“Bird Brain” Revision Needed

“Bird brain” revision needed according to an article in Outside JEB 9 May 2018 doi:10.1242/jeb.170001 and Current Biology doi:10.1016/j.cub.2018.01.036, 5 March 2018. Birds have small brains without a cerebral cortex, the folded multilayered outer region of mammal brains that supposedly makes mammals smarter than other creatures.  Thus, the epithet “bird-brain” is used to insult someone’s […]

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Why Don’t Whales Get the Bends?

Why don’t whales get the bends, ask scientists in articles in ScienceDaily 25 April 2018 and Proceedings of the Royal Society B 25 April 2018 doi: 10.1098/rspb.2018.0482. Ever since decompression sickness was known about in human divers scientists have been intrigued as to why diving animals such as whales, dolphins and sea turtles seem to […]

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Bat on Tree Trunk

Giant Burrowing Bat Fossil

Giant burrowing bat fossil found, as reported in ScienceDaily 10 January 2018, BBC News 11 January 2018 and Scientific Reports, doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-18403-w. An international team of scientists has found teeth and bones of an extinct burrowing bat in rock layers in Central Otago region in New Zealand. Burrowing bats can fly, but also forage for […]

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Monkey Daylight

Mammals Emerge into Daylight

Mammals emerge into daylight after dinosaur extinction, according to ScienceDaily and New Scientist 6 November 2017 and Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2017; doi: 10.1038/s41559-017-0366-5, published online 6 November 2017. According to an evolutionary theory, known as the “nocturnal bottleneck hypothesis”, mammals evolved from a small nocturnal common ancestor who hid during the daylight hours to […]

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Sugar Glider

Jurassic Glider

Jurassic glider found, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 9 August 2017. Scientists in China have found two fossils of gliding mammals, similar to living flying squirrels and gliding possums. Both fossils are exquisitely preserved showing the folds of skin between the body and limbs that could be extended for gliding flight. […]

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Wolf Sized Otter

Wolf sized otter found, according to articles in ScienceDaily 23 January 2017 and ABC News and BBC News 24 January 2017. An international team of scientists in the USA, France, and China have studied the fossil of a giant extinct otter named Siamogale melilutra. It was found in Yunnan Province, Southwestern China, and is dated […]

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White Tiger Gene

White tiger gene found, according to reports in ScienceNOW, BBC News, ScienceDaily and Current Biology doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.054 23 May 2013. White Bengal tigers have white fur with black stripes, rather than the normal orange fur with black stripes. Although they have been found in the wild in the past, they now only seem to exist […]

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Unsweetened Cats

Unsweetened cats, as described in PLoS July 2005, ScienceNOW 25 July 2005 and BBC News 1 August 2005. Cat owners have known for a long time that cats are not attracted to sweet food. Now the reason for this has been found by a group of scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Centre, Philadelphia, USA, […]

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Tiny Teeth Tell of Hobbit Evolution

Tiny teeth tell of hobbit evolution, according to a report in New Scientist 6 March 2013. The Hobbit, is the nickname given to an extinct species named Homo floresiensis that is claimed to be a dwarf human by some anthropologists. However, its teeth and brain size are disproportionally small for a typical human dwarf. So […]

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Survival of the Whitest

Survival of the whitest, according to an article in BBC Earth News 6 November 2009. The American black bear Ursus americanus has a uniformly black coat and lives mainly in forested areas of USA and Canada. However, on two islands off Western Canada 20 to 30 percent of black bears have white coats. These bears […]

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