Monthly Archives: November 2018

A bastard seal from the past reveals the potential for human hybrids

Almost ninety years ago on a freezing January morning, the keepers of the Stockholm Zoo in Sweden discovered a dead seal pup in their seal pond. The pup was immediately recognized as a bastard; a hybrid between species that should not interbreed. Only two grey seal males and one ringed seal female, species belonging to...

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Mammal-like milk provisioning and parental care discovered in jumping spider

Lactation is the production and secretion of milk for the young and is a mammalian attribute. However, there have been few examples of milk provisioning in non-mammals.

In a study published in the journal Science on November 30, researchers at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences report milk provisioning in...

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Toolbox for studying the existence of animal cultures

Researchers from the CNRS and université Toulouse III -- Paul Sabatier (UT3) show that fruit flies possess all of the cognitive capacities needed to culturally transmit their sexual preferences across generations. The study, published on November 30, 2018 in Science, provides the first experimental toolbox for studying the existence of animal cultures, thereby opening up...

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Soil compound fights chronic wasting disease

A major compound in soil organic matter degrades chronic wasting disease prions and decreases infectivity in mice, according to a study published November 29 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Judd Aiken of the University of Alberta, and colleagues.

Chronic wasting disease is an environmentally transmissible, fatal prion disease affecting free-ranging deer, moose, elk and...

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Whales lost their teeth before evolving hair-like baleen in their mouths

Rivaling the evolution of feathers in dinosaurs, one of the most extraordinary transformations in the history of life was the evolution of baleen -- rows of flexible hair-like plates that blue whales, humpbacks and other marine mammals use to filter relatively tiny prey from gulps of ocean water. The unusual structure enables the world's largest...

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How a rat and bat helped heal a 90-year cultural rift

Tyrone Lavery, postdoctoral researcher at the Field Museum in Chicago, traveled nearly 8,000 miles to find two species -- a giant rat and a monkey-faced bat -- in Malaita, one of the Solomon Islands' largest provinces.

The search for these mammals isn't over yet -- but in partnership with the Kwaio, an indigenous people in Malaita,...

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