Biology

Study: Bottlenose Dolphins Form Friendships through Shared Interests

According to new research, published in the published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) living in Shark Bay, a World Heritage Site in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia, form close friendships with other dolphins that have a common interest. An Indo-Pacific bottlenose …

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Biologists Find Salamander-Eating Pitcher Plants in Canada

A team of biologists from the Universities of Guelph and Toronto has discovered that a species of carnivorous plant called the northern pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) in Ontario’s Algonquin Park wetlands consume not just bugs but also young spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum). A northern pitcher plant with a trapped salamander. …

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Why Deep-Sea Dragonfish Has Transparent Teeth

A species of dragonfish called Aristostomias scintillans is a voracious predator of the deep sea with an arsenal of tools to hunt prey. It has proportionately enormous jaws capable of a special mechanism of opening and closure referred to as loosejaw. In contrast to its dark pigmented skin, the species …

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Feathers Arose 80 Million Years before Birds, Scientists Say

According to a new review paper published in the journal Trends in Ecology Evolution, feathers arose 250-230 million years ago, during the Early Triassic, when life was recovering from the devastating end-Permian mass extinction. Reconstruction of Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus. Image credit: Andrey Atuchin. It is shocking to realize that feathers originated …

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New Species of Rat Snake Discovered

An international team of scientists has described a cryptic new species of rat snake in the genus Elaphe. The Urartian rat snake (Elaphe urartica) in Armenia. Image credit: Boris Tuniyev. Elaphe is a snake genus with distribution in temperate, subtropical, and tropical zones of both eastern and western hemisphere. The …

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Chimps Use Tools to Excavate Underground Food, Study Says

Naïve chimpanzees are able to spontaneously use tools in order to excavate underground food, according to a new study, published in the journal PLoS ONE. The animals prefer longer tools for excavation and exhibit six different tool use behaviors in the context of excavation: digging, probing, perforating, pounding, shoveling and …

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