Sickness makes some corals lose their glow.
Disease reduces a coral’s overall fluorescence even before any sign of the infection is visible to the naked eye, a new study finds. An imaging technique that illuminates the change could help with efforts to better monitor coral health, researchers report November 6 in Scientific Reports.
Many corals naturally produce fluorescent...
Nomadic herders living on western Asia’s hilly grasslands made a couple of big moves east and west around 5,000 years ago. These were not typical, back-and-forth treks from one seasonal grazing spot to another. These people blazed new trails.
A technological revolution had transformed travel for ancient herders around that time. Of course they couldn’t make online hotel reservations....
It’s a rare triumph when a species comes back from the dead. A new genetic analysis has officially established what many entomologists and conservation biologists hoped was true: The Lord Howe stick insect (Dryococelus australis) lives.
Nicknamed “tree lobsters,” the dark-brown crawlers are nocturnal, flightless creatures that can grow up to 15 centimeters long. They feed on tea trees,...
Recent reports of African and North American animal fossils bearing stone-tool marks from being butchered a remarkably long time ago may be a crock. Make that a croc.
Crocodile bites damage animal bones in virtually the same ways that stone tools do, say paleoanthropologist Yonatan Sahle of the University of Tübingen in Germany and his colleagues. Animal bones allegedly cut up for meat...
Kleptopredation\klep-toe-preh-day-shun \ n.10/31/2017 - 20:05 Animals, Physiology
A food-gathering strategy of eating an organism and the meal it just ate.
A wily sea slug has a way to get two meals in one: It gobbles up smaller predators that have recently gulped in their own prey.
“Kleptopredation” is the term Trevor Willis of the University of Portsmouth in England and his colleagues propose for this kind of food...
Halloween horror aside, vampires are really pretty spineless.
Most have no backbone at all. By one count, some 14,000 kinds of arthropods, including ticks and mosquitoes, are blood feeders. Yet very few vertebrates are clear-cut, all-blood specialists: just some fishes and three bats. Why hasn’t evolution produced more vertebrate vampires?
The question intrigues herpetologist Harry...
News in Brief
The only lemurs so dependent on bamboo that they gnaw on hardened, nutrient-poor stems during the dry season might dwindle away as those seasons grow longer.
Reconstructing the history of the greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus) in Madagascar suggests that drier areas over thousands of years already have lost their populations. As the region dries further due to climate change and the...
A bit of imperfection could be perfect for flowers creating a “blue halo” effect that bees can see.
At least a dozen families of flowering plants, from hibiscuses to daisy relatives, have a species or more that can create a bluish-ultraviolet tinge using arrays of nanoscale ridges on petals, an international research team reports online October 18 in Nature. These arrays could be the...
Jennifer Zaspel can’t explain why she stuck her thumb in the vial with the moth. Just an after-dark, out-in-the-woods zing of curiosity.
She was catching moths on a July night in the Russian Far East and had just eased a Calyptra, with brownish forewings like a dried leaf, into a plastic collecting vial. Of the 17 or so largely tropical Calyptra species, eight were known vampires. Males...
Earlier this year, General Electric asked a brilliant question: What if scientist Mildred Dresselhaus was treated like a celebrity? The idea, aired as a TV commercial, had many of us smiling at the possibility. In the ad, fans stop the nanoscience pioneer in the street to take selfies, a young girl receives a Dresselhaus doll as a birthday gift and a student sends a Millie emoji after acing a...