Animal Life news stories

Researchers “Translate” Bat Talk. Turns Out, They Argue—A Lot
20th March 2017 | smithsonianmag.com | Animal Life

A machine learning algorithm helped decode the squeaks Egyptian fruit bats make in their roost, revealing that they “speak” to one another as individuals

Gene therapy treats muscle-wasting disease in dogs
20th March 2017 | eurekalert.org | Animal Life, Tech

Work on gene therapy is showing significant progress for restoring muscle strength and prolonging lives in dogs with a previously incurable, inherited neuromuscular disease. UW Medicine Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine scientists are leading the multi-institutional research effort.

Get ready for the SuperBees: Scientists reveal plan to breed insects resistant to diseases and even stress
20th March 2017 | dailymail.co.uk | Animal Life, Tech

A key set of genes involved in honey bee responses to multiple diseases caused by viruses and parasites has been identified by researchers.

The findings are important given that honey bee populations have experienced severe losses across the Northern Hemisphere, mainly due to parasites and pathogens.

Probiotic found in yogurt can reverse depression symptoms, UVA finds
19th March 2017 | eurekalert.org | Animal Life, Humans

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have reversed depression symptoms in mice by feeding them Lactobacillus, a probiotic bacteria found in live-cultures yogurt. Further, they have discovered a specific mechanism for how the bacteria affect mood, providing a direct link between the health of the gut microbiome and mental health.

Figuring Out When and Why Squids Lost Their Shells
18th March 2017 | nytimes.com | Ancient, Animal Life

Shaped like a torpedo and about as swift, squids are jet-propelled underwater predators. Together with their nimble brethren, the octopus and cuttlefish, they make for an agile invertebrate armada.

But that was not always the case.

The ‘safer’ plastics designed to replace BPA may be just as bad for you
17th March 2017 | popsci.com | Animal Life, Humans

A chemical called BHPF—found in some ‘BPA-Free’ plastics—may cause harmful outcomes in mice, according to a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications.

Why Is Itching So Contagious?
17th March 2017 | smithsonianmag.com | Animal Life, Humans

Scientists figure out how compulsive scratching spreads in mice, and maybe humans

We’ve all felt it. Sitting in the office, you see somebody reach up and scratch their head, or merely hear someone mention being itchy. All of a sudden, you feel the compulsive urge to itch, too. It

Wasp offspring found to take on the personality of the queen
17th March 2017 phys.org | Animal Life

A small team of researchers with members from the University of California and the University of Michigan has found that some personality traits unique to a queen wasp are passed down to her offspring, the worker wasps.

Sociable woodpeckers that cooperate have evolved smaller brains
17th March 2017 | newscientist.com | Animal Life

In primates such as humans, living in cooperative societies usually means having bigger brains — with brainpower needed to navigate complex social situations.

But surprisingly, in birds the opposite may be true. Group-living woodpecker species have been found to have smaller brains than solitary ones.

‘Monkeytalk’ invites readers into the complex social world of monkeys
16th March 2017 | sciencenews.org | Animal Life

The social lives of macaques and baboons play out in what primatologist Julia Fischer calls “a magnificent opera.”

In Monkeytalk, Fischer describes how the monkey species she studies have evolved their own forms of intelligence and communication. Connections exist between monkey and human minds, but Fischer regards differences among primate species as particularly compelling.

New species of bushbaby found in disappearing forests of Angola
16th March 2017 | newscientist.com | Animal Life

It’s a dwarf with big eyes, big ears and a big voice. The newly discovered Angolan dwarf galago belongs to the bushbaby family, members of which are found all over sub-Saharan Africa.

One of World’s Most Mysterious Cats Caught on Camera
16th March 2017 news.nationalgeographic.com | Animal Life

New videos give a look into the daily life of a marbled cat, a critically endangered species in China.

The marbled cat can turn its feet backward, an ability that makes it more agile in trees. The only other cat species with that skill also lives in trees, South America’s margay—and it has a similarly lengthy tail.

Why do sheep get horny in winter? Because the light is baaad, says study
16th March 2017 | theguardian.com | Animal Life

The mystery of why sheep get horny in the winter might have been solved, according to new research.

Scientists say they have uncovered the key to the mechanism by which changes in the length of the day prompt certain animals to begin breeding, trigger the growth of horns and even change the thickness of their coat.

Never-before-seen gatherings of hundreds of humpback whales
15th March 2017 | newscientist.com | Animal Life

In a mysterious change to their normal behaviour, humpback whales are forming massive groups of up to 200 animals.

Humpbacks aren’t normally considered to be terribly social. They are mostly found alone, in pairs, or sometimes in small groups that disband quickly.

This Is the First Underwater Footage of One of the Rarest Whales on Earth
15th March 2017 | sciencealert.com | Animal Life

Researchers have for the first time filmed rare True’s beaked whales underwater. The deep-diving mammal is so rarely seen that researchers devoting their life to study whales have never seen a True’s beaked whale.

Dogs use deception to get what they want from humans (a sausage)
15th March 2017 | newscientist.com | Animal Life

Dogs are all honest, loyal and obedient, right? Well, not always. Our pets can be sneaky and manipulative when they want to maximise the number of tasty treats they get to eat.

Brain scans of service-dog trainees help sort weaker recruits from the pack
15th March 2017 | eurekalert.org | Animal Life, Tech

Brain scans of canine candidates to assist people with disabilities can help predict which dogs will fail a rigorous service training program, a study by Emory University finds.

The journal Scientific Reports published the results of the study, involving 43 dogs who underwent service training at Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) in Santa Rosa, California.

News stories covering Animal Science, bacterial life, DNA.