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Your search has returned 146 articles:
  • It's Alive

    How a squishy clam conquers a rock

    Burrowing giant clams have perfected the ship-in-a-bottle trick, and the one big thing that scientists convinced themselves couldn’t explain it, actually can.

    Tridacna crocea, the smallest of the 10 or so giant clam species, grows a shell that eventually reaches the size of a large fist. Starting as youngsters, the burrowers bore into the stony mass of an Indo-Pacific coral reef,...

    06/22/2018 - 07:00 Animals, Physiology, Microbes
  • News in Brief

    Here’s how drinking coffee could protect your heart

    Coffee revs up cell’s energy factories and helps hearts recover from heart attacks, a study of mice suggests.

    In the study, researchers gave mice the equivalent of four cups of coffee a day for 10 days before inducing heart attacks in the rodents. Cells in mice that got caffeine repaired the heart attack damage better than cells in mice that didn’t get caffeine, researchers report June...

    06/21/2018 - 14:00 Cells, Physiology
  • News

    Green blood in lizards probably evolved four times

    Green blood is weird enough. But now the first genealogical tree tracing green blood in New Guinea’s Prasinohaema lizards is suggesting something even odder.

    These skinks have been lumped into one genus just because of blood color, says biologist Christopher Austin of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Yet they don’t all turn out to be close relatives. Green blood looks as if it...

    05/16/2018 - 14:10 Animals, Evolution, Physiology
  • News in Brief

    Larger spleens may help ‘sea nomads’ stay underwater longer

    In turquoise waters off the Indonesian coast, evolutionary geneticist Melissa Ilardo watched as the diver, wearing handmade, wooden goggles, spotted a giant clam meters below and darted down to retrieve it.

    The diver was one of the Bajau people of Southeast Asia, known for holding their breath for long periods while spearing fish and gathering other seafood. During a typical day, these “...

    04/19/2018 - 15:04 Physiology, Genetics
  • News

    A peek into polar bears’ lives reveals revved-up metabolisms

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    Female polar bears prowling springtime sea ice have extreme weight swings, some losing more than 10 percent of their body mass in just over a week. And the beginnings of bear video blogging help explain why.

    An ambitious study of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in Alaska has found that their overall metabolic rate is 1.6 times greater than thought, says wildlife...

    02/01/2018 - 15:24 Animals, Physiology, Climate
  • News

    Light pollution can prolong the risk of sparrows passing along West Nile virus

    SAN FRANCISCO — Even moderate light pollution can roughly double the time a house sparrow remains a risk for passing along the worrisome West Nile virus.

    House sparrows, about as widespread across the United States as artificial lighting itself, make a useful test species for a first-of-its-kind study of how night illumination might contribute to disease spread, said Meredith Kernbach,...

    01/19/2018 - 09:00 Physiology, Animals, Conservation
  • News

    Blowflies use drool to keep their cool

    SAN FRANCISCO — Blowflies don’t sweat, but they have raised cooling by drooling to a high art.

    In hot times, sturdy, big-eyed Chrysomya megacephala flies repeatedly release — and then retract — a droplet of saliva, Denis Andrade reported January 4 at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. This process isn’t sweating. Blowfly droplets put the cooling...

    01/05/2018 - 18:04 Animals, Physiology
  • It's Alive

    Robot fish shows how the deepest vertebrate in the sea takes the pressure

    It’s like having “an elephant stand on your thumb.”

    That’s how deep-sea physiologist and ecologist Mackenzie Gerringer describes the pressure squeezing down on the deepest known living fish, some 8 kilometers down. What may help these small, pale Mariana snailfish survive elephantine squashing, says Gerringer of the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Labs, is a body bulked up,...

    01/03/2018 - 07:00 Animals, Biophysics, Physiology
  • News

    Specialized protein helps these ground squirrels resist the cold

    The hardy souls who manage to push shorts season into December might feel some kinship with the thirteen-lined ground squirrel.

    The critter hibernates all winter, but even when awake, it’s less sensitive to cold than its nonhibernating relatives, a new study finds. That cold tolerance is linked to changes in a specific cold-sensing protein in the sensory nerve cells of the ground...

    12/19/2017 - 12:07 Animals, Genetics, Physiology
  • News

    Narwhals react to certain dangers in a really strange way

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    When escaping from humans, narwhals don’t just freeze or flee. They do both.

    These deep-diving marine mammals have similar physiological responses to those of an animal frozen in fear: Their heart rate, breathing and metabolism slow, mimicking a “deer in the headlights” reaction. But narwhals (Monodon monoceros) take this freeze response to extremes. The animals...

    12/07/2017 - 14:41 Animals, Oceans, Physiology