The Animal Kingdom



26 June 2014

African music preferred by chimps


Chimpanzees like to listen to the different rhythms of music from Africa and India, but prefer silence to music from the West according to new research...

30 May 2014

Domestication of dogs may explain success of early humans


A new analysis of European archaeological sites suggests that early humans working with the earliest domestic dogs were extremely successful at killing large animals. The success of this dog-human hunting combo could explain the mysterious, massive collections of mammoth bones found in Europe...

6 May 2014

New type of avian flu found in Antarctic penguins


An international team of researchers has identified a previously unknown avian influenza virus in a group of Adelie penguins from Antarctica...

10 March 2014

Camouflage or bright colors? What's better to live long and prosper?


In nature, bright colors are signals that scream, "Don't eat me!" But how did prey species evolve these characteristics? Now, thanks to a computer simulation of evolving populations of organisms, evolutionary scientists think they know the answer...

11 February 2014

Bees using scavenged plastic to build hives


The scientists who discovered that urban bees are using plastic bags and building sealant to construct hives say it demonstrates bees' resourcefulness and flexibility in adapting to a human-dominated world...

31 December 2013

Testosterone can enhance desire to sing, but not song quality


Scientists listening to the effects of testosterone on birdsong say their findings have broad implications for understanding how steroid use in humans affects sexual behaviors and how hormones regulate the different components of speech...

17 December 2013

Loved-up bonobos are perpetual teenagers


Bonobos and chimpanzees are closely related but bonobos lack of aggression, playfulness, and strong familial ties make them very distinct from their male-dominated, aggressive chimp cousins. Now, researchers say that these behavioral differences might be because bonobos retain elevated thyroid hormone concentrations well into adulthood, whereas in humans and chimps, levels decline after puberty...

12 December 2013

Read my skin: chameleon color communication deciphered


Chameleons can change color to blend in with the environment, but biologists now say that chameleons' body regions can also function as "billboards" for communicating different types of information during social interactions...

11 November 2013

Customizing animal scents to manipulate animal behaviors


New molecular surveys have afforded unprecedented views of the diversity of microbes inhabiting mammals' scent glands - revealing an encyclopedia of information about the animals that left them...

21 October 2013

Gay insects are just confused, say scientists


Homosexual behaviors in birds and mammals are believed to provide some evolutionary benefits, but scientists trying to find explanations for similar behavior in insects say a different imperative may be at work...

17 October 2013

This bird sings Bach


U.S. and German researchers have found striking parallels between the music of Bach and Haydn and the songs of a small brown wren living in the Amazon region...

2 October 2013

Evidence for sonar contributing to mass whale strandings


For the first time, a mass stranding of marine mammals has been linked to the high-frequency sonar mapping systems used by the petrochemical industry...

4 July 2013

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...

15 May 2013

Stunning new species of palm-pitviper discovered


Herpetologists have identified a striking new species of highly dangerous green palm-pitviper that lives within a cloud forest reserve in northern Honduras...

5 May 2013

Madagascar's dwarf lemurs shed light on tropical climate hibernation


By comparing the hibernation habits of eastern dwarf lemurs and their western counterparts, researchers hope to better understand what sends animals into hibernation mode...

25 March 2013

Two-headed bull shark discovered


Marine researchers have confirmed that the first-ever, two-headed bull shark to be discovered is a single shark with two heads, rather than conjoined twins...

14 March 2013

Self-control makes cockatoos sophisticated traders


The ability to anticipate a delayed gain is considered cognitively challenging since it requires not only the capacity to control a direct impulse, but also to assess the gain's beneficial value relative to the costs associated with having to wait. Until now, such abilities were believed to be restricted to a few large brained animals...

8 February 2013

Gay animals an inconvenient truth for BBC, claims study


A new study criticizes television wildlife documentaries produced by the BBC for ignoring widespread alternative aspects of animal activity such as homosexuality and same-sex parenting...

31 January 2013

Mystery of extreme head-rotation in owls explained


Anatomical artists and neurological experts 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...

24 January 2013

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 the scientists behind the discovery...

27 December 2012

Ancient mega-piranha had mega-bite


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...

14 December 2012

Three new species of venomous loris identified


University of Missouri researchers recently identified three new species of slow loris that had originally been mistakenly grouped with another species...

6 November 2012

Cockatoo makes his own tools


A cockatoo named Figaro from a species not known to use tools has been observed spontaneously making and using tools for reaching food and other objects...

19 September 2012

Soundscape ecologists recreate lost world


Using the meticulous field notes compiled by pioneering ecologist Aldo Leopold, modern-day acoustic ecologists have recreated a soundscape of Wisconsin countryside from last century, hoping to demonstrate how a sense of the ecological health of place can be gained by listening to its soundscape...

18 July 2012

OCD rodents keeping forests alive


The obsessive thieving and stashing of seeds by rodents provides a vital seed-dispersal service in tropical forests, according to new research that may solve a long standing puzzle in ecology...

11 July 2012

Magnetic sensory cells isolated in fish


For the first time, scientists have isolated individual magnetic cells in trout that the fish use to help them navigate back to their hatching ground. The discovery may shed light on how other creatures, including humans, are influenced by magnetic fields...

5 June 2012

Mosquitoes use tai chi to fly through rain


The martial art technique of yielding to an incoming attack rather than attempting to meet it with opposing force enables mosquitoes to fly relatively unscathed through rainstorms...

30 May 2012

Birds are baby dinosaurs, say Harvard scientists


Birds and dinosaurs are more closely related than previously thought, say scientists who claim that modern birds are, essentially, living juvenile dinosaurs...

24 April 2012

Bowerbirds gardening for pleasure


Scientists say they have uncovered the first evidence of a non-human species cultivating plants for use other than as food - bowerbirds growing fruits to be used as decorations in their sexual displays...

14 April 2012

Penguins counted from space


Scientists using very high resolution satellite images to estimate penguin populations around the coastline of Antarctica were surprised to find there were twice as many emperor penguins as previously thought...

12 March 2012

Earliest animal with a skeleton discovered


Up until the Cambrian Period, it was understood that animals were soft bodied and had no hard parts, but paleontologists say they have discovered fossil evidence for an organism with individual skeletal body parts that appears before the Cambrian...

9 March 2012

Bee thrill-seekers reveal evolutionary importance of novelty


One-in-20 honey bees are thrill seekers, say entomologists who have identified distinct patterns of gene activity in the same molecular pathways known to be associated with thrill-seeking in humans...

25 January 2012

Racehorse "speed gene" traced to 18th century British mare


Irish researchers writing in the journal Nature Communications say that the original "speed gene" variant entered the equine Thoroughbred line from a single British mare about 300 years ago...

6 January 2012

Monkeys feel the love on oxytocin


Researchers evaluating the effectiveness of the "love" hormone to treat autism and schizophrenia say that their experiments with monkeys show oxytocin breaks down normal social barriers...

More Animalia...

Related:
Biology
Environment
Evolution
Genetics
Humans
Mind/Brain
Prehistory