Biology

‘Yoda Bat’ from Papua New Guinea Gets Official Name

A newly discovered species of fruit bat — previously nicknamed ‘Yoda bat’ — has an official name: the happy tube-nosed fruit bat (Nyctimene wrightae). The happy tube-nosed fruit bat (Nyctimene wrightae): female with young pup attached, showing characteristic long ears with thickened edge and short, brown hair. Image credit: Debra …

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New Study Reveals What Dolphins Eat

In a new study published in the journal PLoS ONE, a team of U.S. researchers examined the diets of three different dolphin species (the common bottlenose dolphin, the melon-headed whale, and the Gray’s spinner dolphin), and also looked at how they divide ocean resources and space. Dolphins. “We used the …

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This Is What Earth’s Earliest Flowers Might Have Looked Like

An international team of researchers at the eFLOWER project has reconstructed what the Earth’s ancestral angiosperm flowers might have looked like. 3D model of the ancestral flower reconstructed by the eFLOWER team. Image credit: Sauquet et al, doi: 10.1038/ncomms16047. Flowering plants (angiosperms), with at least 300,000 species, are by far …

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Marine Biologists Discover New Subspecies of Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake

A team of scientists from Northwestern University, the Field Museum of Natural History and Phoenix Zoo has discovered and described a distinctive new subspecies of the yellow-bellied sea snake (Hydrophis platurus) from the inner-basin waters of Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Although predominantly yellow, the yellow sea snake (Hydrophis platurus xanthos) …

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Predatory Dragonflies Can Predict Path of Their Flying Prey

According to new research published in the journal eLife, the dragonfly brain can perform visual tasks that were previously associated only with mammals. Wiederman et al have shown how a dragonfly’s brain anticipates the movement of its prey. Image credit: Komkrich Srigoson. “Until now, scientists have primarily considered the capabilities …

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Arachnologists Discover Three New Species of Club-Tailed Scorpions

An international team of arachnologists has discovered and described three new species of Neotropical ‘club-tailed’ scorpions: Ischnotelson peruassu and Physoctonus striatus from Brazil and Rhopalurus ochoai from Venezuela. A known species of club-tailed scorpion from Brazil. Image credit: Humberto Yamaguti. Scorpions are found in every ecosystem on the planet, from …

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Song Cultures of Humpback Whales Give Insight into Evolutionary Learning

Culture was once thought to be what distinguishes humans from other animals. However, research by a University of St Andrews-led team of scientists studying behavior of humpback whales and other animals tells a radically different story. Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the South Bank, Dominican Republic. Image credit: Christopher Michel …

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Three New Toad Species Discovered in Nevada

A team of researchers led by University of Nevada Professor C. Richard (Dick) Tracy has discovered three new toad species in the Great Basin region of northern Nevada. The Dixie Valley toad (Bufo williamsi). Image credit: Mike Wolterbeek, University of Nevada, Reno. The three new species are the Dixie Valley …

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