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E.g., 09/24/2017
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Your search has returned 129 articles:
  • News

    Woolly rhinos may have grown strange extra ribs before going extinct

    As time ran out for the woolly rhino, strange things happened. Before going extinct, some of the beasts faced an unusually high risk of growing bizarre ribs in their neck, a new study suggests. Those misplaced ribs might have signaled the animals’ impending demise.

    Scientists examined neck bones from 32 woolly rhinos and found indented spots on five of them where ribs had once attached...

    09/07/2017 - 11:00 Paleontology, Evolution, Physiology
  • News

    Bones reveal what it was like to grow up dodo

    Dumb extinction jokes aside, dodos’ life history is largely unknown.

    Now the first closeup look inside the long-gone birds’ bones is giving a glimpse into their lives, an international research team reports August 24 in Scientific Reports. Until now, almost nothing has been known about the basic biology of dodos, such as when they mated or how quickly they grew.

    Based on 22 bones...

    08/29/2017 - 07:00 Animals, Physiology, Evolution
  • News

    Genetic switch offers clue to why grasses are survival masters

    Grasses have top-notch border control to conserve water in their leaves. Now, scientists have identified the genetic switch that makes them such masters at taking in carbon dioxide without losing water. The find might eventually help scientists create more drought-resistant crop plants, the researchers report in the March 17 Science.  

    Adjustable pores called stomata on the undersides of...

    03/20/2017 - 15:35 Plants, Cells, Physiology
  • News

    Scratching is catching in mice

    Catch sight of someone scratching and out of nowhere comes an itch, too. Now, it turns out mice suffer the same strange phenomenon.

    Tests with mice that watched itchy neighbors, or even just videos of scratching mice, provide the first clear evidence of contagious scratching spreading mouse-to-mouse, says neuroscientist Zhou-Feng Chen of Washington University School of Medicine in St....

    03/09/2017 - 18:12 Neuroscience, Animals, Physiology
  • News in Brief

    Here's how earwax might clean ears

    NEW ORLEANS — The self-cleaning marvel known as earwax may turn the dust particles it traps into agents of their own disposal.

    Earwax, secreted in the ear canal, protects ears from building up dunes of debris from particles wafting through the air. The wax creates a sticky particle-trapper inside the canal, explained Zac Zachow January 7 at the annual meeting of the Society for ...

    01/13/2017 - 16:29 Biophysics, Physiology, Animals
  • News

    It takes guts for a sea spider to pump blood

    NEW ORLEANS — A newfound way of delivering oxygen in animal circulatory systems depends mostly on food sloshing back and forth in the guts.

    This discovery came in sea spiders, or pycnogonids, which can look like legs in search of a body. Their spookily long legs hold stretches of digestive tract, which wouldn’t fit inside the creatures’ scrap of an abdomen. Waves of contraction sweeping...

    01/11/2017 - 16:46 Animals, Physiology
  • The –est

    Why crested penguins lay mismatched eggs

    In crested penguin families, moms heavily favor offspring No. 2 from the start, and a new analysis proposes why. The six or seven species of crested (Eudyptes) penguins practice the most extreme egg favoritism known among birds, says Glenn Crossin of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.

    Females that lay two eggs produce a runty first egg weighing 18 to 57 percent less than the second...

    12/08/2016 - 11:00 Animals, Physiology
  • The –est

    Brazilian free-tailed bats are the fastest fliers

    The new record-holder for fastest flying animal isn’t a bat out of hell. It’s a bat from Brazil, a new study claims. Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) can reach ground speeds of 160 kilometers per hour.

    It’s unclear why they need that kind of speed to zoom through the night sky, but Brazilian bats appear to flap their wings in a similar fashion to ultrafast birds, an...

    11/21/2016 - 12:00 Animals, Physiology
  • It's Alive

    Dwarf lemurs don’t agree on sleep

    Contrary to many adorable children’s stories, hibernation is so not sleeping. And most animals can’t do both at the same time.

    So what’s with Madagascar’s dwarf lemurs? The fat-tailed dwarf lemur slows its metabolism into true hibernation, and stays there even when brain monitoring shows it’s also sleeping. But two lemur cousins, scientists have just learned, don’t multitask. Like other...

    09/05/2016 - 10:00 Animals, Physiology
  • News

    In drought, zebra finches wring water from their own fat

    Thirsty zebra finches “drink” their body fat. The songbirds are the first birds shown to get through a day without water by breaking down adipose tissue to stay hydrated, says evolutionary physiologist Ulf Bauchinger.

    Two earlier tests of deprived birds summoning water from their tissues report that birds rely on protein. But zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) coped with one-day...

    08/31/2016 - 18:00 Animals, Physiology, Ecology