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  1. For the first time in nearly 50 years, California condors have been spotted at Sequoia National Park, wildlife officials announced. View the full article
  2. Many Victorians returning to stage three lockdown will be looking for ways to pass the hours at home. And some will be turning to birdwatching. View the full article
  3. In nature, colors play a vital role in behaviors such as pollination, signaling for mating and defense against predators. Colors are also an important factor in scientific research that can provide the basis for novel printing and anti-counterfeiting applications. View the full article
  4. A team of researchers from the University of St Andrews in the U.K. and the University of Lethbridge in Canada has found that hummingbirds are able to understand the concept of numerical order. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes experiments they conducted with wild hummingbirds and what they learned from them. View the full article
  5. Classical quantitative genetics has found that most phenotypes are polygenic traits. Under this polygenic model, natural selection often acts on many loci simultaneously, resulting in the combination of a few loci with major effects and many loci with small effects controlling adaptive changes in phenotypes, which presents challenges to the understanding of the genetic basis underlying polygenic traits. View the full article
  6. Some animals fake their body size by sounding bigger than they actually are. Maxime Garcia from the University of Zurich and Andrea Ravignani from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics studied 164 different mammals and found that animals that lower their voices to sound bigger are often skilled vocalists. Both strategies—sounding bigger and learning sounds—are likely driven by sexual selection, and may play a role in explaining the origins of human speech evolution. View the full article
  7. Many animals remain motionless or play dead after being attacked by a predator in the hope that it will give up and move onto some other unfortunate prey. View the full article
  8. From movies to museum exhibits, the dinosaur Dilophosaurus is no stranger to pop culture. Many probably remember it best from the movie "Jurassic Park," where it's depicted as a venom-spitting beast with a rattling frill around its neck and two paddle-like crests on its head. View the full article
  9. A paper published July 7, 2020 in the open access journal PLOS Biology outlines a roadmap for creating, for the first time, an agreed list of all the world's species, from mammals and birds to plants, fungi and microbes. View the full article
  10. How does evolution impact ecological patterns? It helps smooth out the rough edges, says UConn Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Professor Mark Urban. Urban led an international team of researchers through a review of the history of ecological and evolutionary research to establish a framework to better understand evolution's impact on ecosystem patterns. The research is published as a perspective in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. View the full article
  11. The waters of south-eastern Australia are a climate change hotspot, warming at four times the global average. Understanding how to future-proof the prey of little penguins in these challenging conditions is essential for their long-term survival and may well benefit the health of the whole marine system. View the full article
  12. Binoculars in hand, birders around the world contribute every day to a massive database of bird sightings worldwide. But while community science observations of birds can be useful data, it may not be enough to fill the data gaps in developing countries where professional bird surveys are insufficient or absent. View the full article
  13. It was a dark time for animals. Poaching was rampant. Wild birds and mammals were being slaughtered by the thousands. An out-of-control wildlife trade was making once-common animals hard to find and pushing rare species into extinction. View the full article
  14. Most bird species are slow to change their tune, preferring to stick with tried-and-true songs to defend territories and attract females. Now, with the help of citizen scientists, researchers have tracked how one rare sparrow song went "viral" across Canada, traveling over 3,000 kilometers between 2000 and 2019 and wiping out a historic song ending in the process. The study, publishing July 2 in the journal Current Biology, reports that white-throated sparrows from British Columbia to central Ontario have ditched their traditional three-note-ending song in favor of a unique two-note-ending variant—although researchers still don't know what made the new song so compelling. View the full article
  15. A trio of researchers, two with Brown University, the other with Liverpool John Moores University, has found that a looping pattern in modern guineafowl footsteps is similar to those of certain dinosaurs. In their paper published in The Royal Society Biology Letters, Morgan Turner, Peter Falkingham and Stephen M. Gatesy describe their study of tracks made by modern guineafowl and how they compared to dinosaur tracks left in modern Connecticut. View the full article
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