Monthly Archives: May 2018

Imminent extinction of northern white rhinoceros motivates genetic recovery efforts

Earlier this year, the last remaining male Northern White Rhinoceros (NWR) died in captivity, nearly cementing the fate of this subspecies for extinction. In the wild, continuing threats of poaching, habitat destruction, and small population size have contributed to the rhinos' status as critically endangered. Yet, novel conservation efforts that make use of cryopreserved genetic...

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Tick bite protection: New CDC study adds to the promise of permethrin-treated clothing

The case for permethrin-treated clothing to prevent tick bites keeps getting stronger.

In a series of experiments conducted by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, clothing treated with an insecticide known as permethrin had strong toxic effects on three primary species of ticks known to spread disease-causing pathogens in the United States....

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Bold lizards of all sizes have higher mating success

Boldness correlates with the mating success, but not body size or sex, of yellow-spotted monitor lizards roaming the remote Oombulgurri floodplains of tropical Western Australia, ecologists report in the Ecological Society of America's open access journal Ecosphere. But boldness has a cost: bold individuals expose themselves to much higher risk of being eaten by predators...

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Chimpanzee calls differ according to context

Studies examining animal alarm calls suggest species which require different escape responses for different predators are more likely to have correspondingly different alarm calls, facilitating appropriate escape responses from receivers. However, what causes calls to diversify in less urgent contexts is little examined. "To address this, we examine a quiet contact vocalisation of chimpanzees, the...

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Utah fossil reveals global exodus of mammals' near relatives to major continents

A nearly 130-million-year-old fossilized skull found in Utah is an Earth-shattering discovery in one respect.

The small fossil is evidence that the super-continental split likely occurred more recently than scientists previously thought and that a group of reptile-like mammals that bridge the reptile and mammal transition experienced an unsuspected burst of evolution across several continents.

"Based on...

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Most comprehensive tree of life for malaria parasites

A new study led by the American Museum of Natural History puts forth the most comprehensive tree of life for malaria parasites to date. Known for being a devastating scourge of human health, with five species known to infect humans, there are more than 500 described species of malaria that infect mammals, birds, and reptiles....

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