Animal Life news stories
They descend on towns and villages, plundering crops and rampaging through homes. They occasionally attack humans. But perhaps most dangerous of all, the marauders carry with them highly radioactive material.
Hundreds of toxic wild boars have been roaming across northern Japan, where the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant six years ago forced thousands of residents to desert their homes, pets and livestock. Some animals, like cattle, were left to rot in their pens.
A naturally occurring gene in house mice may help eliminate their invasive cousins that live on islands
One might mistake mice for monsters. They’ve wreaked havoc on delicate native ecosystems—consuming rare and endemic plants, insects, and even unsuspecting seabirds. But it’s not fair to blame the mice—they were just doing what mice do.
Leaf-cutting ants can learn which plants are not suitable for the fungus gardens that supply their food before they even leave the colony, according to a study published March 8, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Andrés Arenas and Flavio Roces from University of Wurzburg, Germany.
The giant panda’s distinct coloring is loved by wildlife enthusiasts, but researchers have never had a satisfactory explanation as to what made their coloring pattern so unique – until now.
An unknown moth, collected from Portugal 22 years ago, has finally been named and placed in the tree of life thanks to the efforts of an international team of scientists.
Three species and three genera of birdeater spiders are described as new to science. In a new study, Brazilian spider experts report the diversity of the oldest tarantula genus, whose name derives from a famous 18th century illustration. Despite comprising a great number of species, the genus has remained a mystery for more than 200 years.
One major mystery about life’s origin is how phosphate became an essential building block of genetic and metabolic machinery in cells, given its poor accessibility on early Earth. In a study published on March 9 in the journal Cell, researchers used systems biology approaches to tackle this long-standing conundrum, providing compelling, data-driven evidence that primitive life forms may not have relied on phosphate at all.
Fitbit-style tracking of two wild African elephants suggests their species could break sleep records for mammals. The elephants get by just fine on about two hours of sleep a day. Much of that shut-eye comes while standing up — the animals sleep lying down only once every three or four days, new data show.
A study from Stockholm University have now established what was previously suspected, that the high levels of brominated flame retardants measured in cats are from the dust in our homes. The study has been published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found that up to 90 percent of predatory fish are gone from Caribbean coral reefs, straining the ocean ecosystem and coastal economy. The good news? They identified reefs, known as supersites, which can support large numbers of predator fishes that if reintroduced, can help restore the environmental and economic setback inflicted by overfishing.
“Although perhaps incidentally collected, the novel use of plastics in the nests of bees could reflect ecologically adaptive traits necessary for survival in an increasingly human-dominated environment,” the authors quote an earlier study.
Related: Hundreds of North American bee species face extinction: study
In a birth announcement of sorts, the Smithsonian National Zoo and the Nashville Zoo released a joint statement Thursday saying that a male clouded leopard cub was born on March 1. The cub is the first of his species to be born from artificial insemination using frozen (and then thawed) semen.
Rest easy, folks. Armies of genetically modified super-species are unlikely to conquer Earth anytime soon.
In a paper recently appearing in the journal Genetics, a University of Kansas researcher and colleagues from Cornell University have revealed daunting challenges to changing the DNA of entire populations of species via the most promising techniques available today to produce “gene drive.”
For the first time ever, the World Health Organization has drawn up a list of the highest priority needs for new antibiotics — marching orders, it hopes, for the pharmaceutical industry.
The list, which was released Monday, enumerates 12 bacterial threats, grouping them into three categories: critical, high, and medium.
It’s a cheering thought for anyone heading towards their golden years. Research from the Babraham Institute has shown that ageing can be beneficial – albeit so far only in yeast.
The hamburger chain Burger King has been buying animal feed produced in soy plantations carved out by the burning of tropical forests in Brazil and Bolivia, according to a new report.
Related: To Save The Planet, Give Cows Better Pasture
New research findings show that as the world warmed millions of years ago, conditions in the tropics may have made it so hot some organisms couldn’t survive.
Related: Drastic cooling in North Atlantic beyond worst fears, scientists warn