Archive | Animal Kingdom


Parrots solve complex mechanical problems

Untrained parrots have been solving complex mechanical problems that involved undoing a series of locks one after another; impressive feats that scientists say reveal new levels of intelligence in birds. The scientists, from Oxford University, the University of Vienna, and the Max Planck Institute, report on their experiments with Goffin’s cockatoos (Cacatua goffini) in the […]

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Stunning new species of palm-pitviper discovered

Herpetologists have identified a striking new species (Bothriechis guifarroi) of highly dangerous green palm-pitviper that lives within a cloud forest reserve in northern Honduras. Because of similarities in color pattern and scalation, the new species was previously confused with other Honduran palm pitvipers. However, genetic analysis revealed that the closest relatives of the new species […]

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Two-headed bull shark discovered

Marine researchers at Michigan State University have confirmed that the first-ever, two-headed bull shark to be discovered is a single shark with two heads, rather than conjoined twins. According to researcher Michael Wagner, the specimen, found in the Gulf of Mexico in 2011, represents the first recorded instance of dicephalia in a bull shark. “This […]

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Mystery of extreme head-rotation in owls explained

Anatomical artists and neurological experts at Johns Hopkins have finally unravelled how night-hunting owls can almost fully rotate their heads without damaging the delicate blood vessels in their necks and heads, and without cutting off blood supply to their brains. The eclectic team of researchers were first-place prize winners in the National Science Foundation’s 2012 […]

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Dung beetles’ galactic navigation

A beetle with a tiny brain appears to use the Milky Way galaxy for navigation, a feat that has never before been seen in an insect before, say scientists from South Africa and Sweden who made the discovery. Their report, appearing inCurrent Biology, shows that even on the darkest of nights, the African ball-rolling insects […]

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Ancient mega-piranha had mega-bite

University of Washington (UW) researchers say Megapiranha paranensis, a prehistoric relative of piranhas weighing about 20 pounds, delivered a bite with a force more powerful than any other creature – even Tyrannosaurus rex. UW’s Stephanie Crofts said that besides the force of the bite, the mega-piranha appears to have had teeth capable of piercing thick […]

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Three new species of venomous loris identified

University of Missouri researchers recently identified three new species of slow loris (Nycticebus sp.)that had originally been mistakenly grouped with another species. According to Rachel Munds, who led the team who made the discovery, dividing the species into four distinct classes means the risk of extinction is greater than previously believed for the animals. “Four […]

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