Iridescent Insect

Iridescent Camouflage

Iridescent camouflage found, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News, ScienceDaily, Telegraph (UK) 23 January 2020 and Current Biology 23 January 2020, doi: 10. 1016/j.cub.2019.12.013.  Iridescence is the bright, variable colour created by light being refracted in surface structures, e.g. peacock feathers and some butterfly wings.  It produces bright clear colours, so most evolutionary biologists […]

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Mosquito on Flower

Mosquitoes Analyse Flower Chemistry

Mosquitoes analyse flower chemistry, according to reports in ScienceDaily 22 January 2020 and The Daily University of Washington 6 February 2020 and PNAS 7 January 2020, doi:10.1073/pnas.1910589117.  Although mosquitoes have a well-earned reputation for biting people and sucking blood, their main food source is flower nectar.  As explained by Jeffrey Riffell, a professor of biology […]

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Kea Parrot

Giant Fossil Parrot

Giant fossil parrot found in NZ, according to reports in ScienceDaily and ABC News 7 August 2019 and Biology Letters 7 August 2019, doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2019.0467. Scientists from Australia and New Zealand have studied “two incomplete tibiotarsi,” (leg bones with bits missing) found in a fossil site near St Bathans in Central Otago, New Zealand, and […]

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Lion Teeth

Giant African Carnivore

Giant African carnivore fossil found, according to reports in National Geographic, Science (AAAS) News, ScienceDaily 18 April 2019 and Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, published online 17 April 2019, doi: 10.1080/02724634.2019.1570222. Palaeontologists in Kenya were looking through drawers in a Nairobi Museum and found the jaw and some pieces of skull, bones and teeth of an […]

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Manta Ray

Ricochet Feeding for Rays

Ricochet feeding for rays described in ScienceDaily 26 September 2018 and Science Advances 26 September 2018 doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aat9533. Manta rays are kite shaped fish that feed by filtering plankton from water flowing into their mouths as they swim.  The water, minus the plankton, then passes out through their gills.  This is an intriguing system for […]

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Northern Quolls

Speeding Up Aussie Evolution

Speeding up Aussie evolution, according articles in Nature News 23 July 2018 and Conservation Biology, published online 13 June 2018, doi: 10.1111/cobi.13149. Ecologists are hoping the save the northern quoll from extinction by trying to “speed up evolution”.  The northern quoll is a small carnivorous marsupial, about the size of a squirrel, that lives in […]

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Flatbread

Daily Bread Before Farming

Daily bread before farming, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 16 July 2018 and BBC News 17 July 2018, and PNAS 16 July 2018 doi: 10.1073/pnas.1801071115. A team of researchers from UK and Denmark have found charred remains in the fireplaces of an archaeological site known as Shubayqa 1, located in the […]

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Sauropod Vegetation

Dinosaur Food Experiment

Dinosaur food experiment described in ScienceDaily and Palaeontology, doi: 10.1111/pala.12385. Dinosaur experts have long been intrigued by how giant sauropods were able to get enough food to provide energy and maintain their large bodies. One theory is that the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air were higher in Mesozoic eras and plants therefore […]

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African Moon Moth

Moth Tails Baffle Bats

Moth tails baffle bats, claim scientists in reports in Science (AAAS) News, Science Daily 4 July 2018 and Science Advances 4 July 2018 doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aar7428. Moth wings vary a lot in their shape. Some moths have rounded wings and others have elongated tails on their back wings.  As moths are preyed on by bats a […]

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Mosquito

Thirsty Mosquitoes Seek Blood

Thirsty mosquitoes seek blood, according to reports in ScienceDaily 1 May 2018 and Scientific Reports 1 May 2018, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-24893-z. Scientists at University of Cincinatti were studying the effect of dry conditions on mosquitoes when some of the mosquitoes escaped from a laboratory container.  They noticed the dehydrated mosquitoes were very aggressive and tried to bite. […]

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