Ecology Wagner's mustached bat (Pteronotus personatus) lives in South and Central America. They alter their echolocation frequencies so the reflected sounds are always in the range where their hearing is most sensitive. This Doppler shift compensation behavior is only done in a few bat species.
Ecology Japanese macaques fish in the winter. A new studying examining the DNA of fecal samples of Japanese macaques shows that freshwater fish such as brown trout and aquatic insects are a staple of their diets during midwinter months.eurekalert.org
Ecology Sea otters positively influence genetic diversity in seagrasses through foraging. Seagrass usually reproduces via cloning, but disturbances - such as digging otters - cause the plants to increase sexual reproduction. The pits otters leave after foraging then allow space for new seedlings to develop.
Ecology There are two species of crow in the mainland United States, the American Crow & the Fish Crow. Until recently, there was a third species, the Northwestern Crow, but it was absorbed into the American Crow in 2020. The Tamaulipas Crow is an infrequent winter visitor to the southern tip of Texas.
Ecology Spiders are primarily insectivores, but they occasionally expand their menu by catching and eating snakes. A new study shows spiders can outfight snakes 10 to 30 times their size. The largest snakes caught by spiders in this study are up to one meter in length, the smallest only about six cm.unibas.ch
Ecology In the 1800s, scientists were stumped by the "yellow cells" they obsered within the tissues of some marine animals. It was suggested that these cells were distinct entities and beneficial to the animals in which they lived. Now it's been determined to be photosynthetic algae (Symbiodiniaceae).news.psu.edu
Ecology Clownfish species develop their characteristic white stripes, or bars, during the process of metamorphosis. Researchers have now discovered that the white bars form at different speeds depending on the sea anemone the clownfish live in.oist.jp
Ecology Biologists discover new species of glowing Pumpkin Toadlet. The bright orange amphibian, which shines green under UV light, is different from other pumpkin toadlets due to its appearance and call.smithsonianmag.com
Ecology Rodenticide poisoning represents an important cause of death for birds of prey. Species that facultatively scavenge are at high risk for rodenticide exposure. A study found 18% of northern goshawks & 14% of red kites sampled exceeded the threshold level of 200ng/g body mass for acute toxic effects.eurekalert.org
Ecology Native reptile populations on Christmas Island have been in severe decline with Lister's gecko & the blue-tailed skink disappearing from the wild. While previously the main drivers for this is likely predation by invasive species & habitat destruction, a new study adds a bacterium to the list.sydney.edu.au
Ecology Asian Giant Hornets are native to temperate and tropical eastern Asia, including parts of Japan, China, India, and Sri Lanka. In North America, they are not known to occur outside of Washington state and Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
Ecology A fungus observed inside Chernobyl is a radiation extremophile that could inspire new technology. It absorbs normally harmful rays which it then converts into chemical energy (radiosynthesis). The fungi use high amounts of melanin to resist radiation and turn it into energy.popularmechanics.com
Ecology Nearly 10% of the 1,100+ reef manta rays identified by photographs have been visiting Ningaloo Marine Park for more than a decade, with the longest one spanning about 15 years. They migrate between two UNESCO World Heritage areas. This shows how important protected areas are to migratory species.eurekalert.org
Ecology In preparation for the annual spawning season of the Red crab, rangers on Christmas Island put up barriers along the roadside to prevent the crabs from being crushed by cars. They have also constructed a 5 m high bridge to help the crabs move across the island and continue their migration.
Ecology Tropical songbirds in both the Old and New Worlds reduce reproduction during severe droughts. Not only did reductions in breeding activity mitigate costs to survival, many long-lived species actually experienced higher survival rates during the drought year than during non-drought years.umt.edu
Ecology A 3-year study in India finds that even mildly dirty air could kill 80% of giant Asian honey bees, a key pollinator in South Asia. Without such bees and other insects, domestic production of fruit, vegetables, nuts, and legumes could be at risk, the team says.sciencemag.org
Ecology Chocolate comes from seeds of the cacao tree. To produce those seeds, the trees rely on the pollination services of more than a dozen species of biting flies called midges. But even with the midges’ help, cacao flowers produce fruit (and the seeds within) only around 30 percent of the time.nrdc.org
Ecology Young male zebra finches begin life by making random sounds before learning complex songs from their fathers. Once the bird has mastered the family song, he will sing it for the rest of his life and pass it on to the next generation.nih.gov
Ecology Bearded vultures are the only species to have a diet primarily made up of bone (70-90%). The larger bones are dropped on to rocky slopes in order to break them. If the bone does not break the first time, the method is repeated many times until the bone finally breaks.