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Everything posted by PhysOrg

  1. Releasing a higher number of kiwi into large predator-controlled areas could increase the success of efforts to help their survival in the wild, new research shows. View the full article
  2. Neanderthals, our closest relatives, became extinct between 40,000 to 35,000 years ago. Since the discovery of the first Neanderthal fossil 165 years ago, scientists have learned more about Neanderthals—including their culture, sociality, ecology, diet, control of fire, production and use of tools, physiology, and even their genomic code—than about any other non-human hominin. Here, Spanish researchers use a highly original approach—scientific "role play"—to reconstruct a novel element of Neanderthal behavior: cooperating with group members while using fire and tools to catch choughs, birds fr
  3. Thousands of seabirds that wash up on Atlantic coasts every year could have been starved to death by cyclones that whip up "washing machine" waves, a new study says, with experts warning the phenomenon could worsen with climate change. View the full article
  4. In times of exacerbating biodiversity loss, reliable data on species occurrence are essential, in order for prompt and adequate conservation actions to be initiated. This is especially true for freshwater ecosystems, which are particularly vulnerable and threatened by anthropogenic impacts. Their ecological status has already been highlighted as a top priority by multiple national and international directives, such as the European Water Framework Directive. View the full article
  5. The diet of the yellow-legged gull in the Medes Islands (Girona, Spain) has changed extremely over the last decades, according to a study that analyzes the changes in the diet of this species over the last twenty years. Regarding these gulls, which eat strictly marine resources, landfills and meat industries ̶ which are abundant in the area ̶ are nowadays the source for food of about 50% of their diet. View the full article
  6. Scientists say they've found the first evidence of tool use by a kea for the purpose of self-care, in a new study from the University of Auckland. View the full article
  7. India's newly announced plan to move from being the world's biggest importer of palm oil to that of major producer of the crop may be at the cost of large-scale deforestation of ecologically sensitive areas. View the full article
  8. The dull roar of traffic, the barking of dogs in backyards and the screeching of cockatoos at dusk. The shattering of early morning quiet by the first plane overhead or the garbage truck on its rounds. The squealed delights and occasional fights of a children's playground. View the full article
  9. Scientists analyzed more than 31 million iNaturalist records in a new study to find out who most often uses the popular nature app and what types of observations they submit. iNaturalist allows anyone with a phone or camera and an Internet connection to upload and identify photos of plants and animals anywhere in the world. View the full article
  10. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior and University of Konstanz in Germany have identified how large land birds fly nonstop for hundreds of kilometers over the open ocean—without taking a break for food or rest. Using GPS tracking technology, the team monitored the global migration of five species of large land birds that complete long sea crossings. They found that all birds exploited wind and uplift to reduce energy costs during flight—even adjusting their migratory routes to benefit from the best atmospheric conditions. This is the most wide-ranging study of sea-crossi
  11. Global warming is a big challenge for warm-blooded animals, which must maintain a constant internal body temperature. As anyone who's experienced heatstroke can tell you, our bodies become severely stressed when we overheat. View the full article
  12. Research recently published by adjunct assistant professor Cyler Conrad from the Department of Archaeology at The University of New Mexico examines the importance of turkeys to the Ancestral Pueblo people and how they have managed the birds for more than 1,600 years. Evidence of turkeys and various methods of enclosing them is evident in the ancient pueblos all over New Mexico and surrounding areas, making them part of the area's history. View the full article
  13. Epigenetic changes are one of the less studied mechanisms via which organisms adapt to environmental changes. Epigenetic changes, such as DNA methylation, do not alter DNA sequence, but regulate gene expression. Two new studies showed that nestling exposure to metals, lead and arsenic, alters great tit DNA methylation patterns. This could influence gene expression, and either help to adapt to polluted environments or lead to detrimental, even long-lasting, consequences. View the full article
  14. It is known among aviculturists that cockatiels imitate human music with their whistle-like vocal sounds. Yoshimasa Seki, a professor of Psychology Department of Aichi University, examined whether cockatiels are also able to sing in unison, or, line up their vocalizations with a musical melody so that they occur at the same time. View the full article
  15. Some songbirds learn to sing by listening to other birds. Some other animals can learn to copy sounds. But what does that tell us about human speech? Sonja Vernes from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen is lead editor of a special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B on vocal learning in animals and humans, bringing together research on animals ranging from seals and bats to birds and humans. View the full article
  16. That a parrot can copycat sounds is nothing new. But vocal learning is not common in animals. Researcher Carel ten Cate of the Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL) of Leiden University has now discovered a duck species that can imitate sounds. "It started with an obscure reference about an Australian musk duck and ended in a nice paper." View the full article
  17. Ever wondered why birds are born to peep, chirrup and sing? Surprisingly international avian experts have shown this to be true, literally, after finding fluctuations in bird species' heartbeat responses to their parents' calls—from inside the egg. View the full article
  18. A team of researchers from the University of Vienna working with a colleague at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences has observed wild Goffin's cockatoos making and using tools to crack open and eat sea mangos—the first-ever example of a wild non-primate making and using a set of tools. They've published their observations in the journal Current Biology. View the full article
  19. The rise and fall of Earth's land surface over the last three million years shaped the evolution of birds and mammals, a new study has found, with new species evolving at higher rates where the land has risen most. View the full article
  20. Decades of research have been dedicated to understanding humpback whale songs. Why do they sing? What and where is the intended audience of these songs? To help uncover the answers, many scientists have framed whale songs as something similar to bird songs: vocalizations designed for attracting potential mates, or warnings to competitors. View the full article
  21. Sites favored by illegal cannabis farmers on the West Coast of the United States overlap with the habitat ranges of three threatened predators, potentially exposing them to toxic pesticides, according to a study by Greta Wengert at the Integral Ecology Research Center in California and colleagues, publishing September 1 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. View the full article
  22. How do birds avoid collision when flying in dense foliage and other cramped environments with many obstacles? And what does flying in such complex environments entail for the birds? These were the questions Per Henningsson of Lund University in Sweden pondered before engaging the help of the family's own pet budgie to get some answers. His study has now been published in Royal Society Open Science. View the full article
  23. Despite a few high-profile conservation success stories—like the dramatic comeback of bald eagle populations in North America—birds of prey are in decline worldwide. View the full article
  24. When the world's leading conservation congress kicks off Friday in the French port city of Marseille it will aim to deliver one key message: protecting wildlife must not be seen as a noble gesture but an absolute necessity—for people and the planet. View the full article
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