Category Archives: Animal Gate

Warm-blooded fishes swim faster and farther than cold-blooded counterparts

Marine scientists have long known that some species of fish possess a unique physiological characteristic — a web of arteries and veins lying very close together — that enables them to raise their internal temperatures higher than that of the water surrounding them. Now, a new study has demonstrated that species possessing the ability to warm their core — a process called endothermy — are able to swim two and a half times faster than those whose body temperature doesn’t change.

Solomon Islands dolphin hunts cast spotlight on small cetacean survival

A new study on the impact of ‘drive-hunting’ dolphins in the Solomon Islands is casting a spotlight on the increasing vulnerability of small cetaceans around the world. From 1976 to 2013, more than 15,000 dolphins were killed by villagers in Fanalei alone, where a single dolphin tooth can fetch the equivalent of 70 cents — an increase in value of five times just in the last decade.

Compiling a ‘dentist’s handbook’ for penis worms

A new study of teeth belonging to a particularly phallic-looking creature has led to the compilation of a prehistoric ‘dentist’s handbook’ which may aid in the identification of previously unrecognised specimens from the Cambrian period, 500 million years ago. The carnivorous Penis Worm, or Ottoia, known from 500-million-year-old fossils, was a fearsome beast: it could turn its mouth inside out to reveal a tooth-lined throat that looked like a cheese grater.

Tough laws to stop the trade of endangered wildlife ‘not enough’

Western conservation groups are seeking stricter law enforcement to tackle a trade in endangered wildlife, but a researcher warns that this is not a ‘silver bullet’ solution. He highlights the case of the Bali starling, where bringing in tougher laws back-fired — only serving to make the bird more popular among the elite. He highlights how sometimes local people who know the realities on the ground get better results.