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Orchards in natural habitats draw bee diversity, improve apple production

Apple orchards surrounded by agricultural lands are visited by a less diverse collection of bee species than orchards surrounded by natural habitats, according to a new Cornell University-led study, published in the journal Science.

In turn, apple production suffers when fewer, more closely-related species of bees pollinate an orchard. Production improves in orchards surrounded by natural...

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Size matters: To livebearer fish, big fins are a big deal

To female molly and Limia fish, nothing is hotter than a male with a large dorsal fin. But these fins aren't just decorations to attract females.

Males also use them to fight or intimidate rivals. For scientists who study evolution, the fins present a chicken-and-egg dilemma. Which came first -- ornamental fins for courtship displays, or...

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More animal species under threat of extinction, new method shows

Currently approximately 600 species might be inaccurately assessed as non-threatened on the Red List of Threatened Species. More than a hundred others that couldn't be assessed before, also appear to be threatened. A new more efficient, systematic and comprehensive approach to assess the extinction risk of animals has shown this. The method, designed by Radboud...

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Fruit fly promiscuity alters the evolutionary forces on males

Researchers in the Department of Zoology at Oxford University have demonstrated for the first time what effect female fruit flies having multiple partners has on sexual selection -- before and after mating. Sexual selection is the branch of natural selection concerned with obtaining mates and fertility, rather than survival.

Results, published in Nature Communications, have shown...

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