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E.g., 06/20/2018
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  • Asian common toad
  • leaf-cutter ants
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Your search has returned 2059 articles:
  • Wild Things

    Madagascar’s predators are probably vulnerable to toxic toads

    At some point eight to 10 years ago, some toads stowed away on a ship in Asia, possibly Ho Chi Minh City, and hitched a ride to Madagascar. Those invaders, Asian common toads, have been slowly spreading across the large island ever since.

    The toad’s skin contains a toxin that kills nearly anything that tries to eat the amphibian. Scientists have been warning of the toad’s danger to...

    06/19/2018 - 09:00 Ecology, Animals, Conservation
  • Science Stats

    Leaf-cutter ants pick up the pace when they sense rain

    In Central America’s rain-drenched forests, leaf-cutting ants collect pieces of leaves on which they grow fungi for food. But the rain can hit hard, especially for a small ant. When leaf-cutting ants sense an incoming shower, they hoof it back to their nests, says a study in the May Insectes Sociaux.

    Researchers from Argentina, Mexico and Peru tested how one species of leaf-cutting ants...

    06/15/2018 - 07:00 Animals
  • Introducing

    These newfound frogs have been trapped in amber for 99 million years

    About 99 million years ago, tiny frogs hopped through a wet, tropical forest — and an unlucky few ran afoul of some tree sap. Four newly described frog fossils, preserved in amber, offer the earliest direct evidence of ancient frogs living in a humid tropical clime — just as many modern amphibians do.

    None of the frog fossils is complete, making it difficult to place the frogs within...

    06/14/2018 - 09:00 Paleontology, Ecology, Animals
  • News

    Here’s what narwhals sound like underwater

    Narwhals are among the most elusive of whales. But for the first time, researchers have been able to eavesdrop on the creatures for days at a time as these unicorns of the sea dove, fed and socialized.

    Biologist Susanna Blackwell and colleagues listened in on the clicks, buzzes and calls of the East Greenland narwhal (Monodon monoceros). The team’s findings, published June 13 in PLOS ONE...

    06/13/2018 - 14:00 Animals, Oceans, Conservation
  • News

    Bees join an exclusive crew of animals that get the concept of zero

    A little brain can be surprisingly good at nothing. Honeybees are the first invertebrates to pass a test of recognizing where zero goes in numerical order, a new study finds.

    Even small children struggle with recognizing “nothing” as being less than one, says cognitive behavioral scientist Scarlett Howard of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia. But honeybees trained...

    06/07/2018 - 16:58 Animals, Neuroscience
  • News

    In a conservation catch-22, efforts to save quolls might endanger them

    Conservationists are stuck in a catch-22: In trying to save some species, the would-be protectors may be giving the animals an evolutionary disadvantage. A new study describes how efforts to protect the endangered northern quoll, a spotted, kitten-sized marsupial native to Australia, by placing a population on a threat-free island may have actually undermined a key survival instinct.

    ...

    06/07/2018 - 12:33 Animals, Conservation, Ecology, Evolution
  • News

    Dogs carry a surprising variety of flu viruses

    Some dogs in China carry a mixed bag of influenza viruses. The discovery raises the possibility that dogs may be able to pass the flu to people, perhaps setting off a pandemic.

    About 15 percent of pet dogs that went to the vet because of respiratory infections carried flu viruses often found in pigs, researchers report June 5 in mBio. Of the virus strains detected, three have recombined...

    06/05/2018 - 14:37 Microbiology, Animals, Health
  • Exhibit

    ‘Outbreak’ puts the life cycle of an epidemic on display

    In 1918, a pandemic of Spanish flu killed as much as 5 percent of the world’s population. A hundred years later, scientists know much more about how to prevent and treat such diseases. But in some ways, the threat of a global outbreak is greater than ever. All it takes is one plane ride for a few localized cases of a disease to become an epidemic.

    A new exhibit at the Smithsonian...

    06/04/2018 - 07:00 Health, Microbes, Animals
  • News in Brief

    The first land-walking vertebrates may have emerged from salty estuaries

    Earth’s earliest land-walking vertebrates didn’t paddle about in freshwater lakes or rivers. Instead, these four-footed creatures, which appeared about 375 million years ago, lived in the brackish waters of an estuary or delta, researchers report online May 30 in Nature.

    Early tetrapods, such as Ichthyostega and Acanthostega, lived an amphibious existence between land and sea: They had...

    05/30/2018 - 17:29 Animals, Evolution
  • News

    Oldest known lizard fossil pushes group’s origins back 75 million years

    A little animal that washed out to sea 240 million years ago off the coast of what’s now Italy turns out to be the oldest known fossil of a lizard.

    The identification pushes back the fossil record of snakes and lizards by about 75 million years, says Tiago Simões of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. He and colleagues used observations of the fossil, called Megachirella...

    05/30/2018 - 16:24 Paleontology, Evolution, Animals