Plants and Animals News

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  • T. Rex couldn't stick out its tongue
    on June 20, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    Dinosaurs are often depicted as fierce creatures, baring their teeth, with tongues wildly stretching from their mouths like giant, deranged lizards. But new research reveals a major problem with this classic image: Dinosaurs couldn't stick out their tongues like lizards. Instead, their tongues were probably rooted to the bottoms of their mouths in a manner akin to alligators. […]

  • 'Green'-feed: Industrial microbes could feed cattle, pigs, chicken
    on June 20, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Today, producing feed for pigs, cattle and chicken causes immense impacts for the climate and the environment. In the future, animal feed production is likely to be shifted from croplands to large-scale industrial facilities as it could bring both financial and environmental benefits. Replacing 2 percent feed with protein-rich microbes could decrease agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, global cropland area and nitrogen losses by over 5 percent. […]

  • Birds have time-honored traditions, too
    on June 20, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    By faithfully copying the most popular songs, swamp sparrows create time-honored song traditions that can be just as long-lasting as human traditions, finds a new study. The results show that creating traditions that pass the test of time doesn't necessarily require exceptional smarts. […]

  • Strange sponge-like fossil creature from half a billion years ago
    on June 20, 2018 at 3:08 am

    A discovery of a new species of sponge-like fossil from the Cambrian Period sheds light on early animal evolution. […]

  • Bees love blue fluorescent light, and not just any wavelength will do
    on June 19, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Researchers have learned that a specific wavelength range of blue fluorescent light set bees abuzz. […]

  • Are smarter animals bigger troublemakers?
    on June 18, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    A new paper examines whether smarter animals might be better at learning to live in cities -- but, at the same time, also may come into more conflict with humans. […]

  • In the gaping mouth of ancient crocodiles
    on June 18, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    A new study has endeavoured to further explore the mouth of one of the earliest occurring and least understood groups of crocodilians, the shartegosuchids. […]

  • Microbe breaks 'universal' DNA rule by using two different translations
    on June 15, 2018 at 1:38 am

    DNA is often referred to as the blueprint for life, however scientists have for the first time discovered a microbe that uses two different translations of the DNA code at random. This unexpected finding breaks what was thought to be a universal rule, since the proteins from this microbe cannot be fully predicted from the DNA sequence. […]

  • Scientists have captured the elusive cell that can regenerate an entire flatworm
    on June 15, 2018 at 1:38 am

    Researchers have captured the one cell that is capable of regenerating an entire organism. […]

  • Non-coding DNA changes the genitals you're born with
    on June 15, 2018 at 1:37 am

    Male mice grow ovaries instead of testes if they are missing a small region of DNA that doesn't contain any genes -- a finding that could help explain disorders of sex development in humans, at least half of which have an unknown genetic cause. […]

  • Plants open their pores and scientists strike gold
    on June 14, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Plants containing the element gold are already widely known. The flowering perennial plant alfafa, for example, has been cultivated by scientists to contain pure gold in its plant tissue. Now researchers have identified and investigated the characteristics of gold nanoparticles in two plant species growing in their natural environments. […]

  • For 100 million years, amber freezes a tableau of tick's worst day ever
    on June 13, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    This is the first time this kind of interaction between ticks and spiders has been documented in the fossil record. Even though ticks aren't a typical staple of spider diets, spiders can occasionally prey on ticks in modern ecosystems. […]

  • Attacking bacteria with shark skin-inspired surfaces
    on June 13, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Sharks are often the subject of TV specials or news stories focusing on their attacks on humans. But scientists are finding that sharks could inspire a new type of surface that would attack bacteria, helping humans instead of hurting them. Researchers have designed a coating that is infused with antimicrobial agents and has the patterned diamond-like texture of shark skin. […]

  • Sea urchins see with their feet
    on June 12, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Sea urchins lack eyes, but can see with their tentacle-like tube feet instead, previous research has indicated. Now, researchers have tested their vision in a new study, and shown that while sea urchins have fairly low resolution vision -- it is good enough to fulfill their basic needs. […]

  • Pandoravirus: Giant viruses invent their own genes
    on June 11, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    Three new members have been added to the Pandoravirus family. Researchers offer an explanation to their puzzling giant genomes with many orphan genes: pandoviruses appear to be factories for new genes -- and therefore new functions. From freaks of nature to evolutionary innovators, giant viruses continue to shake branches on the tree of life! […]

  • Secret to whale shark hotspots
    on June 8, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    A study has uncovered the secret to why endangered whale sharks gather on mass at just a handful of locations around the world. […]

  • Monkeys eat fats and carbs to keep warm
    on June 8, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Crave comfort foods in cooler months? You're in good company. Golden snub-nosed monkeys prefer to eat more fats and carbohydrates in winter to help generate heat, research suggests. […]

  • Bees understand the concept of zero
    on June 7, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Scientists have discovered honeybees can understand the concept of zero, putting them in an elite club of clever animals that can grasp the abstract mathematical notion of nothing. […]

  • Australian lizard scares away predators with ultra-violet tongue
    on June 7, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Researchers investigate how the blue-tongued skink uses a full-tongue display to deter attacking predators. […]

  • Deadly behavior-modifying weapon identified in insect-world chemical arms race
    on June 7, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    New research joins the dots between zombie ants, an insect-world arms race and the search for new antibiotics. Scientists probing one of the mysteries of the insect world identified a powerful chemical weapon used in the arms race between fungus-farming leafcutter ants and the parasites that plague them. It is hoped that the findings will help scientists search for new antibiotics from this unique battlefield. […]

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