To avoid being eaten, some jumping spiders pretend to be ants, a new study has found. Protective mimicry is a remarkable example of adaptive evolution: Moths can be colored like butterflies and grasshoppers may look like tiger beetles. While most mimicry studies focus on traits like color and shape, the researchers in this work used multiple high-speed cameras and behavioral experiments to pinpoint how the spider’s movements mimic ants.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can result in structural changes within the lungs over time. Scientists have now been able to show that these changes not only affect the organ itself, but also the bacteria that live in the lung.
Hairless dog breeds differ from other dogs not only by lacking a coat, but also in the number and nature of their teeth. Scientists studied the skulls and teeth of pedigreed hairless dogs from the collection of the Phyletisches Museum of the University of Jena. Thus, they furthered our understanding of the involvement of the FOXI3 gene in the development of teeth – not only in hairless dogs, but potentially also in other mammals including humans.
Despite previous research that indicates such behaviors are unique to humans and great apes, a new study shows that ravens, too, can plan ahead for different types of events , and further, that they are willing to forgo an immediate reward in order to gain a better one in the future.
Researchers in Australia say they now know exactly what makes horny cane toads boogie. And the toad tune could help sound the death knell for the pests.
A lack of evidence that bats are key reservoirs of human disease has not prevented their vilification or efforts to exterminate bat colonies where threats are presumed to lurk. To better understand the dynamics of bats and potential threats to human health, researchers explored the relationship of an African forest bat, a novel virus and a parasite.
People with diabetes are susceptible to periodontitis, a gum infection that can result in tooth loss. New research helps explain why: Diabetes triggers changes in the oral microbiome that enhance inflammation and the risk of bone loss
Populations of endangered species reach a critical point and therefore, efforts to predict and prevent their extinction require a thorough understanding of the underlying mechanisms, report researchers. They investigated how environmental disturbance at random times could cause strong fluctuations in the number of individuals in biological populations. They found that environmental disorder can lead to a period of slow population increase interrupted by sudden population collapses.
New biological information gleaned from the red vizcacha rat, a native species of Argentina, demonstrates how genomes can rapidly change in size. Researchers set out to study this particular species because its genome, or its complete set of DNA, is the largest of all mammals, and appears to have increased in size very rapidly.
The effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees has been widely covered in the news recently, with laboratory-based studies suggesting that the chemicals are harmful, and field studies which are much less clear cut. Adding to current knowledge on the topic, new research further explores the effects that these chemicals may have on social behavior and learning in honey bees.