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

  • No-fishing zones help endangered penguins
    on January 17, 2018 at 3:25 am

    Small no-fishing zones around colonies of African penguins can help this struggling species, new research shows. […]

  • Drones confirm importance of Costa Rican waters for sea turtles
    on January 16, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    A new drone-enabled population survey -- the first ever on sea turtles -- shows that larger-than-anticipated numbers of turtles aggregate in waters off Costa Rica's Ostional National Wildlife Refuge. Scientists estimate turtle densities may reach up to 2,086 animals per square kilometer. The study underscores the importance of the Ostional habitat; it also confirms that drones are a reliable tool for surveying sea turtle abundance. […]

  • Great scat! Bears -- not birds -- are the chief seed dispersers in Alaska
    on January 16, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    In southeastern Alaska, brown and black bears are plentiful because of salmon. Their abundance also means they are the primary seed dispersers of berry-producing shrubs, according to a new study. […]

  • Pharmaceuticals and other contaminants force fish to work much harder to survive
    on January 16, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Pharmaceuticals and other human-made contaminants are forcing fish that live downstream from a typical sewage treatment plant to work at least 30 percent harder just to survive, researchers have found. […]

  • Zoology: Luminescent lizards
    on January 16, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    Chameleons are known to communicate with conspecifics by altering their surface coloration. Munich researchers have now found that the bony tubercles on the heads of many species fluoresce under UV light and form impressive patterns. […]

  • 'Rainbow' dinosaur had iridescent feathers like a hummingbird
    on January 16, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Scientists discovered a dinosaur fossil with feathers so well-preserved that they were able to see the feathers' microscopic color-bearing structures. By comparing the shapes of those feather structures with the structures in modern bird feathers, they're able to infer that the new dino, Caihong juji ('rainbow with the big crest') had iridescent rainbow feathers like a hummingbird. […]

  • Circadian clocks under the microscope
    on January 16, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Circadian clocks regulate the behavior of all living things. Scientists have now taken a closer look at the clock's anatomical structures and molecular processes in the honeybee. […]

  • New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations
    on January 15, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Researchers have for the first time have used hydroacoustics as a method for comparing the abundance of fishes within and outside marine protected areas (MPAs). […]

  • Genes that aid spinal cord healing in lamprey also present in humans, researchers discover
    on January 15, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Many of the genes involved in natural repair of the injured spinal cord of the lamprey are also active in the repair of the peripheral nervous system in mammals, according to a new study. […]

  • Species identification in the water bottle
    on January 12, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    Environmental DNA analysis makes it possible to detect water organisms without having to capture them first. For the first time, researchers systematically investigated the effect of various environmental factors on environmental DNA analyses. By doing so, the researchers have made an important step towards the standardized application of this method for the monitoring of water bodies. […]

  • Experts raise concerns over raw meat diets for cats and dogs
    on January 12, 2018 at 3:40 am

    Experts are warning dog and cat owners to be aware of the risks associated with feeding their pets raw meat-based diets, instead of the more conventional dry or canned pet foods. […]

  • Biologists peek into the past to see the future through tiny spider eyes
    on January 11, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Biologists look to the past for early genetic development of tiny spider and insect eyes to find potential for research into human visual challenges. […]

  • Scientists identify immune cells that keep gut fungi under control
    on January 11, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Immune cells that process food and bacterial antigens in the intestines control the intestinal population of fungi, according to a new study. Defects in the fungus-fighting abilities of these cells may contribute to some cases of Crohn's disease and other forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). […]

  • The brain's GPS has a buddy system
    on January 11, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Brain cells that reflect self position relative to others have been identified in the rat hippocampus. Sometimes these representations are processed jointly by the same cells, depending on a rat's goals and actions. This discovery deepens our understanding of the hippocampus and its role as the brain's positioning system. […]

  • Marijuana farms expose spotted owls to rat poison in northwest California
    on January 11, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    Spotted owls and barred owls are being exposed to high levels of rat poison in northwest California, with illegal marijuana farms the most likely source point, according to a new study. Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in the state, went into effect this month and is expected to intensify the issue. […]

  • Spider eat spider: Scientists discover 18 new spider-hunting pelican spiders in Madagascar
    on January 11, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Scientists examined and analyzed hundreds of pelican spiders both in the field in Madagascar and through study of pelican spiders preserved in museum collections. Their analysis sorted the spiders studied into 26 different species -- 18 of which have never before been described. The new species add to scientists' understanding of Madagascar's renowned biodiversity, and will help scientists investigate how pelican spiders' unusual traits have evolved and diversified over time. […]

  • Rising temperatures turning major sea turtle population female
    on January 11, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Scientists have used a new research approach to show that warming temperatures are turning one of the world's largest sea turtle colonies almost entirely female, running the risk that the colony cannot sustain itself in coming decades, newly published research concludes. […]

  • As climate is warming up, more bird nests are destroyed in Finnish farmland
    on January 11, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    A new study shows that birds have shifted the time of their breeding much faster than the farmers are anticipating their sowing times in Finnish farmland. This means that more birds are nowadays laying their eggs on fields that are still to be sown, a mismatch in timing that is most likely fatal for the bird nests. […]

  • For a banded mongoose in northern Botswana, communicating with family can be deadly
    on January 10, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    A novel tuberculosis pathogen, Mycobacterium mungi, closely related to human TB, infects and kills banded mongooses through a surprising route -- olfactory communication. Now, a detailed investigation provides a window into how this deadly disease moves between mongooses and within the mongoose host. […]

  • In 'pond scum,' scientists find answers to one of evolution's which-came-first cases
    on January 10, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    A team of scientists report on new evidence that primitive moths and butterflies existed during the Jurassic period, approximately 50 million years earlier than the first flowering plants, shedding new light on one of the most confounding cases of co-evolution. […]

  • The ecological costs of war: Conflict a consistent killer of African megafauna
    on January 10, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Researchers report that war has been a consistent factor in the decades-long decline of Africa's large mammals. But the researchers also found that wildlife populations rarely collapsed to the point where recovery was impossible, meaning that even protected areas severely affected by conflict are promising candidates for conservation and rehabilitation efforts. […]

  • Frogs reveal mechanism that determines viability of hybrids
    on January 10, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Why are some hybrids viable and others not? It is known that this depends on the father species and the mother species. New research in two related frog species shows the influence of mother and father species: one hybrid is viable, the other hybrid dies in early stages of development. […]

  • Worldwide importance of honey bees for natural habitats captured in new report
    on January 10, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    An unprecedented study integrating data from around the globe has shown that honey bees are the world's most important single species of pollinator in natural ecosystems and a key contributor to natural ecosystem functions. The report weaves together information from 80 plant-pollinator interaction networks. The results clearly identify the honey bee (Apis mellifera) as the single most frequent visitor to flowers of naturally occurring (non-crop) plants worldwide. […]

  • Giant extinct burrowing bat discovered in New Zealand
    on January 10, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    The fossilized remains of a giant burrowing bat that lived in New Zealand millions of years ago have been found by a UNSW Sydney-led international team of scientists. Teeth and bones of the extinct bat -- which was about three times the size of an average bat today -- were recovered from 19 to 16-million-year-old sediments near the town of St Bathans in Central Otago on the South Island. […]

  • Engineered sandbars don't measure up for nesting plovers
    on January 10, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Dams reduce the creation of natural sandbars, which is bad news for birds that depend on them for nesting habitat. More than 200 hectares of engineered sandbars have been built along the Missouri River to address this problem -- but how does this compare to the real thing? A new study takes advantage of a natural experiment created by the region's 2011 floods, demonstrating that engineered habitat doesn't provide the benefits of sandbars created by nature. […]

  • New depth limit for deep-sea marine burrows
    on January 10, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Scientists have found fossil evidence of deep-sea marine life burrowing up to eight meters below the seabed -- four times the previously observed depth for modern deep-sea life. […]

  • Scouting the eagles: Proof that protecting nests aids reproduction
    on January 10, 2018 at 2:49 am

    Reproduction among bald eagles in a remote national park in Minnesota was aided when their nests were protected from human disturbance, according to a new study. […]

  • Mass extinctions remove species but not ecological variety
    on January 9, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Though mass extinctions wiped out staggeringly high numbers of species, they barely touched the overall 'functional' diversity -- how each species makes a living, be it filtering phytoplankton or eating small crustaceans, burrowing or clamping onto rocks. […]

  • Noise from oil and gas operations stresses birds, hinders reproduction
    on January 9, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Birds exposed to constant noise from oil and gas operations show physiological signs of chronic stress, have chicks whose growth is stunted, and -- in some cases -- lay fewer eggs that hatch, according to a new study. […]

  • Some lemurs are loners, others crave connection
    on January 9, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    If lemurs were on Facebook, Fern would have oodles of friends, liking and commenting on their posts. Captain Lee, on the other hand, would rarely send a friend request. These are just two of the distinct personalities discovered in a recent study of group dynamics in ring-tailed lemurs, primate cousins that live in groups of up to two dozen on the island of Madagascar. […]