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  • Wild Things

    Secrets of a sailfish attack

    Many of us are familiar with sailfish — relatives of marlin— only from seeing them on the walls of sport fishermen. But watching them underwater, whether in person or on video, shows how beautiful the animals are in their natural habitat (...
    04/23/2014 - 12:30 Animals, Oceans
  • Science Ticker

    Dolphins use sponges to dine on different grub

    Some bottlenose dolphins sport cone-shaped sea sponges in their beaks, a behavior that may help the animals hunt. New research confirms the idea, showing that sponging dolphins have different fatty acids and therefore different diets than...
    04/23/2014 - 12:12 Animals, Physiology
  • Science Ticker

    Rainbow trout genome shows how genetic material evolved

    About 100 million years ago, the genome of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) duplicated itself. Since then, about half of the duplicated protein-coding genes have been lost, but nearly all of the original and duplicate genes that control how genes are expressed still exist, researchers report...
    04/23/2014 - 09:09 Genetics, Animals
  • News in Brief

    Submariners’ 'bio-duck' is probably a whale

    It quacks like a duck, sort of. But the mystery creature of the Antarctic is more likely a whale.Submariners in the 1960s recorded strings of quick heartbeatlike pulses and nicknamed the unknown source a “bio-duck.” Whatever it is sounds off mostly in winter and spring in the Weddell Sea off Antarctica and the waters off Western Australia.The sound is “way too loud for a fish,” says marine...
    04/22/2014 - 19:02 Animals, Conservation
  • News

    Pain curbs sex drive in females, but not males

    Pain makes female mice less amorous, but males ignore burning injections in pursuit of females, a new study finds. The results, published in the April 23 Journal of Neuroscience, highlight stark differences between male and female sexual behavior in mice.But it’s not clear whether the findings apply to the vagaries of human...
    04/22/2014 - 17:02 Neuroscience, Health, Evolution
  • Growth Curve

    Babies cry at night to prevent siblings, scientist suggests

    When a baby cries at night, exhausted parents scramble to figure out why. He’s hungry. Wet. Cold. Lonely. But now, a Harvard scientist offers more sinister explanation: The baby who demands to be breastfed in the middle of the night is preventing his mom from getting pregnant again.This devious intention makes perfect sense, says evolutionary biologist David Haig, who describes his idea in ...
    04/22/2014 - 12:32 Evolution, Human Development
  • Wild Things

    Cheetahs, but not wild dogs, manage to live with lions

    Lions rule. Every kid knows that. Out on the plains of Africa, lions are the top predators. But they’re not the only predators that roam the Serengeti. These lesser mesopredators include cheetahs and...
    04/21/2014 - 15:14 Conservation, Animals
  • Wild Things

    Little thylacine had a big bite

    In the northeast corner of Queensland lies one of Australia’s great treasures — the Riversleigh World Heritage Area, home to more than 250 sites that are rich in fossils. In that region, some 24 to 11.6 million years ago, as many as five relatives of the extinct Tasmanian tiger, or...
    04/20/2014 - 14:00 Animals, Paleontology
  • Reviews & Previews

    War's ecological effects laid bare in 'A Window on Eternity'

    Starting in the late 1970s, Mozambique spent more than a decade embroiled in a brutal civil war that left millions dead or displaced. The effects of the human conflict echoed through the natural world. Soldiers encamped in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, an area rich in flora and fauna, hunted elephants, zebras, Cape buffalo and other animals for food. Populations of the big mammals...
    04/20/2014 - 12:00 Ecology
  • Letters to the Editor


    Options for treating addictionAddiction is often seen as a chronic disease, but some long-term studies suggest it can be viewed as a temporary coping problem instead. Bruce Bower presented this alternative view in “The addiction paradox” (SN: 3/22/14, p. 16). “A nice job by Bruce Bower, as usual...
    04/19/2014 - 14:00 Climate, Health, Animals