Lonely hermaphroditic flatworms with needle-tipped male organs apparently inject themselves with sperm in whatever body region is easy to stab.
If raised alone in the lab, a tiny Macrostomum hystrix flatworm ends up with sperm distributed oddly around its body, researchers report July 1 in ...
Some genetically male Australian bearded dragons are growing up as fully functional females in the wild — the first reptiles confirmed to reverse sex under natural conditions.
Eleven of 131 Pogona vitticeps lizards caught at several sites in southeastern Australia during three years had female sex organs but the male ZZ set of sex chromosomes, says Clare Holleley of the...
As carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise, the world’s oceans are absorbing some of the gas and slowly becoming more acidic. That acidification impedes the chemical reaction that many marine species use to make calcium carbonate shells and skeletons. Fish were once thought to be immune to the drop in pH, but...
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Two genetic changes turned the plague into a scourge.
The ancestor of the plague-causing bacterium Yersinia pestis causes mild stomach disease. Early in its evolution, Y. pestis acquired a single gene from other bacteria that allowed it to cause the deadly lung infections of pneumonic plague, scientists ...
Part interactive field guide, part map, a new app compiles millions of records on species ranges worldwide. By pinpointing your location, the Map of Life app lets you explore plants and critters you might see nearby. Or tap around the globe to see what might be blooming in Singapore, for example. Click on a species name to reveal its range map (one...
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When Alison Jolly died last year, the world lost one of its leading authorities on lemurs. Jolly began studying these primates on her first trip...
For a dwarf mongoose, a handstand is a crucial skill learned at an early age. “It’s funny to watch the youngsters trying to do it … almost as soon as they can walk,” says Lynda Sharpe, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. “They tend...
The final puzzle piece in the chemical pathway that makes morphine has been identified, scientists report June 25 in Science. The work fills in the center piece in the path — the protein converting the compound (S)-reticuline to (R)-reticuline.
By analyzing poppy DNA and confirming its function in yeast,...
A little yeti crab makes the most of a pretty rough neighborhood.
Newly discovered Kiwa tyleri lives in the dark about 2,500 meters below the surface of the Southern Ocean around Antarctica, researchers in England report June 24 in PLOS ONE.
K. tyleri’s stout body and spiny legs help it cling to the walls of hydrothermal vents, where it seeks a narrow...
Whether it’s upside down or right side up, Hallucigenia sparsa looks like it wriggled right out of a nightmare. And giving the wormlike creepy-crawly a head hasn’t helped.