Western pond turtles got fatter and healthier after scientists removed nearly 200 invasive red-eared slider turtles from the UC Davis Arboretum, reports a new study published recently in the journal PeerJ. The study is the first to quantify competition between these two species in the wild.
In what likely is the first study on the evolution of dietary preferences across the animal kingdom, UA researchers report several unexpected discoveries, including that the first animal likely was a carnivore and that humans, along with other omnivores, belong to a rare breed.
Over the past 300 years, 79 plants have been confirmed extinct from three of the world's biodiversity hotspots located in South Africa -- the Cape Floristic Region, the Succulent Karoo, and the Maputuland-Pondoland-Albany corridor. According to a study published in the journal Current Biology this week, this represents a shocking 45.4% of all known plant extinctions from 10 of the world's 36 biodiversity hotspots.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) has successfully proven the presence of invasive crayfish in almost all the small streams around Lake Akan in Japan, suggesting that eDNA analysis is an efficient and highly sensitive method to assess the distribution of aquatic organisms.
Invasive mosquitoes at the northern limit of their current range are surviving conditions that are colder than those in their native territory. This new evidence of rapid local adaptation could have implications for efforts to control the spread of this invasive species.
Horseshoe bats are bizarre-looking animals with giant ears and elaborate flaps of skin on their noses that they use like satellite dishes. There are about a hundred different species of horseshoe bats -- and that number is only going to grow. By studying the DNA of horseshoe bat specimens in museum collections, scientists have discovered that there are probably a dozen new species of horseshoe bat that haven't been officially described yet.
Queen stingless bees face an increased risk of being executed by worker bees if they mate with two males rather than one, according to new research by the University of Sussex and the University of São Paulo.
New research shows that visitors to urban parks use happier words and express less negativity on Twitter than before their visit -- and that their elevated mood lasts for up to four hours. The effect is so strong that it's equivalent to the mood spike on Christmas, the happiest day each year on Twitter. With increasing urbanization and mood disorders, this research may have powerful implications for public health and urban planning.
Since the first Homo sapiens emerged in Africa roughly 300,000 years ago, grasslands have sustained humanity and thousands of other species. But today, those grasslands are shifting beneath our feet. Global change -- which includes climate change, pollution and other widespread environmental alterations -- is transforming the plant species growing in them, and not always in the ways scientists expected, a new study published Monday revealed.
As reported in the journal Current Biology on Aug. 19, migrating birds that are low on fat reserves will tuck their heads under their feathers for a deep snooze. They do so despite the fact that this more restful sleeping position slows their reaction to the sound of potential trouble. By comparison, birds in better shape stop and sleep with their head facing forward, untucked, and more alert.