Animal Life news stories

Florida Everglades Water Emergency: Animals Marooned on Tree Islands
13th August 2017 | Animal Life, Earth

High rainwater levels in the Florida Everglades have stranded animals on levees and tree islands, triggering emergency measures last week by water managers to drain flooded areas. The US Army Corps of Engineers was allowed to change its water storage rules to temporarily allow for more water to be held in a conservation area west of Palm Beach and Broward counties through the fall and into the dry season.  The effects of high water in the River of Grass ecosystem can have serious detrimental impact on several endangered species such as wood storks and snail kites.

Mysterious Glowing “Dandelion-Animal” Captured by NOAA Deep-Sea Camera
13th August 2017 | | Animal Life

8000 feet beneath the ocean’s surface, NOAA scientists have spotted a mysterious glowing creature pulsating and hovering above the seafloor amid a spiderweb of tentacles.  Experts say the rarely-seen deep-sea ‘dandelion animal’, despite its solitary appearance, is not one organism but many individuals living and working together.

Sauced Fish? Goldfish Turn to Alcohol to Survive Icy Winters
13th August 2017 | | Animal Life

Scientists have decoded the secrets behind a goldfish’s ability to survive in ice-covered lakes. They’ve worked out how and why the fish turn lactic acid in their bodies into alcohol as a means of staying alive. Some goldfish were found to have levels well above legal drunk-driving limits in many countries.  Scientists have also calculated for fun, how long it would take to produce an alcoholic drink from the fish excretions. For fun, scientists have also calculated how long it would take to produce an alcoholic drink from the fish excretions.

Bees are first insects shown to understand the concept of zero
11th August 2017 | | Animal Life

Bees seem to understand the idea of zero – the first invertebrate shown to do so. When the insects were encouraged to fly towards a platform carrying fewer shapes than another one, they apparently recognised “no shapes” as a smaller value than “some shapes”.

In Earth’s hottest place, life has been found in pure acid
10th August 2017 | | Animal Life

For the first time, scientists have found living microbes in the blistering hot springs of Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression.

Known as the “gateway to hell”, the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia is scorchingly hot and one of the most alien places on Earth. Yet a recent expedition to the region has found it is teeming with life.

Parasitic worm eggs may soon be legally sold as food in Germany
9th August 2017 | | Animal Life, Humans

More than 7000 people worldwide are thought to have bought parasitic worms online and ingested them in an attempt to treat conditions ranging from depression to inflammatory bowel disease.

Eradicating exotic pests with ‘infertility genes’ may be possible
9th August 2017 | Animal Life, Tech

University of Adelaide researchers have shown that it may be possible to eradicate populations of invasive pest animals through the inheritance of a negative gene – a technique known as gene drive.

Bizarro Life-Forms Inhabiting Deep-Sea Vents May Be at Risk
7th August 2017 | | Animal Life

New findings add a layer of complexity to how highly specialized animals colonized these unique environments

Honeybees Are Making a Comeback, Because We Needed Some Good News
7th August 2017 | | Animal Life

Depressed by the negative political news cycle? Well, consider this a dose of happiness amid the chaos: honeybees are officially experiencing a population resurgence. According to Time, the United States has seen a three percent rise in honeybee colonies in the commercial sphere.

Skin-ditching gecko inexplicably leaves body armor behind when threatened
7th August 2017 | | Animal Life

When trouble looms, the fish-scale geckos of Madagascar resort to what might seem like an extreme form of self-defense — tearing out of their own skin. Now, new research shows the geckos’ skin contains a hidden strength: bony deposits known as osteoderms, the same material that makes up the tough scales and plates of crocodilians and armadillos.

Scientists tally the environmental impact of feeding meat to our cats and dogs. It’s huge
6th August 2017 | | Animal Life, Earth

You’ve heard about the carbon footprint, but what about the carbon paw-print? According to a new study, U.S. cats’ and dogs’ eating patterns have as big an effect as driving 13.6 million cars for a year.

Bird Filmed Feeding Goldfish—Here’s Why
5th August 2017 | Animal Life

Are birds that feed fish good Samaritans or just confused? Experts weigh in.

First it was the hawklet adopted by bald eagles. Then it was the lioness nursing the leopard cub. And now in the latest example of interspecies care, there’s video of a cardinal feeding goldfish.

On the trail of dragons with blood that can save people’s lives
5th August 2017 | | Animal Life

Some of the first clues to the power of dragon blood came from a curious observation. Komodos generally eat carrion, which may be tainted with disease, but they rarely succumb to illness. Investigations showed that this is because the lizards’ blood is loaded with antimicrobial peptides, or AMPs – an all-purpose immune defence.

Fast-tracked border wall may be a death sentence for these animals
5th August 2017 | | Animal Life

The fight against President Trump’s border wall gained urgency this week when the Department of Homeland Security announced plans to fast-track construction. Photos are a particularly effective reminder of just what is at stake, and yesterday the American Society of Mammalogists tweeted pictures of species that the wall threatens.

Nocturnal pollinators go dark under street lamps
5th August 2017 | | Animal Life

When the sun goes down, moths, beetles and other nocturnal insects that spread pollen between plants go to work. But the latest research reveals that these creatures might be at risk from artificial lighting.

Evolutionary biologists identify non-genetic source of species variability
4th August 2017 | Animal Life

An unspoken frustration for evolutionary biologists over the past 100 years, says Craig Albertson at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is that genetics can only account for a small percentage of variation in the physical traits of organisms. Now he reports experimental results on how another factor, a “bizarre behavior” that is part of early cichlid fish larvae’s developmental environment, influences later variation in their craniofacial bones.

News stories covering Animal Science, bacterial life, DNA.