Mockingbirds exposed to sub-lethal levels of lead in urban areas display significantly heightened aggression, said Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at Tulane University. The team said their findings highlight the possibility that sub-lethal lead exposure may be common among other wildlife living in urban areas and more work is needed to better understand its full effects. Their study was published in Science of the Total Environment.
Land conservation programs that have converted tens of thousands of acres of agricultural land in Illinois back to a more natural state appear to have helped some rare birds increase their populations to historic levels, a new study finds. Other bird species with wider geographic ranges have not fared as well, however.
Some people consider pufferfish, also known as fugu, a delicacy because of its unique and exquisite flavor, which is perhaps seasoned by knowledge that consumption of the fish could be deadly. Now, researchers have identified the major compounds responsible for the taste of pufferfish, minus the thrill of living dangerously. They report their results in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Researchers in the University of Helsinki have identified two novel anxiety-related genomic regions in German Shepherd dogs. The region associated with fearfulness corresponds with the locus of human chromosome 18, which is associated with various psychiatric disorders, while the region associated with noise sensitivity includes several genes related to human and canine behaviour and mental disorders.
Most consumers' exposure to toxic methylmercury occurs when they eat fish. But research just published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology could help clarify why methylmercury concentrations in tuna vary geographically.
Humpback whales overwintering in feeding areas may sing complex, progressive songs which closely resemble those associated with breeding grounds, according to a study published Jan. 23, 2019, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Edda E. Magnúsdóttir and Rangyn Lim from the University of Iceland.
In the animal kingdom, food access is among the biggest drivers of habitat preference. It influences, among other things, how animals interact, where they roam and the amount of energy they expend to maintain their access to food. But how do different members of ecologically similar species manage to live close to each other?
Populations of coastal cutthroat trout and coastal giant salamanders in the Pacific Northwest show the ability to rebound quickly from drought conditions, buying some time against climate change.
The hagfish dates back at least 300 million years. The secret of survival for these eel-like sea creatures can be found in the rate and volume of slime it produces to fend off predators. Interestingly, the oldest fossils of these eel-like sea creatures, were found in Illinois, and today researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are beginning to uncover the mystery of how the hagfish uses this substance to choke its predators
Researchers of the Department of Conservation Biology at the University of Göttingen have carried out research in Southwest Cameroon to assess which proportion of forest would be necessary in order to provide sufficient habitat for rainforest bird species. The results of the study were published in the journal Biological Conservation.