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How fruit flies ended up in our fruit bowls

Fruit flies can be a scourge in our homes, but to date no-one has known how they became our uninvited lodgers. For decades, researchers have searched for their origins and now a Swedish-American research team has succeeded. They have also discovered that fruit flies in the wild are far more picky than their domesticated counterparts,...

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Wild African fruit flies offer clues to their modern-day domestic life

The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is quite possibly the most studied organism on the planet. Fruit flies are also quite familiar residents in many of our kitchens, attracted as they are to the fruit bowl. But how do the flies live in the wild? Surprisingly little is known.

Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on December...

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Parrot genome analysis reveals insights into longevity, cognition

Parrots are famously talkative, and a blue-fronted Amazon parrot named Moises -- or at least its genome -- is telling scientists volumes about the longevity and highly developed cognitive abilities that give parrots so much in common with humans. Perhaps someday, it will also provide clues about how parrots learn to vocalize so well.

Morgan Wirthlin,...

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229 new species described by the California Academy of Sciences in 2018

In 2018, researchers at the California Academy of Sciences added 229 new plant and animal species to our family tree, enriching our understanding of Earth's complex web of life and strengthening our ability to make informed conservation decisions. The new species include 120 wasps, 34 sea slugs, 28 ants, 19 fish, seven flowering plants, seven...

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Weirdly shaped mouse sperm can be used to tell species apart

Think back to health class and picture a sperm. It's got a smooth rounded head, with a long skinny tail at the end, right? As it turns out, the sperm from different species of animals have different shapes -- and, as a new study in the Journal of Mammalogy shows, those shapes can be used...

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