Tag Archives | Predation


How climate change created the modern dog

Appearing in Nature Communications, a new study of dog fossils suggests that the evolutionary path of whole groups of predators can be a direct consequence of climate change. “It’s reinforcing the idea that predators may be as directly sensitive to climate and habitat as herbivores,” said study co-author Christine Janis, professor of ecology and evolutionary […]

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Domestication of dogs may explain success of early humans

A new analysis of European archaeological sites suggests that early modern humans working with the earliest domestic dogs were extremely successful at killing large animals. The success of the dog-human hunting combo could explain the mysterious, massive collections of mammoth bones found in Europe. These spectacular archaeological sites yielding extraordinary numbers of dead mammoths – […]

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Fences causing “ecological meltdown,” claims new study

A general belief by conservationists that fences can help prevent the spread of diseases, protect wildlife from poachers, and help manage populations of threatened species has been overturned by a new study that shows fences are actually causing extinctions and destroying ecosystems. The counterintuitive new findings, appearing in the journal Science, reviewed the pros and […]

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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. In the journal PLOS ONE, researchers at Michigan State University reveal that these color-coded communications evolve over time […]

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Return of wolves triggers renaissance in Yellowstone ecosystem

Fifteen years after the return of wolves to Yellowstone National Park a beautifully revitalized ecosystem is emerging. Oregon State University researchers working at the park say their observations provide “persuasive” evidence of the importance of top predators to biodiversity and ecosystem health. “Yellowstone increasingly looks like a different place,” said William Ripple, lead author of […]

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Predator-prey dynamics used to model cloud systems

Mathematical formulae that describe the population dynamics of prey animals such as gazelles and their predators have been used to model the relationship between cloud systems and rain. Documented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the novel approach may help address the paucity of knowledge concerning cloud formation and the role that […]

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Finally! Something that eats jellyfish

Jellyfish have few predators and the increasing incidence of ocean “dead zones” around the world has seen jellyfish populations explode in recent years. Now, however, ocean scientists have identified a common fish species that likes nothing better than jellyfish for dinner. The research, published in Science, examined an oxygen-depleted dead-zone off the coast of southwest […]

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Loss of top predators causing widespread ecosystem disruption

The decimation of “apex” predators such as wolves, cougars, lions or sharks has led to a huge increase in smaller “mesopredators” that are causing major economic and ecological disruptions, contends a new study in the journal Bioscience. The study found that in North America all of the largest terrestrial predators have been in decline for […]

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T-rex a baby killer

The cinematic cliché of two huge dinosaurs battling to the death may be nothing but fantasy if German scientists are correct in their assessment that large carnivorous dinosaurs were opportunistic hunters who picked on much smaller prey. Dr. Oliver Rauhut, paleontologist at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich, and his collegue Dr. David Hone contend that fossil […]

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