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All posts; Tags Include "Zoology"

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  • October 2, 2008
  • 06:46 AM
  • 1,279 views

Birds Make Peace With Turbines

by Tangled Up in Blue Guy in Tangled Up In Blue Guy

European Study Indicates Little Effect on Bird Populations

A major concern for placing wind turbines on lowlands and plains has been the possible decimation of wild bird populations.  One concern is that the increased turbulence affects the avian lung through pressure differentials.

Before massively building tubine farms to try to replace coal-burning power plants concerns of the [...]... Read more »

Claire L. Devereux 1 , Matthew J. H. Denny 2† and Mark J. Whittingham 1*, & 1 School of Biology, Ridley Building, Newcastle University, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE1 7RU UK; and 2 Baker Shepherd Gillespie, Worton Rectory Park, Oxford OX29 4SX, UK. (2008) Minimal effects of wind turbines on the distribution of wintering farmland birds. Journal of Applied Ecology, (9999)((9999)), 9999-99999. DOI: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/121427776/HTMLSTARTW  

  • September 29, 2008
  • 11:58 AM
  • 2,066 views

Insect learning: trace conditioning and spike timing-dependent plasticity

by Björn Brembs in bjoern.brembs.blog

The most well-known molecular mechanism of learning involves coincidence detection. In post-synaptic LTP, the NMDA receptor only opens fully if a postsynaptic depolarization has removed the magnesium block by the time glutamate arrives at the receptor. In pre-synaptic facilitation, adenylyl cycase only generates large amounts of cAMP when stimulated both by transmitter and by coincident Ca2+ influx. Thus, in both cases, you need neural activity (i.e., action potentials or spikes) to coincide ont........ Read more »

Iori Ito, Rose Chik-ying Ong, Baranidharan Raman, & Mark Stopfer. (2008) Sparse odor representation and olfactory learning. Nature Neuroscience, 11(10), 1177-1184. DOI: 10.1038/nn.2192  

  • September 25, 2008
  • 03:37 PM
  • 2,820 views

Love, Sex and War in the Seychelles

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

tags: bpr3.org/?p=52, Seychelles magpie-robin, Copsychus sechellarum, behavioral ecology, conservation biology, endangered species, population dynamics, ornithology, birds

Seychelles magpie-robin, Copsychus sechellarum.

Image: Tony Randell (Wikipedia) [larger view].

Every once in awhile, I read a paper that surprises me. Today, I read one of those papers, and it surprised me because it analyzes a phenomenon that is so obvious that I wonder why no one ever thought of studying it in a systemati........ Read more »

  • September 18, 2008
  • 09:59 AM
  • 2,063 views

Ratite Flight: Lost But Not Forgotten

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

tags: ratite, tinamous, evolution, biogeography, phylogenomics, convergence, flightlessness, Paleognath, homoplasy, vicariance

White-throated Tinamou, Tinamus guttatus.

Image: Wikipedia.

New research suggests the ostriches, emus, rheas and other flightless birds known as ratites have lost the ability to fly many times, rather than just once, as long thought. Further, the ratites appear to form a group with the tinamous, a group of birds that can fly, while the ostriches are set apart as the "........ Read more »

J. Harshman, E. L. Braun, M. J. Braun, C. J. Huddleston, R. C. K. Bowie, J. L. Chojnowski, S. J. Hackett, K.-L. Han, R. T. Kimball, B. D. Marks.... (2008) Phylogenomic evidence for multiple losses of flight in ratite birds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(36), 13462-13467. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0803242105  

  • September 17, 2008
  • 10:40 AM
  • 3,028 views

What did Leonardo eat for lunch?

by Laelaps in Laelaps

"Leonardo," the mummy dinosaur, courtesy of the HMNS.

Although it got a brief treatment in the book Horns and Beaks, many people have been waiting for more information on the exceptionally-preserved Brachylophosaurus skeleton named "Leonardo." Due to be unveiled next week at the Houston Museum of Natural Science (the date was pushed back due to Hurricane Ike; the museum and Leonardo were unharmed), the fossil provides a unique look at the soft tissues of this particular dinosaur.

Dinosaur "mu........ Read more »

  • September 1, 2008
  • 07:00 PM
  • 1,782 views

What the heck is a Placozoan, anyway?

by GrumpyBob in Flies and Bikes

I was intrigued by a brief news piece in the latest issue of Science to fall onto my desk (the 22nd August issue).  This concerns the recently published genome sequence of Trichoplax adhaerens, a peculiar animal in a phylum I'd never heard of.  That in itself was interesting, particularly as placozoans have a really odd body plan that invol [...]... Read more »

Mansi Srivastava, Emina Begovic, Jarrod Chapman, Nicholas H. Putnam, Uffe Hellsten, Takeshi Kawashima, Alan Kuo, Therese Mitros, Asaf Salamov, Meredith L. Carpenter.... (2008) The Trichoplax genome and the nature of placozoans. Nature, 454(7207), 955-960. DOI: 10.1038/nature07191  

  • August 27, 2008
  • 03:49 AM
  • 3,131 views

Holy magnetic cow!!

by Madhu in Reconciliation Ecology

File this one under the "who woulda thunk it?", or "why didn't I think of this?" or simply "whaaa...?!" categories! Quick, can you tell which way is north in this picture?

Do you think of asking the cow for directions? Why not? For it seems that cow probably knows which way north is! Read on...

You know, these big dumb-seeming large mammals you pass by every day, these big walking, grazing... Read more »

S Begall, J Cerveny, J Neef, O Vojtcch, & H Burda. (2008) Magnetic alignment in grazing and resting cattle and deer. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0803650105  

  • July 24, 2008
  • 07:00 PM
  • 1,667 views

In the Journals - Tasmanian Devil Tumours

by GrumpyBob in Flies and Bikes

... Read more »

M. E. Jones, A. Cockburn, R. Hamede, C. Hawkins, H. Hesterman, S. Lachish, D. Mann, H. McCallum, & D. Pemberton. (2008) Life-history change in disease-ravaged Tasmanian devil populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(29), 10023-10027. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0711236105  

  • April 28, 2008
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,596 views

Using colour without seeing colour

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

I started off my research career with octopuses when I was in a landlocked prairie province. And my supervisor talked from time to time about the deep mystery that cephalopods (squids, octopus, cuttlefish) could use colour, but couldn't see colour. So this is the sort of paper I've been waiting a long while to read.... Read more »

Lydia Mäthger, Chuan-Chin Chiao, Alexandra Barbosa, & Roger T Hanlon. (2008) Color matching on natural substrates in cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis . Journal of Comparative Physiology A. DOI: 10.1007/s00359-008-0332-4  

  • April 15, 2008
  • 09:30 AM
  • 918 views

In the beginning was the fat

by 96well in Reportergene

So you are an imaging scientist. Probably you master an in vivo imaging system (CCD) and spend most of your working time in a lonely dark room collecting some spare photons coming out from a bioluminescent mouse, or frog, or zebrafish, or tobacco plant. Get out! Viviani and colleagues from the Sao Carlos University made some promenades during summer nights to collect adults and larvae of Aspisoma lineatum (Brazilian fireflies). Then they made some in vivo imaging with fireflies, just to discover........ Read more »

  • April 7, 2008
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,356 views

Not looking for tail

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

The peacock's tail is the example of a feature that seems to have evolved not for survival, but for attracting mates. And it is truly spectacular, as the video clip shows. One explanation for the great size of the tail is that if females prefer mating with males with large tails, those males will have greater reproductive success.... Read more »

M TAKAHASHI, H ARITA, M HIRAIWAHASEGAWA, & T HASEGAWA. (2008) Peahens do not prefer peacocks with more elaborate trains. Animal Behaviour, 75(4), 1209-1219. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.10.004  

  • March 28, 2008
  • 12:00 AM
  • 2,289 views

Resurrecting Jackrabbits (Citizen Science Watch: Easter Edition)

by Madhu in Darwin's Bulldogs

In the January 2008 issue of The Oryx, Dr. Joel Berger (of the University of Montana and the Wildlife Conservation Society) published an interesting short article on the likely local extirpation of white-tailed jackrabbits from the Yellowstone region - a cautionary tale about the potential problems of undetected extinctions and their potential ramifications cascading up through food webs. The current issue of the journal is freely accessible, so at least for now you can read the whole article he........ Read more »

  • February 14, 2008
  • 12:00 AM
  • 2,321 views

Research: Spiders on Indian coffee farms

by Julie Craves in Coffee & Conservation

Ants and butterflies are often the two most studied arthropods on coffee farms; this study examined the community structure of spiders in two organic shade coffee farms and ten rainforest fragments ... Read more »

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 16,678 views

How many species concepts are there?

by John Wilkins in GrrlScientist

It's an old question in biology: what is a species? Many answers have been given over the years – I counted 26 in play, and recently a new one, the "polyphasic" concept has been introduced... Read more »

John S. Wilkins. (2006) The Concept and Causes of Microbial Species. History , 389-408. info:/

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 2,409 views

Female snails in Australia are just happy to see you

by Miriam Goldstein in Deep Sea News

In which a distraught marine snail seeks advice about a penis sprouting from the right side of her head.... Read more »

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 2,846 views

Spiders as catalysts for ecosystem development

by Chris Buddle in Arthropod Ecology

In this post, the role of spiders in the development of ecosystems is discussed, especially in light of their ability to colonize habitats rapidly. ... Read more »

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 2,351 views

The case of the missing genitalia: copulation costs for male spiders

by Chris Buddle in Arthropod Ecology

Male spiders can be missing their organs (pedipalps) and this is clearly quite a cost for their fitness! This post explores this topic, with some original data, and with some discussion of past literature on the topic.... Read more »

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 2,851 views

Honeypot Ants - Live food storage units

by beredim in Strange Animals

Honey ants are a weird class of ant-workers that engorge themselves with food. Overtime, their abdomen gets as big as a grape. In times of need, they will either regurgitate the stored liquid or sacrifice themselves to feed the rest of the colony. ... Read more »

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,701 views

The Australian Turtle Frog

by beredim in Strange Animals

The turtle frog is a strange animal from western australia. Named after their turtle-like body, the species feeds exclusively on termites.... Read more »

  • November 30, 1999
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,995 views

The Australian Turtle Frog

by beredim in Strange Animals

The turtle frog is a strange animal from western australia. Named after their turtle-like body, the species feeds exclusively on termites.... Read more »

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