Monthly Archives: May 2018

Bacteria ensure square meal for bloodsucking ticks

How do ticks live solely on blood? A study presented in Current Biology (May 31, 2018) has elucidated the crucial role played by symbiotic bacteria that synthesize B vitamins. These nutrients are scarcely found in the blood ticks ingest but are essential to their life cycle. Thus ticks cannot survive to adulthood or reproduce without...

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World’s oldest lizard fossil discovered

An international team of paleontologists, which includes the University of Bristol, have identified the world's oldest lizard, providing key insight into the evolution of modern lizards and snakes.

The 240-million-year-old fossil, Megachirella wachtleri, is the most ancient ancestor of all modern lizards and snakes, known as squamates, the new study, published today in the journal Nature,...

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Bees adjust to seasons with nutrients in flowers and 'dirty water'

Researchers at Tufts University have discovered that honey bees alter their diet of nutrients according to the season, particularly as winter approaches. A spike in calcium consumption in the fall, and high intake of potassium, help prepare the bees for colder months when they likely need those minerals to generate warmth through rapid muscle contractions....

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Parasites affect flight ability of wild seabirds, new study finds

A study led by the University of Liverpool and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) has found that parasites affect flight ability of wild seabirds, which may make it harder for them to raise chicks.

The researchers studied a population of European shags on the Isle of May National Nature Reserve, Scotland and measured how...

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Ants provide clues to why biodiversity is higher in the tropics

It's a puzzle that has confounded biologists for centuries: the earth's tropical regions are home to an enormous variety of plant and animal species, but as you travel north or south, away from the equator, the level of diversity dwindles.

Scientists don't know why biodiversity tends to concentrate around tropical regions, but they have put forward...

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What do animals want?

Scientists have developed a new approach to understanding animal preferences, and the findings could provide greater insight into decision-making in humans.

Pet owners are familiar with the challenges of figuring out what their pets want. Building on Pavlov's work teaching his dogs to associate the ringing of a bell with food, researchers have tried to understand...

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