Bats Flying

New Zealand Goes Batty

Each year the conservation organisation Forest and Bird asks people to vote for New Zealand’s Bird of Year.  This year the organisers included the long tailed bat in the list of candidates.  The bat received 7,031 out of 56,733 votes, putting it almost 3,000 votes ahead of the next most popular choice, the kakapo.  The […]

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Elephants

Elephants Lose Tusks “By Evolution”

Elephants lose tusks “by evolution” claim media reports. During the civil war in Mozambique (1977-1992) ivory poachers killed elephants and sold the tusks to finance their war. During this time the population of elephants declined drastically. The elephant population is now making a comeback, but with a change – more female elephants are lacking tusks. […]

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Hippopotamus

Giant Hippos Lived in Warm Britain

Giant hippos lived in warm Britain, according to reports in ScienceDaily and University of Leicester News 4 October 2021 and Journal of Quaternary Science, 4 October 2021 doi: 10.1002/jqs.3375. Palaeontologists from University of Leicester and Royal Holloway, University of London, have found the tooth of an extinct hippopotamus named Hippopotamus antiquus in Westbury Cave in […]

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Cattle

Potty Training Cows Will Aid Climate Control

Potty training cows will aid climate control.  Just when you thought the man-made global warming proponents’ suggestions for controlling climate couldn’t get any sillier, this article was published in a serious scientific journal: “Learned control of urinary reflexes in cattle to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions”. Current Biology, 13 September 2021, doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.07.011. The introduction […]

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Panda Eating

Panda Jaw Evolved for Bamboo

Panda jaw evolved for bamboo, according reports in ScienceDaily and University of Turku (UTU) Press Release 9 July 2021 and Scientific Reports, 9 July 2021, doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-93808-2. When pandas eat bamboo stems they first use their premolar teeth to peel off the outer layer which contains harmful chemicals and abrasive crystals. Then they grind up […]

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Bats Flying

Bats Born Knowing Speed of Sound

Bats born knowing speed of sound, according to reports in ScienceDaily 5 May 2021 and ScienceAlert 6 May 2021, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 5 May 2021 doi: 10.1073/pnas.2024352118.  Echolocating bats work out how far away an object or landing place is by using the time taken for sounds to bounce off […]

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Glowing Gecko

Aussie Animals Glow in the Dark

Aussie animals glow in the dark, according to reports in ABC News 26 November 2020 and 8 December 2020, and Mammalia 15 October 2020, doi: 10.1515/mammalia-2020-0027. Scientists at Northland College, USA, were investigating biofluorescence – a phenomenon seen when fur, feathers or skin absorb ultra-violet (UV) light and re-emit visible light. If UV light is […]

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Polar Bear

Polar Bears Benefit from Arctic Warming

Polar bears benefit from arctic warming, according reports in ScienceDaily 23 September 2020 and Global Change Biology, 23 September 2020, doi: 10.1111/gcb.15286. An international team of scientists have studied a population of polar bears living in Kane Basin a region in the high Arctic between Ellesmere Island, Canada and Greenland. They compared the bears’ overall […]

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Opossum

Possum Pollination

Possum pollination found, as described in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 12 February 2020, In Defense of Plants 16 February 2020, and Ecology, 11 February 2020; doi: 10.1002/ecy.3001.  Scientists in South America have studied an obscure plant named Scybalium fungiforme, that lives most of its life underground as root parasite, but does produce flowers that […]

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Koals in Tree

Koalas Climb Like Apes

Koalas climb like apes, according to Inside JEB 17 December 2019 and Journal of Experimental Biology 17 December 2019 doi: 10.1242/jeb.207506.  The typical picture of a koala is one of a semi-comatose animal sitting passively in the fork of a tree.  This is understandable as koalas sleep for up to 18 hours a day.  However, […]

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