Animals

  1. European fire ants
    Life

    European fire ant chemicals may send spiders scurrying away

    Black widows and some other common spider species avoid spaces where fire ants once roamed, suggesting the insects could inspire a spider repellent.

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  2. Aerial photo of Florida Keys
    Animals

    The U.S.’s first open-air genetically modified mosquitoes have taken flight

    After a decade of argument, Oxitec pits genetically modified mosquitoes against Florida’s spreaders of dengue and Zika.

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  3. African elephants walking in a line
    Animals

    Elephants are dying in droves in Botswana. Scientists don’t know why

    Some type of pathogen may be behind the recent deaths of 39 elephants, a new wave that follows 350 deaths last summer.

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  4. a long, thin electronic device with microchips in the middle and lights at either end
    Neuroscience

    Scientists remotely controlled the social behavior of mice with light

    New devices — worn as headsets and backpacks — rely on optogenetics, in which bursts of light toggle neurons, to control mouse brain activity.

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  5. divers testing coral disease treatments
    Animals

    A common antibiotic slows a mysterious coral disease

    Applying the antibiotic amoxicillin to infected lesions halted tissue death in corals for at least 11 months after treatment.

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  6. black and white image of a mantis shrimp larva
    Animals

    Mantis shrimp start practicing their punches at just 9 days old

    The fastest punches in the animal kingdom probably belong to mantis shrimp, who begin unleashing these attacks just over a week after hatching.

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  7. a mantis hanging from a leaf
    Animals

    This praying mantis inflates a strange pheromone gland to lure mates

    Researchers stumbled across a first among mantises: an inflatable organ that spreads pheromones, helping mates find each other in the dark rainforest.

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  8. illuistration of a pterosaur with opposable thumbs
    Paleontology

    ‘Monkeydactyl’ may be the oldest known creature with opposable thumbs

    A newly discovered pterosaur that lived during the Jurassic Period could have used its flexible digits to climb trees like a monkey.

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  9. person holding bird with mask caught on its wing
    Animals

    Discarded COVID-19 PPE such as masks can be deadly to wildlife

    From entanglements to ingestion, two biologists are documenting the impact of single-use masks and gloves on animals around the world.

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  10. fish swimming by coral reef
    Oceans

    Corals’ hidden genetic diversity corresponds to distinct lifestyles

    Observation and DNA analysis expose identical reef corals as distinct species with unique ecologies, suggesting much greater coral biodiversity.

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  11. bald eagle soaring in front of a wind turbine
    Animals

    How researchers can keep birds safe as U.S. wind farms expand

    Tracking bald eagle abundance and migrating whooping cranes provides a clearer picture of where wind turbines could be safely built.

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  12. scores of small silver fish swimming
    Animals

    Tiny crystals give a plain fish twinkling, colorful dots under light

    Fishes’ flashing photonic crystals may provide inspiration for ultra-miniaturized sensors that work in a living body.

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