Animal Life news stories

Female shark learns to reproduce without males after years alone
20th January 2017 | newscientist.com | Animal Life

Who needs men? A female shark separated from her long-term mate has developed the ability to have babies on her own.


Alt: Leopard shark makes world-first switch from sexual to asexual reproduction

Antelope revived in Sahara years after going extinct in the wild
20th January 2017 | newscientist.com | Animal Life

They’re back. Scimitar-horned oryx have been reintroduced to the wild after a two-decade absence and are flourishing in their old stomping grounds.

The desert antelopes were once widespread across northern Africa, but were hunted to extinction in their natural habitat in the 1990s.

Tigers could roam again in Central Asia, scientists say
20th January 2017 | eurekalert.org | Animal Life

Caspian tigers, some of the largest cats that ever lived — up to 10 feet long and weighing more than 300 pounds — met a grim end in the middle of the 20th century.

Until the mid-1960s when they were designated as extinct, they ranged from modern-day Turkey through much of Central Asia, including Iran and Iraq, to northwestern China. The reasons for their extermination are many

Concerns over first snow and common leopards found in same area
20th January 2017 | bbc.com | Animal Life

The first ever recorded video footage showing snow leopards and common leopards sharing the same habitat on the Tibetan plateau has caused concern among conservationists.

Common crop chemical leaves bees susceptible to deadly viruses
20th January 2017 phys.org | Animal Life

A chemical that is thought to be safe and is, therefore, widely used on crops—such as almonds, wine grapes and tree fruits—to boost the performance of pesticides, makes honey bee larvae significantly more susceptible to a deadly virus, according to researchers at Penn State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

U.S. Puts Bumblebee On The Endangered Species List For 1st Time
20th January 2017 | npr.org | Animal Life

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated the rusty patched bumblebee an endangered species — the first such designation for a bumblebee and for a bee species in the continental U.S.

Australian Honey Proven to Be Effective Against Superbugs
20th January 2017 futurism.com | Animal Life

A new study has found that the same chemical that gives New Zealand manuka honey its unique antibacterial properties is present in Australian varieties as well.

Because bacteria doesn’t develop a resistance to this chemical, manuka honey could prove to be an invaluable tool in the global fight against antibiotic resistance.

Deadly superbugs may be spreading, evolving quietly among the healthy
20th January 2017 arstechnica.com | Animal Life, Humans

For years, researchers have been tracking a particularly nasty family of superbugs called CREs, or carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, which can thwart antibiotics in our last lines of defense. Researchers have watched in horror as clinical isolates gathered new molecular weaponry, spread through medical facilities across the globe, and started causing more and more life-threatening infections.

UV light can aid hospitals’ fight to wipe out drug-resistant superbugs
20th January 2017 | sciencedaily.com | Animal Life, Humans, Tech

A new tool — a type of ultraviolet light called UVC — could aid hospitals in the ongoing battle to keep drug-resistant bacteria from lingering in patient rooms and causing new infections.

High-sugar diet programs a short lifespan in flies
20th January 2017 | sciencedaily.com | Animal Life, Humans

Flies with a history of eating a high sugar diet live shorter lives, even after their diet improves. This is because the unhealthy diet drives long-term reprogramming of gene expression, according to a team of researchers.

Calorie restriction diet extends life of monkeys by years
19th January 2017 | newscientist.com | Animal Life, Tech

Put down the cake. Going on a permanent diet could make you live longer, if findings from monkeys hold true for people.

A long-running trial in macaques has found that calorie restriction makes them live about three years longer than normal, which would translate to about nine years in people.

Surf and Earth: How prawn shopping bags could save the planet
19th January 2017 phys.org | Animal Life, Earth, Tech

Bioengineers at The University of Nottingham are trialling how to use shrimp shells to make biodegradable shopping bags as a ‘green’ alternative to oil-based plastics, and as a new food packaging material to extend product shelf life.

Harvester ants farm by planting seeds to eat once they germinate
19th January 2017 | newscientist.com | Animal Life

They’ve cracked it. Small ants carry home large seeds to eat all the time, but no one knew exactly how they managed to break through the seeds’ tough exterior.

It turns out that Florida harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex badius, have developed a clever farming strategy to do so – they plant seeds, wait for them to germinate and then eat the soft spoils.

Bacteria recruit other species with long-range electrical signals
19th January 2017 phys.org | Animal Life

Biologists at UC San Diego who recently found that bacteria resolve social conflicts within their communities and communicate with one another like neurons in the brain have discovered another human-like trait in these apparently not-so-simple, single-celled creatures.

The fences built across Europe to stop refugees are threatening the continent’s wildlife
19th January 2017 qz.com | Animal Life

In 1989, the fall of the Iron Curtain and the removal of border fences along the edges of the former Soviet Union wasn’t only the first step in today’s borderless Europe where citizens are able to travel more freely.

Ring-Tailed Lemur Populations Have Crashed by 95 Percent
19th January 2017 blogs.scientificamerican.com | Animal Life

Madagascar’s beloved ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) have all but disappeared from many of the island nation’s forests. According to two worrying new studies, the species’ population has fallen to between 2,000 and 2,400 animals—a shocking 95 percent decrease since the year 2000.

Vampire Bats Are Drinking Human Blood in Brazil
19th January 2017 | seeker.com | Animal Life

A blood-sucking bat that usually looks to birds for its food seems to be adding human blood to its diet, according to a team of scientists in Brazil.

News stories covering Animal Science, bacterial life, DNA.