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Ecology / Conservation posts

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  • September 12, 2013
  • 09:24 AM
  • 309 views

Journal Club: Woolly mammoth extinction due to warming climate

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: In this scientific whodunnit, the latest research points a finger squarely at changing climate as the main culprit leading to the extinction of the woolly mammoth.... Read more »

Palkopoulou Eleftheria, Dalén Love , Lister Adrian M. , Vartanyan Sergey, Sablin Mikhail, Sher Andrei, Edmark Veronica Nyström , Brandström Mikael D. , Germonpré Mietje, & Barnes Ian . (2013) Holarctic genetic structure and range dynamics in the woolly mammoth. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1910  

Barnes Ian, Shapiro Beth, Lister Adrian, Kuznetsova Tatiana, Sher Andrei, Guthrie Dale, & Thomas Mark G. (2007) Genetic Structure and Extinction of the Woolly Mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius. Current Biology, 17(12), 1072-1075. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.05.035  

Hofreiter Michael, Münzel Susanne, Conard Nicholas J., Pollack Joshua, Slatkin Montgomery, Weiss Gunter, & Pääbo Svante. (2007) Sudden replacement of cave bear mitochondrial DNA in the late Pleistocene. Current Biology, 17(4). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.01.026  

Brace S., Palkopoulou E., Dalen L., Lister A. M., Miller R., Otte M., Germonpre M., Blockley S. P. E., Stewart J. R., & Barnes I. (2012) Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(50), 20532-20536. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1213322109  

  • September 12, 2013
  • 05:48 AM
  • 276 views

Resurrecting Dinosaurs Will Remain a Jurassic Park Dream

by Michael Parker in United Academics

On the same day that the of the Jurassic Park film series has been confirmed, a study published in the journal PLOS One has detailed experiments that seem to prove once and for all that dinosaurs will never again walk the Earth.

The 1993 film, based on a book by Michael Crichton, depicts a theme park island filled with dinosaurs, resurrected from ancient DNA extracted from fossilised mosquitoes trapped in amber.

In the early 1990s, several scientists announced they had extracted DNA from i........ Read more »

David Penney et al. (2013) Absence of Ancient DNA in Sub-Fossil Insect Inclusions Preserved in ‘Anthropocene’ Colombian Copal. PLoS ONE. info:/

  • September 11, 2013
  • 11:23 PM
  • 311 views

The Odyssey of the Lesser Horseshoe Bat

by Andrew Harrington in Denise O'Meara

The lesser horseshoe bat hides a shadowy past, where great invasions and wanderings across vast expanses of Eurasia contrast with its slow pace of life in the present day. This saga has been revealed by a new paper by Dool et al. (2013), which looks at the patterns of diversity and distribution of different genes in the DNA of the lesser horseshoe bat and allowed the authors to look deep into the species’ history, revealing a fascinating story.... Read more »

  • September 11, 2013
  • 11:41 AM
  • 483 views

Woolly mammoth extinction due to warming climate | @GrrlScientist

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

In this scientific whodunnit, the latest research points a finger squarely at changing climate and sea levels as the main culprits leading to the extinction of the woolly mammoth.... Read more »

Palkopoulou Eleftheria, Dalén Love , Lister Adrian M. , Vartanyan Sergey, Sablin Mikhail, Sher Andrei, Edmark Veronica Nyström , Brandström Mikael D. , Germonpré Mietje, & Barnes Ian . (2013) Holarctic genetic structure and range dynamics in the woolly mammoth. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1910  

Barnes Ian, Shapiro Beth, Lister Adrian, Kuznetsova Tatiana, Sher Andrei, Guthrie Dale, & Thomas Mark G. (2007) Genetic Structure and Extinction of the Woolly Mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius. Current Biology, 17(12), 1072-1075. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.05.035  

Hofreiter Michael, Münzel Susanne, Conard Nicholas J., Pollack Joshua, Slatkin Montgomery, Weiss Gunter, & Pääbo Svante. (2007) Sudden replacement of cave bear mitochondrial DNA in the late Pleistocene. Current Biology, 17(4). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.01.026  

Brace S., Palkopoulou E., Dalen L., Lister A. M., Miller R., Otte M., Germonpre M., Blockley S. P. E., Stewart J. R., & Barnes I. (2012) Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(50), 20532-20536. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1213322109  

  • September 10, 2013
  • 06:37 PM
  • 340 views

Study: Framework for Biomass Contracts Will Ensure Stable Biomass Supply

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A University of Illinois study recommends a framework for biomass contracts between growers and biorefineries to help spell out expectations for sustainability practices and designate who will assume the risks and costs associated with these new perennial energy crops.... Read more »

Endres J., Endres A., Stoller J. (2013) Building Bio-based Supply Chains: Theoretical Perspectives on Innovative Contract Design. UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, 31(1). info:other/19151

  • September 9, 2013
  • 01:01 PM
  • 291 views

Cheap Labor Is Not the Sole Reason for Chinese Solar Panels’ Low Prices

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A study of the photovoltaic industries in the US and China shows that China’s dominance in solar panel manufacturing is not driven solely by cheaper labor and government support, but by larger-scale manufacturing and resulting supply-chain benefits.... Read more »

Alan C. Goodrich, Douglas M. Powell, Ted L. James, Michael Woodhousea, Tonio Buonassisi. (2013) Assessing the drivers of regional trends in solar photovoltaic manufacturing. Energy . DOI: 10.1039/C3EE40701B  

  • September 6, 2013
  • 03:27 PM
  • 1,049 views

Female tiger sharks migrate from Northwestern to Main Hawaiian Islands during fall pupping season

by Liza Lester in EcoTone

A partial migration of adult female tiger sharks coincides with pupping season and the months of increased incidences of shark bite in Hawaii, according to new reseach out of Hawaii’s Shark Lab... Read more »

Yannis Peter Papastamatiou, Carl Gustav Meyer, Felipe Carvalho, Jonathon Dale, Melanie Hutchinson, & Kim Holland. (2013) Telemetry and random walk models reveal complex patterns of partial migration in a large marine predator. Ecology, 94(11). DOI: 10.1890/12-2014.1  

  • September 6, 2013
  • 12:36 PM
  • 296 views

Next generation cures born from the sea

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

Tackling the risks of infection and other illnesses remains a challenge. Might the solution come from the sea?... Read more »

Martin Ince. (2013) Next generation cures born from the sea. youris.com. info:/

  • September 4, 2013
  • 02:05 PM
  • 410 views

Male Frogs Grip Mates with Pheromone-Injecting Thumb Spikes

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish




There's nothing subtle about the wooing of European common frogs. Males grow spiny pads on their thumbs during the breeding season, the better to grip their mates. As if that weren't enough, the pads also seem to channel pheromones out of a frog's hands and straight into his female partner's body.

Frogs fertilize their eggs out in the open, so you might think there'd be no need for all this effort. Yet males of most frog species can be seen during the mating season "taking a piggyback ride" ........ Read more »

Bert Willaert, Franky Bossuyt, Sunita Janssenswillen, Dominique Adriaens, Geert Baggerman, Severine Matthijs, Elin Pauwels, Paul Proost, Arent Raepsaet, Liliane Schoofs.... (2013) Frog nuptial pads secrete mating season-specific proteins related to salamander pheromones. Journal of Experimental Biology. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.086363  

  • September 4, 2013
  • 01:49 PM
  • 540 views

Who Said What? (A Guest Post)

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Porscha CarriveauAs an aviculturist-turned-scientist, to me, it is common sense to tell people that birds are heard more often than seen. People study bird songs or calls for a variety of reasons. The reason I study bird songs is to identify the songs that my African grey parrot has learned to mimic. His repertoire includes the vocalizations of several birds’ songs such as robins, cardinals, cat birds, and chickadees. He also mimics humans. When leaving home in the morning, the last thing t........ Read more »

Ohms, V., Beckers, G., Ten Cate, C., & Suthers, R. (2012) Vocal Tract Articulation Revisited: The Case of the Monk Parakeet. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 85-92. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.064717  

  • September 3, 2013
  • 05:27 AM
  • 326 views

Wise old birds teach migration route to young whooping cranes

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: A study of captive-bred whooping cranes found that young birds learn their migration routes over many years, and migrating alongside older birds improves the migratory efficiency of younger birds.... Read more »

Mueller T., O'Hara R. B., Converse S. J., Urbanek R. P., & Fagan W. F. (2013) Social Learning of Migratory Performance. Science, 341(6149), 999-1002. DOI: 10.1126/science.1237139  

  • September 2, 2013
  • 12:44 PM
  • 443 views

Yeast Strain That Efficiently Converts Bio-Waste Into Biofuel Developed

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Researchers from KU Leuven and VIB have developed new yeast strains capable of converting waste into biofuel with unprecedented efficiency. The yeast strains could have real environmental and economic benefits, particularly as the burgeoning industry of second-generation biofuels continues to grow.... Read more »

  • September 2, 2013
  • 11:31 AM
  • 326 views

Wise old birds teach migration route to young whooping cranes | @GrrlScientist

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

A study of captive-bred whooping cranes found that young birds learn their migration routes over many years, and migrating alongside older birds improves the migratory efficiency of younger birds.... Read more »

  • September 2, 2013
  • 05:35 AM
  • 289 views

Five Edible Insects You Really Should Try

by Joost van Itterbeeck in United Academics

Edible insects are great alternatives to conventional sources of meat as they’re cheap, plentiful and excellent sources of protein and fat, as well as vitamins and minerals.

In many countries, eating insects doesn’t raise eyebrows. How palatable they appear to a person is largely determined by culture.

Analyses of insects also show huge variation in nutritional value and composition – between species, their stages of development and even due to the insects’ diet.
........ Read more »

  • August 31, 2013
  • 01:50 PM
  • 320 views

The ‘genetics of sand’ may shed new light on evolutionary process over millions of years

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

A new paper by Dr Ezard, published today (9 August 2013) in the journal Methods in Ecology & Evolution, opens the debate on the best way to understand how new species come into existence (speciation). The debate concerns whether fossil records such as those of the planktonic foraminifera, contain useful evidence of speciation over and above the molecular study of evolution. Molecular evolution traditionally uses evidence from species that are alive today to determine what their ancestors may hav........ Read more »

  • August 28, 2013
  • 09:04 PM
  • 296 views

Some City Birds Are Changing Their Tune

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

European starlings are one of the many bird species changing their songs in urban environments. Image by 4028mdk09 at Wikimedia Commons.The human world population has climbed to over 7.1 billion people and for the first time ever, more than half of us live in an urban area. Urban areas are spreading and more animals are either getting pushed out or are becoming urbanized in the process. Birds are among the many species we are used to seeing and hearing in our cities, but how exactly a........ Read more »

  • August 28, 2013
  • 02:37 PM
  • 291 views

Cynodont Therapsids Thrive After Late Permian Mass Extinction

by Jim Ryan in Wild Mammals

Cynodont therapsids – ancient closest relatives of modern mammals – the not only survived the greatest mass extinction of all time, 252 million years ago, but thrived in the aftermath, according to new research published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.


The first mammals arose in the Triassic period, over 225 million years ago.  They included small shrew-like animals such as Morganucodon from England, Megazostrodon from South Africa, and Bienotherium from China.
........ Read more »

Marcello Ruta1, Jennifer Botha-Brink2,3, Stephen A. Mitchell4, & and Michael J. Benton. (2013) The radiation of cynodonts and the ground plan of mammalian morphological diversity . Proceedings of the Royal Society B. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1865  

  • August 27, 2013
  • 08:28 AM
  • 337 views

Magnificently Mathematical Mussels

by Stephanie Swift in mmmbitesizescience

Despite the ease with which mussels can be cooked and eaten with chips, harvesting these tiny shelled bivalves from the seashore requires a certain amount of industrious prising. That’s because mussels use multiple thin byssus threads to securely fasten themselves … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 26, 2013
  • 08:00 AM
  • 562 views

Indigo Success

by David Steen in Living Alongside Wildlife





By Jim Godwin






    It’s the end of another season of monitoring of the Eastern Indigo Snake reintroduction project in Conecuh National Forest. During the winter months biologists and experienced volunteers have been systematically scouring the sandhills and longleaf forest for indigo snakes, using Gopher Tortoise burrows as cues in their searches. With the close of this round of ... Read more »

  • August 25, 2013
  • 11:02 AM
  • 405 views

Timing and defining the Killarney shad

by Denise O'Meara in Denise O'Meara

The Killarney shad (Alosa fallax killarnensis) is the only landlocked species of shad. A new study by Coscia et al. (2013) has investigated the phylogenetic origins of the species and have estimated that the first colonisation event took place 16,000 years ago and a second event likely occurred 7000 years ago. ... Read more »

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