Researchers have shown for the first time that these insects use different directional sensors to achieve the highest possible navigational precision in different conditions.
By tracking water flow through different environments in California, UC Berkeley researchers have discovered a secret to the surprising resilence of Mediterranean plant communities during drought years. These plants do well during droughts because they are adapted to living with limited underground water storage even in very wet years. Rock moisture, or lack of it, is the key, and may help predict the fate of other California plant communities in the face of climate change.
A collaborative team of Harvard researchers pinpointed one specific group of bacteria, called Veillonella, that they found was enriched in the gut microbiome of Boston Marathon runners after after completing the 26.2 race and in an independent group of 87 elite and Olympic athletes after competitions. Veillonella bacteria isolated from marathon athletes and given to mice increased the animals' performances in laboratory treadmill tests by 13% compared to control bacteria.
A new large-scaled research project has mapped the genome of 44 ruminant species -- a group of animals that have intrigued researchers for years because of their biological diversity and their huge importance as domestic animals.
The latest supplement to the American Ornithological Society's checklist of North and Middle American birds is being published in The Auk: Ornithological Advances, and it includes several major updates to the organization of the continent's bird species. The official authority on the names and classification of the region's birds, the checklist is consulted by birdwatchers and professional scientists alike and has been published since 1886.
Alien species management in cities can be a difficult and costly endeavor. In their study, published in the open-access journal Neobiota, scientists present a new tool developed to identify non-native species likely to become the next big invader. By using this approach, species considered of particular risk are to be taken measure of well before they have established. The prioritization tool could be customized to answer the specific needs of different cities around the world.
New research led by University of Utah biologists William Anderegg, Anna Trugman and David Bowling find that some plants and trees are prolific spendthrifts in drought conditions -- 'spending' precious soil water to cool themselves and, in the process, making droughts more intense.
Auburn University researchers have published a new hypothesis that could provide the foundation for new scientific studies looking into the association of habitat loss and the global emergence of infectious diseases. The research was recently presented in the paper, 'The Coevolution Effect as a Driver of Spillover,' in the latest issue of the scientific journal, Trends in Parasitology.
'"The jumping droplets, at the rate of 100 or more an hour, are a violent expulsion of dew from the surface. It's good for the plant because it is removing spores from itself, but it's bad because, like a human sneeze, the liquid droplets are finding their way onto neighboring plants. '
High-resolution microscopic images of the surface of dental enamel of lepidosauria, which is a subclass of reptiles including monitor lizards, iguanas, lizards, and tuatara, allow scientists to determine their dietary habits. The enamel wear patterns reveal significant differences between carnivores and herbivores, but also allow finer distinctions, such as between algae-, fruit-, and mollusk-eating species. These findings are the result of research by a team led by scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.