Zoology News -- ScienceDaily Zoology. News and videos on animal life sciences. Read the latest research in zoology. Updated daily.

  • Secrets of the amazing tardigrades revealed by their DNA
    on July 27, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    New genome sequences shed light on both the origins of the tardigrades (also known as water bears or moss piglets), and the genes that underlie their extraordinary ability to survive in extreme conditions. […]

  • Hunting-related pathogen exposure not just for adult males
    on July 27, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Hunting and slaughtering wild animals in Western and Central Africa can put humans at risk of contracting zoonotic infections, including Ebola virus and Lassa virus. While previous studies have suggested that this risky hunting behavior is mostly limited to adult males, a new study finds that women and children also participate. […]

  • Crops that kill pests by shutting off their genes
    on July 27, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Plants are among many eukaryotes that can 'turn off' one or more of their genes by using a process called RNA interference to block protein translation. Researchers are now weaponizing this by engineering crops to produce specific RNA fragments that, upon ingestion by insects, initiate RNA interference to shut down a target gene essential for life or reproduction, killing or sterilizing the insects. […]

  • Grown-up gannets find favorite fishing grounds
    on July 27, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Like humans, some birds can spend years learning and exploring before developing more settled habits. A study of northern gannets has shown adults return to the same patch of sea over and over again to find food. […]

  • New bird that humans drove to extinction discovered in Azores
    on July 26, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Inside the crater of a volcano on Graciosa Island in the Azores archipelago, in the Atlantic Ocean, an international team of researchers has discovered the bones of a new extinct species of songbird, a bullfinch which they have named Pyrrhula crassa. The remains were found in a small cavity through which time ago the lava flowed. This bird disappeared a few hundreds of years ago due to human colonization of the islands and the introduction of invasive species. […]

  • Humans identify emotions in the voices of all air-breathing vertebrates
    on July 26, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Amphibians, reptiles, mammals -- all of them communicate via acoustic signals. And humans are able to assess the emotional value of these signals. The authors interpreted their findings as evidence that there might be a universal code for the vocal expression and perception of emotions in the animal kingdom. […]

  • Large-mouthed fish was top predator after mass extinction
    on July 26, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    The food chains recovered more rapidly than previously assumed after Earth's most devastating mass extinction event about 252 million years ago as demonstrated by the fossilized skull of a large predatory fish called Birgeria americana discovered by paleontologists from the University of Zurich in the desert of Nevada. […]

  • Fifty years on, the Breeding Bird Survey continues to produce new insights
    on July 26, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    In 1966, a US Fish and Wildlife Service biologist named Chan Robbins launched an international program designed to measure changes in bird populations using volunteers recruited to count birds on pre-set routes along country roads. The result, the North American Breeding Bird Survey or BBS, is still going strong more than five decades later. […]

  • New virus discovered in migratory bird in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
    on July 25, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Researchers have discovered a new virus in a white-rumped sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis), a migratory bird species captured in April 2012 in the Lagoa do Peixe National Park in Rio Grande do Sul State. The current evidence suggests that it is not a risk to humans. […]

  • How fear alone can cause animal extinction
    on July 25, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Fear alone may contribute to the extinction of animal populations according to a recent study. When scientists exposed fruit flies to the scent of a praying mantis, a known predator, they found that the risk of extinction increased up to seven fold. The increased risk of extinction occurred because at small population sizes, as the flies spent more time being vigilant and less time eating, populations that declined could not quickly rebound. […]

  • Dodder: A parasite involved in the plant alarm system
    on July 25, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Parasitic plants of the genus Cuscuta (dodder) not only deplete nutrients from their host plants, but also function as important 'information brokers' among neighboring plants, when insects feed on host plants, a team of scientists has discovered. […]

  • Greatest threat to Eastern forest birds is habitat loss on wintering grounds
    on July 24, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Human-caused habitat loss looms as the greatest threat to some North American breeding birds. The problem will be most severe on their wintering grounds, according to a new study. […]

  • Biological pest management: Infected insects cause a stink
    on July 24, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Researchers have shown how nematodes use smell to seek out uninfected insects, which they then enter and kill. The findings support the group's long-term goal of improving how gardeners and the agricultural industry use nematodes in biological pest management. […]

  • Raccoon roundworm: Hidden human parasite?
    on July 24, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    The raccoon that topples your trashcan and pillages your garden may leave more than just a mess. More likely than not, it also contaminates your yard with parasites -- most notably, raccoon roundworms (Baylisascaris procyonis). […]

  • Evolutionary biologists solve puzzle of evolutionary relationships among vertebrates
    on July 24, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Using the largest and most informative molecular phylogenetic dataset ever analysed, evolutionary biologists were able to construct a new phylogenetic tree of jawed vertebrates. This new tree resolves several key relationships that have remained controversial, including the identification of lungfishes as the closest living relatives of land vertebrates. The evolution of jawed vertebrates is part of our own history since humans belong to the tetrapods more specifically we are mammals, or, even more specifically, primates. […]

  • Challenging prevailing theory about how deep-sea vents are colonized
    on July 24, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Despite being relatively close together, two recently discovered hydrothermal vent fields in the Gulf of California host very different animal communities. This finding contradicts a common scientific assumption that neighboring vents will share similar animal communities, and suggests that local geology and vent-fluid chemistry are important factors affecting vent communities. […]

  • 300 million-year-old 'modern' beetle from Australia reconstructed
    on July 24, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    He's Australian, around half a centimeter long, fairly nondescript, 300 million years old -- and he's currently causing astonishment among both entomologists and palaeontologists. The discovery of a beetle from the late Permian period is throwing a completely new light on the earliest developments in this group of insects. […]

  • Our ancestors were already warm-blooded just before the Permian-Triassic extinction event
    on July 24, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    For how long have warm-blooded animals existed? The time at which this character first appeared in the ancestors of mammals has long been debated. Now, dating analyses carried out on 90 fossils have shown that warm-blooded species first appeared among our ancestors during the Late Permian, 252 -- 259 million years ago. In addition, this new character may have enabled them to survive the Permian-Triassic extinction event, 252 million years ago […]

  • Rare discovery of three new toad species in Nevada's Great Basin
    on July 21, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Three new species of toads have been discovered living in Nevada's Great Basin in an expansive survey of the 190,000 square mile ancient lake bottom, report investigators. […]

  • Seagrass meadows: Critical habitats for juvenile fish and dugongs in the east coast Johor islands
    on July 21, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Seagrass meadows in Johor harbor have three times more juvenile fish than coral reefs, scientists have found. They also found that the dugong herds there prefer certain types of meadows over others. […]

  • Elephant seals recognize each other by the rhythm of their calls
    on July 20, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Every day, humans pick up on idiosyncrasies such as slow drawls, high-pitched squeaks, or hints of accents to put names to voices from afar. This ability may not be as unique as once thought, researchers report. They find that unlike all other non-human mammals, northern elephant seal males consider the spacing and timing of vocal pulses in addition to vocal tones when identifying the calls of their rivals. […]

  • Gene drives likely to be foiled by rapid rise of resistance
    on July 20, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    A study in fruit flies suggests that existing approaches to gene drives using CRISPR/Cas9, which aim to spread new genes within a natural population, will be derailed by the development of mutations that give resistance to the drive. […]

  • Molting feathers may help birds deal with environmental contaminants
    on July 20, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Mercury is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant that affects the health of birds and other wild animals. […]

  • Hot dogs: Is climate change impacting populations of African wild dogs?
    on July 20, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Climate change may be harming the future of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) by impacting the survival rates of pups, according to one of the first studies on how shifting temperatures are impacting tropical species. […]

  • 'Sound' research shows slower boats may cause manatees more harm than good
    on July 20, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Slower boat speeds reduce risks to manatees. Or do they? Not exactly, according to new research. In fact, the very laws enacted to slow down boats in manatee habitats may actually be doing more harm than good. Slowing down boats makes it more difficult for manatees to detect and locate approaching boats. An innovative alerting device is proving to deliver a better solution. […]

  • Nesting aids make agricultural fields attractive for bees
    on July 20, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Wild bees are important pollinators of many crop plants - sometimes they are even more efficient than honeybees. Their numbers can be increased sustainably using simple means as a recent study has found. […]

  • High levels of antibiotic-resistance in Indian poultry farming raises concerns
    on July 20, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    A new study from India raises questions about the dangers to human health of farming chicken with growth-promoting antibiotics -- including some of the same drugs used in raising millions of chickens in the United States and worldwide. […]

  • A common underlying genetic basis for social behavior in dogs and humans
    on July 19, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Scientists have identified genetic changes that are linked to dogs' human-directed social behaviors and suggest there is a common underlying genetic basis for hyper-social behavior in both dogs and humans. […]

  • Damming and lost connectivity for fish in Northeastern ecosystems
    on July 19, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Fish that migrate between freshwater and sea ecosystems play a multitude of ecological roles. In the centuries since Europeans first colonized the Americas, damming and other disruptions to river connectivity have greatly decreased the migration opportunities of these species. A new article outlines the effects of lost habitat and river connectivity for these crucial fish. […]

  • Robotics-based study provides insight into predator-prey interactions
    on July 19, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Scientists have put forth a robotics-based study to control information flow in predator-prey interactions, as well as test the validity of transfer entropy when attempting to understand causal influences of the system. […]