Biology

Cephalopods can readily change the way they use DNA: study

Cephalopods can readily change the way they use DNA: study

Cephalopods like octopuses, cuttlefish and nautiluses can readily change the way they use their DNA, a new study by an international team of researchers revealed.

Researchers from Israel’s Tel Aviv University and Woods Hole, Massachusetts-based Marine Biological Laboratory studied cephalopods and found that their stunning abilities might originate at the molecular level. Rather than making use of their genetic code as a blueprint to create the proteins they require to survive, they use it more like guidelines.

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Badger caught burying a cow in Utah

Badger caught burying a cow in Utah

Cameras set up in the Great Basin Desert of Utah captured a badger burying an entire cow by itself, and he buried carcass was able to sustain the short-legged omnivore for months. A team of biologists from the University of Utah had scattered the carcasses of seven calves in the area to study the behavior of scavengers. Around a week later, when researcher Evan Buechley revisited the area to check the carcasses, he was disappointed to find that one of the carcasses was missing.

Manatees removed from list of endangered species

Manatees removed from list of endangered species

Manatees, the giant marine mammal also known as sea cow, will no longer get special protections as they have been taken off the U.S. Interior Department’s list of endangered species.

Federal wildlife authorities announced on Thursday that they reclassified manatees as threatened species. Conservationists were quick to condemn the decision saying it would weaken protections for the marine mammal.

Online users eagerly waiting for ‘April the giraffe’ to go into labor

Animal lovers eagerly waiting for ‘April the giraffe’ to go into labor

Thousands of animal lovers continue to watch live giraffe cam from the Animal Adventure Park as they are eagerly waiting for “April the giraffe” to go into labor.

In a recently-held question & answer session, park owner Jordan Patch said that when the giraffe will be seen stretching out and raising her tail, it will be a sign of pressure, indicating a contraction.

Thus, viewers around the world watch with bated breath every time the female giraffe lift’s her tail.

Debate over Great Barrier Reef’s decline continues

Debate over Great Barrier Reef’s death continues

Earlier this month, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) of Australia warned that numerous species in the popular reef would struggle to fully recover as it is experiencing an unprecedented mass coral bleaching for the second year in a row.

Most scientists believe that reefs across the globe, including Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, are dying due to global warming.

However, some coral reef experts and Republicans in particular argue that there is no strong evidence showing that manmade global warming is responsible for reef damages.

Researchers discover tardigrades’ superpowers identified in their DNA

Researchers discover tardigrades’ superpowers identified in their DNA

Microscopic tardigrades, which are also known as “water bears,” have intrigued scientists for centuries due to their ability to survive in really extreme conditions. Now, a team of researchers claimed to have the discovered the special proteins in their DNA that give the microscopic creatures their superpowers.

Tardigrades are merely 0.002 to 0.05 inches or 0.05 to 1.2 millimeters in length. Thus, these creatures can’t be seen with the naked eye. But, they have rotund heads and four pairs of chubby legs tipped with grasping claws.

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Researchers discover never-seen-before patterns in humpbacks’ behavior

Researchers discover never-seen-before patterns in humpbacks’ behavior

After observing the behavior of humpback whales for years, a team of marine biologists has discovered some never-seen-before patterns in their activities.

The research team studied humpback whales in a creek system on B.C.’s North Coast from 2005 to 2014, and found a “wave” pattern in their behavior. They discovered that humpback whales in the Kitimat creek system move in the wave pattern from the outer channels into the creeks in the fall.

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Researchers discover mysterious ‘wave pattern’ among humpback whales

Researchers discover mysterious ‘wave pattern’ among humpback whales

A years-long study on humpback whales in a creek on B.C.'s North Coast has revealed previously unknown pattern of movement among massive marine creatures.

A team of researchers surveyed the whales in the Kitimat creek system from 2005 to 2014 and found that the marine creatures move in a “wave pattern” from the outer channels in the spring inward into the creeks in the fall.

Lead researcher Janie Wray, of the North Coast Cetacean Society, said that the wave pattern was never recorded in other humpback whales in similar habitats.

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Scientists struggling to prevent total wipeout of crucial coral reefs

Scientists struggling to prevent total wipeout of crucial coral reefs

Following a recent aerial survey of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, scientists are trying to find new ways to prevent a possible total wipeout of the coral reefs.

The aerial survey showed that the Great Barrier Reef is experiencing widespread coral bleaching for the second year in a row, indicating that water temperatures remained too warm to allow corals to recover from last year’s bleaching.

Scientists warned that several coral species are now more susceptible to bleaching after more than twelve months of continued above-average ocean temperatures.

Great Barrier Reef experiencing second year of mass coral bleaching

Great Barrier Reef experiencing second year of mass coral bleaching

Several species in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef would struggle to fully recover as the reef is experiencing an unprecedented second year of mass coral bleaching, scientists have warned.

Last year during March and April, the 1,400-mile (2,300-kilometre) reef experienced its most severe coral bleaching on record.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) said in statement that the reef is once again experiencing coral bleaching due to warmer water temperature. The statement followed an aerial survey off the country’s eastern coast on Thursday.

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