Posts

September 02, 2014

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11:26 AM | The passenger pigeon by Errol Fuller | review | @GrrlScientist
Written by an artist and authority on extinct species, this book shares rare photographs and other visual materials to provide a general overview to the history of the extinct passenger pigeon.Men still live who, in their youth, remember pigeons. Trees still live who, in their youth, were shaken by a living wind. But a decade hence only the oldest oaks will remember, and at long last only the hills will know. -- Leopold Aldo, A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There (1949, 1989. New […]

September 01, 2014

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11:56 AM | New Clues Revealed about the Longevity of Naked Mole Rats
Naked Mole RatCredit: UT Health Science Center at San AntonioThe hairless, odd-looking creature in the photo is a naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber).Among many weird traits, the species also holds the record for longest living rodent. For comparison, the house mouse (Mus musculus) has a maximum lifespan of just 2-3 years, whereas naked mole rats have been recorded to live as much as 32 years!The exact mechanisms behind the species remarkable longevity have yet to be clearly unveiled, […]

Rodriguez KA, Osmulski PA, Pierce A, Weintraub ST, Gaczynska M & Buffenstein R (2014). A cytosolic protein factor from the naked mole-rat activates proteasomes of other species and protects these from inhibition., Biochimica et biophysica acta, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25018089

Citation
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11:56 AM | New Clues Revealed about the Longevity of Naked Mole Rats
Naked Mole RatCredit: UT Health Science Center at San AntonioThe hairless, odd-looking creature in the photo is a naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber).Among many weird traits, the species also holds the record for longest living rodent. For comparison, the house mouse (Mus musculus) has a maximum lifespan of just 2-3 years, whereas naked mole rats have been recorded to live as much as 32 years!The exact mechanisms behind the species remarkable longevity have yet to be clearly unveiled, […]

Rodriguez KA, Osmulski PA, Pierce A, Weintraub ST, Gaczynska M & Buffenstein R (2014). A cytosolic protein factor from the naked mole-rat activates proteasomes of other species and protects these from inhibition., Biochimica et biophysica acta, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25018089

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August 30, 2014

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7:00 PM | Animal Dating Profiles Are Unexpectedly Adorable
The latest webcomic from the always-excellent Rosemary Mosco (previously ) gives us a whimsical peek at the animal kingdom's online dating scene.Read more...

August 29, 2014

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8:30 PM | The GIF Guide To Pigeons And The Animals That Eat Them
Pigeons are everywhere. New York City, alone, is thought to harbor as many as 7-million of them. But where are all the dead pigeons? The short answer: Inside other animals. The long answer – horribly, but necessarily – involves GIFs.Read more...
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10:55 AM | Secrets of animal camouflage research | @GrrlScientist
This interesting video, courtesy of the BBSRC and Project Nightjar, reveals the secrets of animal camouflage research.Last night, I was contacted by Arran Frood, a digital content producer for the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), after hed read this piece I wrote about the evolution of camouflage in avian eggs. He invited me to share this interesting video that he produced. This video provides a visual context for animal camouflage research: Continue reading...
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10:38 AM | Fish with Lungs Gives Clues to the Origin of Tetrapods
Juvenile Polypterus senegalusAbout 400 million years ago, fish left the water and began to evolve into land-living creatures. But how did this transition happen? In a new and unusual study, researchers from the McGill University took a fish species known to be able to occasionally walk using its fins and raised it on land. The scientists found that when raised on land, this primitive strange fish with lungs, walks much better than its water-raised friends. The experiment could […]

Standen EM, Du TY & Larsson HC (2014). Developmental plasticity and the origin of tetrapods., Nature, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25162530

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10:38 AM | Fish with Lungs Gives Clues to the Origin of Tetrapods
Juvenile Polypterus senegalusAbout 400 million years ago, fish left the water and began to evolve into land-living creatures. But how did this transition happen? In a new and unusual study, researchers from the McGill University took a fish species known to be able to occasionally walk using its fins and raised it on land. The scientists found that when raised on land, this primitive strange fish with lungs, walks much better than its water-raised friends. The experiment could […]

Standen EM, Du TY & Larsson HC (2014). Developmental plasticity and the origin of tetrapods., Nature, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25162530

Citation
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10:38 AM | Fish with Lungs Gives Clues to the Origin of Tetrapods
Juvenile Polypterus senegalusAbout 400 million years ago, fish left the water and began to evolve into land-living creatures. But how did this transition happen? In a new and unusual study, researchers from the McGill University took a fish species known to be able to occasionally walk using its fins and raised it on land. The scientists found that when raised on land, this primitive strange fish with lungs, walks much better than its water-raised friends. The experiment could […]

Standen EM, Du TY & Larsson HC (2014). Developmental plasticity and the origin of tetrapods., Nature, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25162530

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August 27, 2014

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6:50 PM | American bison return to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo
  In honor of its 125th anniversary, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is once again home to American bison, the animal that began the Zoo’s living […] The post American bison return to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo appeared first on Smithsonian Science.
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9:42 AM | Eggcellent citizen science: evolution of camouflage in bird eggs | @GrrlScientist
How an online video game relies on citizen scientists to test the evolution of avian egg camouflage colours and patterns.Ive been enviously following the events at the recent International Ornithological Congress, held in Tokyo, Japan. One of the many interesting things that I ran across in my communications with the congress attendees was an online video game that challenges the viewer to spot a camouflaged bird egg in a short period of time. This video game, which is entertaining and rather […]

August 23, 2014

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6:30 PM | How The Zebra Got Its Stripes, With Alan Turing
Where do a zebra's stripes, a leopard's spots and our fingers come from? The key was found years ago – by the man who cracked the Enigma code.Read more...
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10:44 AM | True Facts About Marsupials | @GrrlScientist
A snarky caturday video by ZeFrank, who spoofs Morgan Freeman talking about Australias marsupials Just in time for Caturday! Fans of the talented Morgan Freeman, the witty ZeFrank and of course, all of the worlds amazing animals, can indulge all three passions at the same time in this delightful, and somewhat irreverent, video that shares (some) facts about (some) Australian marsupials. Continue reading...

August 22, 2014

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11:00 PM | True Facts About Marsupials, Nature's Cutest Animals With Three Vaginas
The latest installment in Ze Frank's always-excellent "True Facts About ________" nature series (previously here and here ) is all about three of everyone's favorite marsupials: kangaroos, wombats, and koalas.Read more...

August 21, 2014

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4:01 PM | Discovery: Deadbeat ant species branched off as parasite inside its own colony
A newly-discovered species of ant supports a controversial theory of species formation. The ant, known to live only under a single eucalyptus tree on the […] The post Discovery: Deadbeat ant species branched off as parasite inside its own colony appeared first on Smithsonian Science.

August 20, 2014

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12:00 PM | Because He Is The One
Biology Concepts – ommatidia, reflex, fly, arthropod, sensory receptors, sensilla, metabolic rate, life spanNeo (Keanu Reeves) learned that he could dodge bullets at one point in The Matrix. This was before he learned he didn’t have to. Was he speeding himself up so the bullets looked to be going slower, or was he actually slowing down time?Neo from the Matrixfilms had the ability, once he learned to accept it, to react so fast that everything around him seemed to be moving slowly. […]

Muijres FT, Elzinga MJ, Melis JM & Dickinson MH (2014). Flies evade looming targets by executing rapid visually directed banked turns., Science (New York, N.Y.), 344 (6180) 172-7. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24723606

Healy K, McNally L, Ruxton GD, Cooper N & Jackson AL (2013). Metabolic rate and body size are linked with perception of temporal information., Animal behaviour, 86 (4) 685-696. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24109147

Jumpertz R, Hanson RL, Sievers ML, Bennett PH, Nelson RG & Krakoff J (2011). Higher energy expenditure in humans predicts natural mortality., The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 96 (6) 6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21450984

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August 19, 2014

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2:28 PM | Butterflies, beetles and banknotes: tuning colour efficiently | Athene Donald
Structural colours are more visible and vivid than those that use pigments as many examples from the natural world demonstrate. But sometimes pure white is what is requiredIn the South American rainforests, a blue flash of colour visible from hundreds of metres away is likely to signify the presence of one of the Morpho genus of butterflies. Although the colours of many animals arise from pigmentation, for Morpho and a range of other insects (including iridescent beetles) the origin of their […]
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1:41 PM | International Orangutan Day: support our red-haired cousins before it's too late | Carole Jahme
As orangutans are added to a list of the worlds 25 most endangered primates, we are discovering that these great apes are more like humans than we supposedTuesday is International Orangutan Day. This year it follows hot on the heels of exciting genetic results from Sumatra made public at the International Primatological Societys biannual conference on Sunday which suggest the discovery of a new species of the ape.Dr Michael Krützen of Zurich University studied the most southern population, […]

August 18, 2014

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4:40 PM | This Microscopic Footage Shows What Happens When A Jellyfish Stings You
Cnidarians like anemones and jellyfish extend nematocysts, stinging organelles capable of shooting venom into another creature. The nematocysts are too small and move too quickly to be seen by the naked eye—but now they've been captured through a microscope with a high-speed camera.Read more...
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11:33 AM | The amazing world of flyingfish by Steve NG Howell | review | @GrrlScientist
Written by a professional pelagic birding tour guide and photographer, this book presents a popular account of what is known about the enigmatic flyingfishes, and its illustrated with an abundance of breathtaking full-colour photographs.After browsing through shelves and shelves of field guides in a typical nature bookshop, you might suspect theres a field guide for absolutely every group of anything you can find on the planet -- birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, insects, plants, […]

August 17, 2014

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3:14 PM | Promiscuity Breeds Efficiency: Mouse Mating Systems Affect Sperm Sprints
Sperm is constant joke-fodder. From the opening credits of the movie "Look Who's Talking" to various Shakespeare passages, we humans never seem to tire of laughing at hordes of competitive little sperm powering past each other in the race towards their final destination. They're unbelievably tiny, simple entities, and yet the outcome of their performance is huge. Or perhaps we just stay fascinated by the dramatic fact that all of our lives began when one of […]
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3:14 PM | Promiscuity Breeds Efficiency: Mouse Mating Systems Affect Sperm Sprints
Sperm is constant joke-fodder. From the opening credits of the movie "Look Who's Talking" to various Shakespeare passages, we humans never seem to tire of laughing at hordes of competitive little sperm powering past each other in the race towards their final destination. They're unbelievably tiny, simple entities, and yet the outcome of their performance is huge. Or perhaps we just stay fascinated by the dramatic fact that all of our lives began when one of […]
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2:00 PM | This Is What The Rattlesnake "Combat Dance" Looks Like
Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes are a common sight in the forests and hiking trails in Southern California, so it was no surprise that a group of mountain bikers - who were also National Park Service volunteers - came across a pair of the rattlers last week. They were, however, treated to a unique bit of snake behavior.Read more...

August 16, 2014

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2:00 PM | This Worm is Truly, Deeply Terrifying
This unsettling creature is called Eunice aphroditois, or colloquially the Bobbit worm. These critters can grow up to three meters long and have pincers capable of slicing its (sometimes larger) prey right in half. Also? It injects a toxin into its prey to make it easier to digest. Yum.Read more...
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10:27 AM | True facts about anglerfish | @GrrlScientist
To the female anglerfish, the human male is a very loud, annoying and unnecessarily complicated pair of gonads.Caturday has arrived once again, so it is time to watch some animals doing stuff! Today's caturday animal is the anglerfish, an ancient taxonomic order of bony fishes that arose sometime between 100 and 130 million years ago. (In contrast, humans are mere evolutionary babies, having appeared sometime between just 2 and 6 million years ago.)Anglerfishes got their name from their method […]

Miya M., James W Orr, Rachel J Arnold, Takashi P Satoh, Andrew M Shedlock, Hsuan-Ching Ho, Mitsuomi Shimazaki, Mamoru Yabe & Mutsumi Nishida (2010). Evolutionary history of anglerfishes (Teleostei: Lophiiformes): a mitogenomic perspective, BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10 (1) 58. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-10-58

Widder E.A. (2010). Bioluminescence in the Ocean: Origins of Biological, Chemical, and Ecological Diversity, Science, 328 (5979) 704-708. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1174269

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10:08 AM | The Mata mata turtle
Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ChordataClass: ReptiliaOrder: TestudinesFamily: ChelidaeGenus: ChelusSpecies: Chelus fimbriataConservation Status: Least ConcernCommon Name(s): Mata mata, Mata mata turtle, Matamata and other similar variationsMata mata, a strange name for what is sure one of the world's strangest turtles! This large, South American river turtle is the only surviving species of the genus Chelus and is easily one of the most unusual creatures you are likely to encounter in the […]

Lombardini ED, Desoutter AV, Montali RJ & Del Piero F (2013). Esophageal adenocarcinoma in a 53-year-old mata mata turtle (Chelus fimbriatus)., Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine : official publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, 44 (3) 773-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24063112

Wang L, Zhou X, Nie L, Xia X, Liu L, Jiang Y, Huang Z & Jing W (2012). The complete mitochondrial genome sequences of Chelodina rugosa and Chelus fimbriata (Pleurodira: Chelidae): implications of a common absence of initiation sites (O(L)) in pleurodiran turtles., Molecular biology reports, 39 (3) 2097-107. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21655955

Citation
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10:08 AM | The Mata mata turtle
Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ChordataClass: ReptiliaOrder: TestudinesFamily: ChelidaeGenus: ChelusSpecies: Chelus fimbriataConservation Status: Least ConcernCommon Name(s): Mata mata, Mata mata turtle, Matamata and other similar variationsMata mata, a strange name for what is sure one of the world's strangest turtles! This large, South American river turtle is the only surviving species of the genus Chelus and is easily one of the most unusual creatures you are likely to encounter in the […]

Lombardini ED, Desoutter AV, Montali RJ & Del Piero F (2013). Esophageal adenocarcinoma in a 53-year-old mata mata turtle (Chelus fimbriatus)., Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine : official publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, 44 (3) 773-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24063112

Wang L, Zhou X, Nie L, Xia X, Liu L, Jiang Y, Huang Z & Jing W (2012). The complete mitochondrial genome sequences of Chelodina rugosa and Chelus fimbriata (Pleurodira: Chelidae): implications of a common absence of initiation sites (O(L)) in pleurodiran turtles., Molecular biology reports, 39 (3) 2097-107. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21655955

Citation
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10:08 AM | The Mata mata turtle
Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ChordataClass: ReptiliaOrder: TestudinesFamily: ChelidaeGenus: ChelusSpecies: Chelus fimbriataConservation Status: Least ConcernCommon Name(s): Mata mata, Mata mata turtle, Matamata and other similar variationsMata mata, a strange name for what is sure one of the world's strangest turtles! This large, South American river turtle is the only surviving species of the genus Chelus and is easily one of the most unusual creatures you are likely to encounter in the […]

Lombardini ED, Desoutter AV, Montali RJ & Del Piero F (2013). Esophageal adenocarcinoma in a 53-year-old mata mata turtle (Chelus fimbriatus)., Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine : official publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, 44 (3) 773-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24063112

Wang L, Zhou X, Nie L, Xia X, Liu L, Jiang Y, Huang Z & Jing W (2012). The complete mitochondrial genome sequences of Chelodina rugosa and Chelus fimbriata (Pleurodira: Chelidae): implications of a common absence of initiation sites (O(L)) in pleurodiran turtles., Molecular biology reports, 39 (3) 2097-107. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21655955

Citation
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10:08 AM | The Mata mata turtle
Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ChordataClass: ReptiliaOrder: TestudinesFamily: ChelidaeGenus: ChelusSpecies: Chelus fimbriataConservation Status: Least ConcernCommon Name(s): Mata mata, Mata mata turtle, Matamata and other similar variationsMata mata, a strange name for what is sure one of the world's strangest turtles! This large, South American river turtle is the only surviving species of the genus Chelus and is easily one of the most unusual creatures you are likely to encounter in the […]

Lombardini ED, Desoutter AV, Montali RJ & Del Piero F (2013). Esophageal adenocarcinoma in a 53-year-old mata mata turtle (Chelus fimbriatus)., Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine : official publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, 44 (3) 773-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24063112

Wang L, Zhou X, Nie L, Xia X, Liu L, Jiang Y, Huang Z & Jing W (2012). The complete mitochondrial genome sequences of Chelodina rugosa and Chelus fimbriata (Pleurodira: Chelidae): implications of a common absence of initiation sites (O(L)) in pleurodiran turtles., Molecular biology reports, 39 (3) 2097-107. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21655955

Citation
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10:08 AM | The Mata mata turtle
Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ChordataClass: ReptiliaOrder: TestudinesFamily: ChelidaeGenus: ChelusSpecies: Chelus fimbriataConservation Status: Least ConcernCommon Name(s): Mata mata, Mata mata turtle, Matamata and other similar variationsMata mata, a strange name for what is sure one of the world's strangest turtles! This large, South American river turtle is the only surviving species of the genus Chelus and is easily one of the most unusual creatures you are likely to encounter in the […]

Lombardini ED, Desoutter AV, Montali RJ & Del Piero F (2013). Esophageal adenocarcinoma in a 53-year-old mata mata turtle (Chelus fimbriatus)., Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine : official publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, 44 (3) 773-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24063112

Wang L, Zhou X, Nie L, Xia X, Liu L, Jiang Y, Huang Z & Jing W (2012). The complete mitochondrial genome sequences of Chelodina rugosa and Chelus fimbriata (Pleurodira: Chelidae): implications of a common absence of initiation sites (O(L)) in pleurodiran turtles., Molecular biology reports, 39 (3) 2097-107. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21655955

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