Animal Life news stories

Dairy farmers should rethink a cow’s curfew, says UBC researchers
26th March 2017 | | Animal Life

Dairy cows housed indoors want to break curfew and roam free, suggests new research from the University of British Columbia, published today in Scientific Reports.

Related: ​Impossible Foods to supersize production of lab-grown burger

Despite poaching, South Africa plans for rhino horn trade
26th March 2017 | Animal Life

South Africa’s government is moving ahead with plans to allow a domestic trade and limited export of rhino horns, alarming many international conservationists who believe rhinos will be more vulnerable to poachers after a record slaughter in the past decade.

Related: One of Africa’s Last Great Tusker Elephants Was Killed by Poachers

Lost Tourist Says Monkeys Saved Him in the Amazon
26th March 2017 | Animal Life, Humans, Weird

Rurrenabaque, BoliviaIn the Bolivian Amazon, where vast rivers wind endlessly through mountainous terrain and a thick blanket of fog creeps through the trees, the locals say the jungle can swallow you in a second. Venture too far and you may never find your way back.

We May Have Finally Found the Foundations Upon Which Life Evolved
25th March 2017 | Ancient, Animal Life

Scientists have discovered that a version of the Krebs cycle, the heart of the cellular metabolic network, can take place without the cellular proteins known as enzymes. Since the Krebs cycle does not require cellular proteins to occur, researchers now believe that metabolism may predate life. In fact, spontaneous chemical reactions may have served as the foundation for life on Earth.

How One Of The World’s Toughest Creatures Can Bring Itself Back To Life
24th March 2017 | | Animal Life

Microscopic, bear-shaped animals called tardigrades are one of the most resilient animals on earth. Known colloquially as water bears, they can survive freezing temperatures, radiation, even a trip to outer space.

Parrots find ‘laughter’ contagious and high-five in mid air
24th March 2017 | | Animal Life

If your parrot is feeling glum, it might be tweetable. Wild keas spontaneously burst into playful behaviour when exposed to the parrot equivalent of canned laughter – the first birds known to respond to laughter-like sounds.

The parrots soared after one another in aerobatic loops, exchanged foot-kicking high fives in mid-air and tossed objects to each other, in what seems to be emotionally contagious behaviour.

Chimp filmed cleaning dead son’s teeth
24th March 2017 | Animal Life

A trio of researchers from the U.K., the Netherlands and the U.S. has filmed a grown female chimpanzee cleaning her son’s teeth after he died. In their paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, Edwin van Leeuwen, Katherine Cronin and Daniel Haun offer a description of the circumstances under which they shot the video and their ideas on why the female was behaving the way she was.

Should a Chimpanzee Be Considered a Person?
24th March 2017 | Animal Life

The distinction of “persons,” not “people,” is important. Part of the apparent absurdity is that on the surface, arguing for personhood might sound like saying a chimpanzee should have the same rights as an adult human, like the right to own property and vote in elections. Instead, the category of “person” is a legal one referring to a being entitled to certain fundamental rights.

Alt: Animal rights lawyer will argue chimpanzees should have ‘personhood rights’ at New York’s Supreme Court

Large Sections of Australia’s Great Reef Are Now Dead, Scientists Find
24th March 2017 | | Animal Life

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia has long been one of the world’s most magnificent natural wonders, so enormous it can be seen from space, so beautiful it can move visitors to tears.

But the reef, and the profusion of sea creatures living near it, are in profound trouble.

Plagued by predators in the sea, these fish are moving onto land
24th March 2017 | | Animal Life

On the remote Pacific island of Rarotonga, some fish are fleeing to land.

Scientists have long suspected that blenny fish leapt out of water to escape the many sea creatures that seek to eat them, but the blennies’ true motivations remained a mystery.

Spiders eat astronomical numbers of insects
24th March 2017 | | Animal Life

Spiders feed on an estimated 400 to 800 million tons of insects and other pests annually; in comparison, all humans consume about 400 million tons in meat and fish

Biologists say wolf spiders have a wider range of personality than once believed
24th March 2017 | Animal Life

Charming might not be the best way to describe a spider, but researchers at the University of Cincinnati are finding a wide spectrum of personality in a creature whose behavior was thought to be inflexible and hardwired in its genes.

First U.S. Bumblebee Officially Listed as Endangered
24th March 2017 | Animal Life

It’s official: For the first time in the United States, a bumblebee species has been declared endangered.

Related: Planting more flowers in your garden in the spring and summer could quadruple the survival rate of under threat bees
Related: Emails Reveal Monsanto’s Tactics To Defend Glyphosate Against Cancer Fears

Antarctic penguin numbers double previous estimates: scientists
24th March 2017 | | Animal Life

Almost six million Adelie penguins are living in East Antarctica, more than double the number previously thought, scientists said Wednesday in findings that have implications for conservation.

Related: Some penguins mooch off parents after leaving the nest

Metabolism may be older than life itself and start spontaneously
22nd March 2017 | | Ancient, Animal Life

A set of chemical reactions occurring spontaneously in Earth’s early chemical environments could have provided the foundations upon which life evolved.

The discovery that a version of the Krebs cycle, which occurs in most living cells, can proceed in the absence of cellular proteins called enzymes suggests that metabolism is older than life itself.

Complex Life Could Be Vastly Older Than Thought
22nd March 2017 | | Ancient, Animal Life

It was around 1.6 billion years ago that a community of small, bright red, plantlike life-forms, flitting around in a shallow pool of prehistoric water, were etched into stone until the end of time. Or at least until a team of Swedish researchers chipped their fossilized remnants out of a sedimentary rock formation in central India.

Phosphorus is vital for life on Earth – and we’re running low
22nd March 2017 | Animal Life, Earth

Phosphorus is an essential element which is contained in many cellular compounds, such as DNA and the energy carrier ATP. All life needs phosphorus and agricultural yields are improved when phosphorus is added to growing plants and the diet of livestock. Consequently, it is used globally as a fertiliser – and plays an important role in meeting the world’s food requirements.

In order for us to add it, however, we first need to extract it from a concentrated form – and the supply comes almost exclusively from phosphate mines in Morocco

News stories covering Animal Science, bacterial life, DNA.