Bumblebees’ communication and learning Bumblebees can learn to use cues provided by other bumblebees as well as by honey bees to find food... Read more »
Dawson E.H., Chittka L. (2012) Conspecific and heterospecific information use in bumblebees. PLoS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031444
A most amazing mimicry complex exists with velvet ants in Central and North America. This post explores this complex, including discussion about why these different wasp species looks so similar.... Read more »
Wilson JS, Williams KA, Forister ML, von Dohlen CD, & Pitts JP. (2012) Repeated evolution in overlapping mimicry rings among North American velvet ants. Nature communications, 1272. PMID: 23232402
Tis the season for snow in the northern hemisphere – on the ground and in the mind of the biologist. Recent studies are showing the unique ways that organisms depend on and use snow in order to survive. An antifreeze protein from snow fleas may lengthen the time that organs can be stored for transplant. More amazing, reindeer use the UV rays that bounce of the snow to see predators – they are the only mammals that can see in the UV range.... Read more »
Hogg C, Neveu M, Stokkan KA, Folkow L, Cottrill P, Douglas R, Hunt DM, & Jeffery G. (2011) Arctic reindeer extend their visual range into the ultraviolet. The Journal of experimental biology, 214(Pt 12), 2014-9. PMID: 21613517
Kondo H, Hanada Y, Sugimoto H, Hoshino T, Garnham CP, Davies PL, & Tsuda S. (2012) Ice-binding site of snow mold fungus antifreeze protein deviates from structural regularity and high conservation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(24), 9360-5. PMID: 22645341
Pentelute BL, Gates ZP, Dashnau JL, Vanderkooi JM, & Kent SB. (2008) Mirror image forms of snow flea antifreeze protein prepared by total chemical synthesis have identical antifreeze activities. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 130(30), 9702-7. PMID: 18598026
Kuwabara C, Takezawa D, Shimada T, Hamada T, Fujikawa S, & Arakawa K. (2002) Abscisic acid- and cold-induced thaumatin-like protein in winter wheat has an antifungal activity against snow mould, Microdochium nivale. Physiologia plantarum, 115(1), 101-110. PMID: 12010473
The most unknown animal group: placozoan Placozoans found worldwide look very similar under a microscope; however, this unknown animal group is starting to show remarkable variation... Read more »
How parasites affect their victims Parasitic worms influence the frequency of malformations and survival of marine snails... Read more »
Boraldo M.D., Ferrerira S.M., Jensen K.T., Pardal M.A. (2013) Impact of trematodes on the population structure and shell shape of the estuarine mud snail Hydrobia ulvae from a Southern European estuary. Marine Ecology. info:/DOI: 10.1111/maec.12086
Phospholipids are just one type of lipid in all cells. The fatty acids are the precursor to all kinds of lipids, but in some cases they have been modified to such a degree that they are not identifiable. The fatty acids are showing interesting functions, such as a new study showing that the levels of odd chain fatty acids can be used to monitor rumen health in cattle. The omega fatty acids are also becoming important in the treatment and prevention of depression. A new study shows that in Ameri........ Read more »
Beydoun MA, Fanelli Kuczmarski MT, Beydoun HA, Hibbeln JR, Evans MK, & Zonderman AB. (2013) ω-3 Fatty Acid Intakes Are Inversely Related to Elevated Depressive Symptoms among United States Women. The Journal of nutrition, 143(11), 1743-52. PMID: 24005610
Li Z, Thiel K, Thul PJ, Beller M, Kühnlein RP, & Welte MA. (2012) Lipid droplets control the maternal histone supply of Drosophila embryos. Current biology : CB, 22(22), 2104-13. PMID: 23084995
Vlaeminck B, Dufour C, van Vuuren AM, Cabrita AR, Dewhurst RJ, Demeyer D, & Fievez V. (2005) Use of odd and branched-chain fatty acids in rumen contents and milk as a potential microbial marker. Journal of dairy science, 88(3), 1031-42. PMID: 15738238
The beetle and the stars Dung beetle use the sun, the moon and, as recently discovered, the stars (the Milky Way) for orientation... Read more »
"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 »
Steen, D.A., Linehan, J.M., & Smith, L.L. (2010) Multiscale habitat selection and refuge use of common kingsnakes, Lampropeltis getula, in southwestern Georgia. Copeia, 227-231. DOI: 10.1643/CE-09-092
C.T. Winne, & et al. (2007) Enigmatic decline of a protected population of eastern kingsnakes, Lampropeltis getula, in South Carolina. Copeia, 507-519. DOI: 10.1643/0045-8511(2007)2007[507:EDOAPP]2.0.CO;2
Spiders eating bats The biggest spiders are bigger than the smallest bats, and many spiders build a specific trapping tool: an orb web. Why should not spiders prey bats? Well, indeed they do; and these large and energetically rewarding prey may be important for them... Read more »
As winter sets in, small, resident insectivorous birds including Long-tailed tits, Great Tits and Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Goldcrests and Treecreepers join in loose, vocal mixed-species flocks that travel and forage together. Why do they eschew from following the saying 'birds of a feather flock together'? Well, first, their small bodies lose heat easily and the days are short, so they need to obtain as much food as possible. On the other hand, the leafless trees makes them more exposed to predatio........ Read more »
J. E. Arévalo and A. G. Gosler. (1994) The behaviour of Treecreepers Certhia familiaris in mixed-species flocks in winter. Bird Study, 41(1), 1-6. info:/10.1080/00063659409477190
A new study shows how midges swept along by strong winds rapidly carried the Schmallenberg virus to farms throughout Europe. ... Read more »
Sedda L, & Rogers DJ. (2013) The influence of the wind in the Schmallenberg virus outbreak in Europe. Scientific Reports, 3361. PMID: 24285292
Some observations come before you realize how important they are. Only later do you slap your forehead and realize that you should have taken more detailed notes, because the likelihood of you seeing such a thing again is slim. This is why I encourage everybody interested in wildlife to take down field notes.
When I was in high school, every afternoon when I got home I would take a ... Read more »
S. P. Graham. (2013) How frequently do Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus) bask in trees?. Journal of Herpetology, 428-431. DOI: 10.1670/12-082
Climate change and the future of terrestrial invertebrates What will happen to terrestrial invertebrate animals as the world climate changes? Who will survive? Who will change? A recent study tries to give some hints... Read more »
Schilthuizen M., Kellermann V. (2013) Contemporary climate change and terrestrial invertebrates: evolutionary versus plastic changes. Evolutionary Applications. DOI: 10.1111/eva.12116
How nemertean larvae feed A combination of movements and cilia beating traps and forces the prey to pass through mouth of nemertean larvae, as shown by a recent video-based study... Read more »
Spiders do not always feed on live prey. Some will scavenge dead insects, and some will drink nectar... unusual diets, indeed.... Read more »
Jackson, R. et al. (2001) Jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae) that feed on nectar. J. Zool. London. DOI: 10.1017/S095283690100108X
Taylor RM, & Pfannenstiel RS. (2008) Nectar feeding by wandering spiders on cotton plants. Environmental entomology, 37(4), 996-1002. PMID: 18801266
Vetter, R. (2013) Scavenging behavior in spitting spiders, Scytodes (Araneae: Scytodidae). Journal of Arachnology. DOI: 10.1636/J13-38.1
How leeches find their prey Leeches can feel the water movements caused by their prey; however, they best feel these movements when they are moving themselves... Read more »
Harley C.M., Rossi M., Cienfuegos J., Wagenaar D. (2013) Discontinuous locomotion and prey sensing in the leech. Journal of Experimental Biology. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.075911
Plastic Dinner. Photo by Alex Bond.
Imagine carrying around several kilos (or
pounds) of plastic in your stomach, unable to rid yourself of it, and gradually
adding pieces day by day. This is
what many marine animals go through every day. Millions of pieces of plastic enter the world’s oceans each
day, and once it’s there, it doesn’t go away. Instead, it breaks into smaller and ... Read more »
Bond, A.L., J.F. Provencher, R.D. Elliot, P.C. Ryan, S. Rowe, I.L. Jones, & G.J. Robertson S.I. Wilhelm. (2013) Ingestion of plastic marine debris by Common and Thick-billed Murres in the northwestern Atlantic from 1985 to 2012. Marine Pollution Bulletin. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.10.005
Bond AL, & Lavers JL. (2013) Effectiveness of emetics to study plastic ingestion by Leach's Storm-petrels (Oceanodroma leucorhoa). Marine pollution bulletin, 70(1-2), 171-5. PMID: 23507234
Avery-Gomm S, O'Hara PD, Kleine L, Bowes V, Wilson LK, & Barry KL. (2012) Northern fulmars as biological monitors of trends of plastic pollution in the eastern North Pacific. Marine pollution bulletin, 64(9), 1776-81. PMID: 22738464
Wheel invention: was it because of scarab beetles? Some evidence suggests that humans got inspired by scarab beetles in the use of wheel... Read more »
Scholtz G. (2008) Scrab beetles at the interface of wheel invention in nature and culture? . Contributions to Zoology. info:/
The wonderful yet odd insect order Strepsiptera. This post explores a bit of their biology and includes a stunning video of a male emerging from its wasp host.... Read more »
The frozen remains of a horse more than half a million years old have reluctantly given up their genetic secrets, providing scientists with the oldest DNA ever sequenced.... Read more »
Orlando L, Ginolhac A, Zhang G, Froese D, Albrechtsen A, Stiller M, Schubert M, Cappellini E, Petersen B, Moltke I.... (2013) Recalibrating Equus evolution using the genome sequence of an early Middle Pleistocene horse. Nature, 499(7456), 74-8. PMID: 23803765
Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use ResearchBlogging.org to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.
If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.
Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.
To learn more, visit seedmediagroup.com.