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  • Science Ticker

    Widespread coral bleaching threatens world’s reefs

    Corals across the globe are experiencing widespread bleaching from high ocean temperatures, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states in its latest Coral Watch Report. Stressful conditions in the Pacific and Caribbean...

    10/08/2015 - 16:57 Oceans, Animals, Ecosystems
  • Science Ticker

    Fish have had telescoping jaws for 100 million years

    For the last 100 million years, fish have steadily refined the art of tossing their own jaws forward.

    This hunting trick, known as jaw protrusion, helps bony teleost fish — the most abundant group of fish worldwide — snag their prey. When fish first tried the trick in the Late Cretaceous, they could stretch their jaws up to 8.16 percent of their own body length. Today, fish can...

    10/08/2015 - 12:45 Animals, Evolution
  • Wild Things

    How the giraffe got its long neck

    The neck of a giraffe isn’t all that different from any other mammal’s. There are seven neck vertebrae, like those of humans, but they are much bigger. (This is a different strategy than other long-necked creatures in history. Marine reptiles called plesiosaurs, for instance, had 38 to 42 vertebrae to lengthen their...

    10/07/2015 - 14:30 Animals, Evolution
  • News

    Oldest pregnant horselike fossil found

    A confluence of unlikely events led to the exquisite preservation of the oldest fossil of a primitive pregnant horse ever discovered.

    Some 48 million years ago, an equoid mare (Eurohippus messelensis) and her almost fully gestated fetus fell into an ancient lake in the area of Grube Messel near Frankfurt, Germany. The lake had just the right mix of bacteria to preserve even soft...

    10/07/2015 - 14:03 Animals, Evolution
  • News

    No eyes, no problem for color-sensing coral larvae

    Staghorn coral larvae don’t have eyes. Yet shifting the color of underwater light can reverse their usual preferences for spots to settle.

    Horizontal surfaces bathed in blue-green light attract more larvae of Acropora millepora coral than normal, says behavioral ecologist Marie Strader of the University of Texas at Austin. And vertical surfaces lit through red filters...

    10/06/2015 - 19:05 Animals
  • News

    Chimpanzees show surprising flexibility on two feet

    Chimpanzees don’t strut. But their surprisingly flexible two-legged stride suggests that, more than 3 million years ago, members of the human evolutionary family walked pretty well, a new study concludes.

    Chimps rotate their upper bodies about as much as people do while walking, thus countering the force of their swinging hips, say paleoanthropologist Nathan Thompson of Stony Brook...

    10/06/2015 - 11:00 Human Evolution, Anthropology, Animals
  • It's Alive

    What really changes when a male vole settles down

    Bachelor prairie voles can’t tell females of their species apart. Yet the clueless fellows can change, forming pair-bonds for life with the opposite sex and even distinguishing between two female strangers. 

    Bachelors aren’t blind or stupid; they recognize individual males among their fellow short-tailed Microtus ochrogaster rodents scurrying through old fields in the center of...

    10/05/2015 - 15:28 Animals
  • Science Ticker

    Raindrops help pitcher plants trap dinner

    The pitcher plant Nepenthes gracilis gets a little help from...

    10/05/2015 - 15:00 Plants, Animals, Biophysics
  • Science Ticker

    Stinky seeds dupe dung beetles

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    Poop-imitating seeds trick dung beetles into doing the dirty work.  

    The bumpy, brown seeds of the Ceratocaryum argenteum plant look like herbivore droppings— and smell like them, too. The seeds, native to South Africa, release aromatic gases similar to those from the...

    10/05/2015 - 11:00 Plants, Animals
  • Wild Things

    What happens to animals in a hurricane?

    After hammering the Bahamas, Hurricane Joaquin is now moving north, and, the latest path predictions show, is headed out to sea instead of directly for the U.S. East Coast. The storm’s track has been hard to pin down, which makes preparing for it rather difficult. If you live near the shore, you don’t know if...

    10/02/2015 - 12:33 Animals, Oceans