Forest fires in Southeast Asia during the El Niño droughts of 2015 caused considerable disruption to the biodiversity of the region due to the smoke-induced 'haze' they created, according to new research led by Benjamin Lee at the University of Kent and the National Parks Board in Singapore.
DNA in lake sediment forms a natural archive displaying when various fish species colonized lakes after the glacial period. This according to researchers at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umeå University in a study published in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution.
Why are there so many more species in the tropics? The 'storage effect' is stronger there than in temperate forests.
Some of nature's most vibrant colors occur in frogs, who peek out from rainforests and marshes in startling shades of blue, yellow and red. But for hundreds of species, only males flaunt flashy colors -- and sometimes only for a few hours, days or weeks each year. Scientists report that the males of at least 178 species of frogs undergo a temporary color change during their breeding season. Their research will help them understand why.
A new hermit crab species can live in a walking coral's cavity in a reciprocal relationship, replacing the usual marine worm partner, according to a study published Sept. 20, 2017, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Momoko Igawa and Makoto Kato from Kyoto University, Japan.
In 2003, Northern California's Yurok Tribe initiated efforts to reintroduce California condors on their lands. While wild condors have not existed in the region for more than a hundred years, a new study from The Condor: Ornithological Applications suggests that hunters transitioning from lead to non-lead ammunition may allow these apex scavengers to succeed there once again.
Most birds lack genitalia, but male ducks are known for their long, spiraling penises, which have evolved through an ongoing cat-and-mouse game with females. A new study looks at whether these impressive organs are affected by the social environment -- that is, whether male ducks that face more competition grow bigger penises. While this appears to be true for some species, in others the relationship between social environment and penis growth is more complex.
A new method for analyzing a living being chemical compositions is tested in Andean plants and attest the genesis of species by means of geographic isolation. Scientific article published August 2017 by Brazilian researchers is based on the analysis of chemical compounds which express specific biogeographic trends at the evolutionary process, validating a Smithsonian hypothesis on the evolution of the genus Espeletia in the process.
Sand-swimming lizards, slithering robotic snakes, dusk-flying moths and running roaches all have one thing in common: They're increasingly being studied by physicists interested in understanding the shared strategies these creatures have developed to overcome the challenges of moving though their environments.
A single species gave rise to 220 more and two distinct lineages of oaks -- red oaks and white oaks -- that moved through the boreal zone to populate large swaths of the continent all the way into Mexico. These two findings -- simultaneous evolutionary diversification in the red and white oaks, each following the same geographic routes; and two relatively recent origins of the Mexican oaks -- are a surprise conclusion to a scientific mystery.