.4 inches encouraged them to name it Neopalpa donaldtrumpi because it has yellow and white scales on its head resembling Trump’s signature hairstyle.
Submitted by Luis Georg on Sun, 01/15/2017 - 19:51
Benefits of grandmothering may have played a major role in the success of older female orcas (killer whales) but the costs of being outcompeted by their daughters apparently play a role in the emergence of their menopause, a new study suggested.
According to the study, published in the journal Current Biology, younger females are more likely to mate and reproduce than their older counterparts. They found that this trend puts off mother orcas from reproduction, which in turn make them more focused on raising their younger members of their families instead.