This is the first known study to connect habitat with varying brain size in a single lake fish population. The finding may provide clues about how fish and other creatures will respond to mounting environmental stressors from pollution to climate change. Researchers say bigger brains contain more neurons, and more connections among them, that lend its owner cognitive and behavioural smarts that may help it adapt to new environments.
Researchers at the University of Bristol, supported by the British Veterinary Association, the British Cattle Veterinary Association and the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) Alliance, are calling for veterinary surgeons in the UK to work together with their farmer clients to remove expired and inappropriate veterinary medicines from farms and dispose of them appropriately.
The escape response to evade perceived threats is a fundamental behavior seen throughout the animal kingdom, and laboratory studies have identified specialized neural circuits that control this behavior. To understand how these neural circuits operate in complex natural settings, researchers recorded and analyzed escape responses in wild coral reef fish. Their results show how a sequence of well-defined decision rules generates evasion behavior in a wide range of coral reef fish species.
Plants have evolved ways to make ants defend them from attacks and spread their seeds, and this new study shows how it happened. In a new study breaking down the genetic history of 1,700 species of ants and 10,000 plant genera, researchers found that the long history of ant and plant co-evolution started with ants foraging on plants and plants responding by evolving ant-friendly traits.
Analysis of ancient DNA of a mysterious extinct monkey named Xenothrix -- which displays bizarre body characteristics very different to any living monkey -- has revealed that it was in fact most closely related to South America's titi monkeys (Callicebinae). Having made their way overwater to Jamaica, probably on floating vegetation, their bones reveal they subsequently underwent remarkable evolutionary change.
The physical presence of trails has less impact on forest birds than how frequently the trails are used by people, finds the first study to disentangle the effect of forest trails from the presence of humans. This is also the case when trails have been used for decades, suggesting that forest birds do not get used to human activity. To minimize disturbance, people should avoid roaming from designated pathways.
For the first time, plastic microfibers have been discovered in wild animals' stool, from South American fur seals. The findings were made by a team of Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at the University of Georgia, who suggest examining scat from pinnipeds can be an efficient way to monitor environmental levels of microfibers and microplastics in the environment. Their study was published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin.
Blanding's turtle hatchlings need only the sun as their compass to guide them on their way to the nearest wetland -- and a place of safety. This is according to John Dean Krenz of Minnesota State University in the US, lead author of a study in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. The study focused on how this freshwater turtle, native to the US and Canada, is purposefully able to travel in a relatively straight line once it has hatched.
Scientists from the CNR (National Research Council) and Ca' Foscari University of Venice have carried out the first scientific research on the ripple effects linking atmospheric emissions, sea acidification, and coastal erosion. The Mediterranean case study: a possible 31 percent decrease in sediment by 2100. The results have been published inClimatic Change
A team from the University of Minnesota has shown that antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli bacteria in wild giraffes most likely come from anthropogenic sources, such as local cattle herds and humans. The research is published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.