Researchers at Leipzig University and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) have compiled the world's most comprehensive list of known plant species. It contains 1,315,562 names of vascular plants, thus extending the number by some 70,000 - equivalent to about 20%. The researchers have also succeeded in clarifying 181,000 hitherto unclear species names. The data set has now been published in Scientific Data. This marks the culmination of ten years of intensive research work.
Is there a unifying principle underpinning animal locomotion in its rich diversity? The thermodynamic analysis shows why and how waste minimization prevails on efficiency or power maximization when it comes to free locomotion irrespective of the available mode and gaits.
The study shows how and when the first groups of land explorers became better walkers than swimmers. The analysis spans the fin-to-limb transition and reconstructs the evolution of terrestrial movement in early tetrapods.
On a near daily basis, the internet spews out numerous tips and tricks for exercise motivation. Now we can add smell to the long and growing list. A research team led by a scientist at the University of California, Riverside, has found olfaction--or smell--may play an important role in motivating mammals to engage in voluntary exercise. Performed in lab mice, the study may open up new areas of research and have relevance for humans.
The water-to-land transition is one of the most important major transitions in vertebrate evolution. However, there is still uncertainty about when the water-land transition took place and how terrestrial early tetrapods really were. A new paper in Nature addresses these questions and shows although these early tetrapods were still tied to water and had aquatic features, they also had adaptations that indicate some ability to move on land.
Twice as much freshwater is stored offshore of Hawai'i Island than previously thought, revealed a University of Hawai'i study with important implications for volcanic islands around the world. An extensive reservoir of freshwater within the submarine southern flank of the Hualālai aquifer was mapped by researchers with Hawai'i EPSCoR 'Ike Wai project, showing a way in which substantial volumes of freshwater are transported from onshore to offshore submarine aquifers along the coast of Hawai'i Island.
A new bird fossil helps scientists better understand convergent evolution of complex anatomy and provides new insights into the evolution of face and beak shape in a forerunner of modern birds.
The only dinosaur bones ever found on the island of Ireland have been formally confirmed for the first time by a team of experts from the University of Portsmouth and Queen's University Belfast, led by Dr Mike Simms, a curator and palaeontologist at National Museums NI.
A research team at RIKEN in Japan has succeeded in experimentally evolving the common bacteria under pressure from a large number of individual antibiotics, and identified the mechanisms and constraints underlying evolved drug resistance. Their findings help develop drug-treatment strategies that minimize the chance that bacteria will develop resistance.
By cutting into dinosaur bones and analyzing the growth lines, a team of researchers discovered that T. rex and its closest relatives got big thanks to a huge growth spurt in adolescence, while its more distant cousins kept on growing a little bit every year throughout their lives.