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Ecology / Conservation posts

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  • January 3, 2014
  • 11:00 AM
  • 458 views

Snoozing Bats Tune Out Traffic Noise

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

For an easily crushed animal that rests during the day, a highway seems like maybe the worst possible home. Yet some bats pick roosts that are under bridges, or in other spots booming with human noise. Why subject themselves to that? For bats of at least one species, the sound of traffic is easy to doze through. And the more they hear it, the more they ignore it.The greater mouse-eared bat, Myotis myotis, often turns up under bridges in Europe. Jinhong Luo, a PhD student at the Max Planck Instit........ Read more »

Luo J, Clarin BM, Borissov IM, & Siemers BM. (2013) Are torpid bats immune to anthropogenic noise?. The Journal of experimental biology. PMID: 24311817  

  • January 1, 2014
  • 04:52 PM
  • 593 views

Metabolism and Body Size Influence the Perception of Movement and Time

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

Zoetropes like this one have been used for almost 2000 years. If you look in the slits from the side, the image appears to be animated. Image by Andrew Dunn at Wikimedia Commons.When we watch TV or a movie, we are essentially watching a series of still images presented in rapid succession… so rapid, in fact, that we perceive them to be a single moving image. The ability of movie-makers to convince us that still images are fluid in time is based on our physiology. Specifically, moving-pictures,........ Read more »

  • December 31, 2013
  • 08:00 AM
  • 913 views

10 Animals That Went Extinct in 2013

by David Steen in Living Alongside Wildlife




Our extinction crisis continues; 2013 allowed us to safely conclude that we will never again see the animals listed below (2012 version here).




One of the last known photos ofa Formosan Clouded Leopard;
taken by Torii Ryūzō.

The Formosan Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa brachyura) of Taiwan is now thought to be extinct. None have been seen in over thirty years, despite a recent and ... Read more »

Soto-Azat C, Valenzuela-Sánchez A, Collen B, Rowcliffe JM, Veloso A, & Cunningham AA. (2013) The population decline and extinction of Darwin's frogs. PloS one, 8(6). PMID: 23776705  

  • December 27, 2013
  • 04:24 AM
  • 643 views

The fate of the Eels

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

The European eel is one of the world’s many critically endangered species. Comprehensive protection is difficult because many details of the eel’s complex life cycle remain unknown. In a multidisciplinary study, biologists and oceanographers at GEOMAR recently demonstrated the crucial influence of ocean currents on eel recruitment. They did so by using, among others, a state-of-the-art ocean model developed in Kiel, in combination with genetic studies.
Further reading and links... Read more »

Miguel Baltazar-Soares, Arne Biastoch, Chris Harrod, Reinhold Hane, Lasse Marohn, Enno Prigge, Derek Evans, Kenneth Bodles, Erik Behrens, Claus W. Böning.... (2013) Recruitment Collapse and Population Structure of the European Eel Shaped by Local Ocean Current Dynamics. Cell Press Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.11.031  

  • December 23, 2013
  • 10:32 AM
  • 591 views

Why It's Nearly Impossible to Castrate a Hippo

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Chances are you've never wondered how difficult it is to remove the testes of a hippopotamus. Other people have been thinking hard about it, though, because in fact it's almost impossible.Before sitting down to emasculate a common hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius, it would be reasonable to ask why. They're a threatened species, so usually conservationists try to make more baby hippos—not fewer. But in zoos, hippos turn out to be prolific baby-makers. Females can live for 40 years and may b........ Read more »

  • December 23, 2013
  • 08:29 AM
  • 351 views

Why It’s Nearly Impossible to Castrate a Hippo

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Chances are you’ve never wondered how difficult it is to remove the testes of a hippopotamus. Other people have been thinking hard about it, though, because in fact it’s almost impossible. Before sitting down to emasculate a common hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius, it would be reasonable to ask why. They’re a threatened species, so usually conservationists […]The post Why It’s Nearly Impossible to Castrate a Hippo appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

  • December 20, 2013
  • 10:50 AM
  • 480 views

Spider Acts Like Ruthless Carnivore, Is Really Flexitarian

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Even deadly predators crave a salad sometimes. Certain orb-weaver spiders—apparent full-time carnivores who eat by trapping prey, covering it with digestive juices, and then slurping it down like an insect smoothie—have been secretly taking their meals with a plant-based side dish. Namely, pollen.Orb weavers are a family of spiders common all across the world; they're the ones that weave the classic concentric-circle webs you see in picture books. Earlier studies have shown that those webs c........ Read more »

  • December 19, 2013
  • 10:47 AM
  • 734 views

Evolution and Transcription Factor Binding of Human Exons

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

A recent paper in Science has been hyped as the revelation of a new code affecting codon choice and protein evolution. In their study, Andrew Stergachis et al from the University of Washington applied DNAaseI-seq to map transcription factor occupancy across the human exome in 81 different cell types. They found that around 15% of […]... Read more »

Stergachis AB, Haugen E, Shafer A, Fu W, Vernot B, Reynolds A, Raubitschek A, Ziegler S, LeProust EM, Akey JM.... (2013) Exonic transcription factor binding directs codon choice and affects protein evolution. Science (New York, N.Y.), 342(6164), 1367-72. PMID: 24337295  

  • December 19, 2013
  • 09:23 AM
  • 407 views

Behold the ‘Plastisphere’

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

Scientists have discovered a diverse multitude of microbes colonizing and thriving on flecks of plastic that have polluted the oceans—a vast new human-made flotilla of microbial communities that they have dubbed the “plastisphere.”... Read more »

Zettler ER, Mincer TJ, & Amaral-Zettler LA. (2013) Life in the "plastisphere": microbial communities on plastic marine debris. Environmental science , 47(13), 7137-46. PMID: 23745679  

  • December 18, 2013
  • 11:23 PM
  • 611 views

2013: Saline lake research in papers

by Egor Zadereev in Science of Salt Lakes

It’s time to sum up the research on saline lakes for the year 2013. The approach is the same as for the two previous years. The database: Web of Science. The timespan: Year 2013.
Search: the combined list for two searches “salt lake or saline lake” and “salinity and lake”...... Read more »

Matthew Z. DeMaerea, Timothy J. Williamsa, Michelle A. Allena, Mark V. Browna, John A. E. Gibsonc, John Richa, Federico M. Lauroa, Michael Dyall-Smithd, Karen W. Davenporte, Tanja Woykef.... (2013) High level of intergenera gene exchange shapes the evolution of haloarchaea in an isolated Antarctic lake. PNAS. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1307090110  

Antony, Chakkiath Paul, Kumaresan, Deepak, Hunger, Sindy, Drake, Harold L., Murrell, J. Colin, & Shouche, Yogesh S. (2013) Microbiology of Lonar Lake and other soda lakes. ISME JOURNAL. DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2012.137  

Schmidt, Radomir, Tantoyotai, Prapakorn, Fakra, Sirine C., Marcus, Matthew A., Yang, Soo In, Pickering, Ingrid J., Banuelos, Gary S., Hristova, Krassimira R., & Freeman, John L. (2013) Selenium Biotransformations in an Engineered Aquatic Ecosystem for Bioremediation of Agricultural Wastewater via Brine Shrimp Production. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE . DOI: 10.1021/es305001n  

  • December 17, 2013
  • 07:01 PM
  • 445 views

http://dailyfusion.net/2013/12/study-identifies-best-energy-generation-options-for-africa-solar-wins-25614/

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A new article by the Joint Research Center (JRC), the EU in-house scientific service, seems to confirm that the solution to the Africa’s energy problems lies with renewable energy sources.... Read more »

S. Szabóa, K. Bódisa, T. Hulda, M. Moner-Girona. (2013) Sustainable energy planning: Leapfrogging the energy poverty gap in Africa. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 500-509. DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2013.08.044  

  • December 17, 2013
  • 07:01 PM
  • 347 views

Study Identifies Best Energy Generation Options for Africa, Solar Wins

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A new article by the Joint Research Center (JRC), the EU in-house scientific service, seems to confirm that the solution to the Africa’s energy problems lies with renewable energy sources.... Read more »

S. Szabóa, K. Bódisa, T. Hulda, M. Moner-Girona. (2013) Sustainable energy planning: Leapfrogging the energy poverty gap in Africa. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 500-509. DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2013.08.044  

  • December 16, 2013
  • 10:31 AM
  • 426 views

New Geothermal Plant Design Uses Carbon Dioxide to Boost Output Tenfold

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Researchers are developing a new geothermal plant design that will lock away unwanted carbon dioxide (CO2) underground and use it as a tool to boost electric power generation by at least 10 times compared to conventional geothermal power.... Read more »

  • December 13, 2013
  • 10:09 AM
  • 557 views

How do hummingbirds thrive in the Andes? | @GrrlScientist

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

New research finds that hummingbird species living at high altitudes have independently evolved hemoglobin with enhanced oxygen-binding properties so they can thrive in oxygen-poor environments. ... Read more »

  • December 11, 2013
  • 11:43 AM
  • 396 views

Personality and the Spread of Disease

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

This image was provided by the CDC and the Partnership, Inc. Available at Wikimedia Commons.Studies of the spread of infectious diseases have shown that behavior plays a strong role in which individuals are more likely to be infected and which ones aren't. For example, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are more commonly diagnosed in people that have more sexual partners. But despite our understanding of how diseases are spread among people, we know very little about the spread of diseases amo........ Read more »

  • December 11, 2013
  • 09:48 AM
  • 773 views

Estimating the extent of fatal bird collisions with wind turbines

by Aileen Cudmore in Natural Reactions

As the US seeks to expand its wind energy sector, a new study sheds greater light on the impact of wind turbines on wildlife. ... Read more »

  • December 10, 2013
  • 11:31 AM
  • 460 views

Newly Discovered Flower Makes Fake Pollen to Fool Bees

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

"I was certain it was something new when I saw it," says Chris Martine of the bush tomato species he discovered in the Australian outback. It's a scrappy, spiny shrub with crinkly purple flowers that thrives on fire. It also uses treachery to survive, disguising its female flowers with fake male parts and even fake pollen.A botanist and biodiversity scientist at Bucknell University, Martine explains that the new plant "was on the radar of a few local botanists as being an oddball." Martine had b........ Read more »

  • December 9, 2013
  • 05:13 PM
  • 355 views

Study: Some Companies Could Switch to Wood Power

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

According to researchers at the Pennsylvania State University, it is possible for some companies to economically convert their operations to wood power.... Read more »

Biomass boiler conversion potential in the eastern United States. (2013) Biomass boiler conversion potential in the eastern United States. Renewable Energy, 439-453. DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2013.07.019  

  • December 9, 2013
  • 04:00 PM
  • 728 views

Kingsnakes Keep Copperheads in Check **Special Blog Carnival Edition - Don't Miss Links at Bottom**

by David Steen in Living Alongside Wildlife





 "We just found one of our Kingsnakes doing something really cool." 



    It was 2006 and we had recently started radio-tracking about a dozen Kingsnakes (Lampropeltis getula) in a big chunk of longleaf pine forest in southwestern Georgia. Kingsnakes were fascinating to me because they were a big, recognizable species for which we knew next to nothing. In fact, this was ... Read more »

  • December 9, 2013
  • 08:38 AM
  • 379 views

Dispersants Used in Deepwater Horizon Clean Up Less Harmful Than Predicted

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

According to data from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) around seven million liters of dispersants were used to combat oil pollution in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, researchers from the Queen’s University at Kingston say that dispersants may not be as harmful to fish as first thought.... Read more »

Adams J., Sweezey M., & Hodson P.V. (2013) Oil and oil dispersant do not cause synergistic toxicity to fish embryos. Environmental toxicology and chemistry / SETAC. PMID: 24115182  

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