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  • Scicurious

    A weighted butt gives chickens a dinosaur strut

    It can take only a few seconds of video to make a great moment in science. A recent entry is a video that shows two chickens walking. One clucks along with a normal chicken strut, while the other has wide and heavy strides. And no wonder: He’s got what looks like a toilet plunger strapped to his tail.

    The video wasn’t just playing chicken. The chicken and his wooden tail tramp along in...

    02/17/2014 - 10:00 Animals, Evolution, Paleontology
  • Scicurious

    Male contraceptive test targets sperm's travel route

    View the video

    The effort to create a male contraceptive pill has been full of obstacles. Targeting hormones or sperm production can produce difficult side effects, not the least of which is changes in libido. But a new paper shows that you might be able to get better results by focusing not on the sperm but on where they travel. If the pill could be worked out, it could mean an...

    12/05/2013 - 09:29 Physiology
  • Scicurious

    Sexy male mice have competitive moms

    What makes a male mouse a stud? Allowing his mom to have a social life. A new study shows that parental experience can affect the reproductive abilities of offspring without any change to the DNA. Instead, quicker changes are involved, adding another finding that may be attributed to the growing field of epigenetics.

    “It wasn’t what we set out to discover,” says study coauthor Wayne...

    11/19/2013 - 17:18 Epigenetics
  • Scicurious

    Thank insects and microbes that we aren’t over our knees in feces

    Have you ever paused to wonder why we’re not all drowning in poop? Well, you should. After all, in the United States alone, cows produce 900 billion kilograms of poop per year. In Finland, 1 million cattle produce about 4 billion kilograms of dung per year, enough to make a cube 160 meter high and comfortably bury the Statue of Liberty. That’s just cows. It’s not counting the human waste. Take...

    11/15/2013 - 17:34 Microbiology
  • Scicurious

    The hottest guy guppies stand out in a crowd

    Female guppies love a man that sticks out. Or at least they do in the lab. When scientists study the reproduction of the popular aquarium guppy in the laboratory, they often see something called negative frequency-dependent selection, also known as the rare-male effect. That’s when the males with the rare traits, a colorful tail or wild spots, end up fathering the most offspring. But is this...

    11/13/2013 - 11:09 Animals
  • Scicurious

    Don’t mount so fast! That bug could be a boy

    There are many animal species out there that exhibit same-sex mating behavior. This can take the form of courtship behaviors, solicitation, all the way through to mounting and trading off sperm. In some species, it’s clear that some of this behavior is because the animals involved have pair bonded. But what about insects? Many insects mate quickly, a one and done approach, with very little...

    10/25/2013 - 17:46 Animals