Wombat

Giant Wombat Skull

The fossil of a giant wombat skull has been found in a Central Queensland cave. The fossil has been classified as Ramsayia magna, a species previously known from isolated teeth and jaw fragments. Researchers estimate the wombat was the size of a “really large sheep” and weighed around 130kg. Modern day wombats can grow to […]

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Bear with Cubs

Climate Change Brings Brolar Bears

As Arctic regions in North America and Russia are warming brown bears are moving north so they are crossing paths with polar bears more often.  Brown bears and polar bears can mate and produce fertile offspring, referred to as “brolar” bears, and these hybrids bears are becoming more common, and the hybrids are also breeding […]

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Pitcher Plants

Pitcher Plants Thrive on Shrew Poo

Like all plants, pitcher plants need a source of nitrogen to grow well. Most plants get this from the soil, from nitrogen rich animal droppings which have been incorporated into the soil. Carnivorous plants can also obtain nitrogen from ‘prey’. Some species pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes can also capture animal droppings as their […]

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Bat Flying

Botoxed Bats Billow in the Wind. 

Bat wings consists of a skin-covered fibrous membrane attached to the sides of their bodies and extending over their arms and elongated fingers.  The wings also contain long thin thread-like muscles embedded in the wing membrane.  Researchers at Brown University, USA, set out to see how these contribute to bat flight by getting bats to […]

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Panda Eating Bamboo

Oldest Panda Thumb Fossil

The giant panda is well known for eating bamboo and having an extra “thumb” to help it hold onto and manipulate the bamboo stems as it eats them.  The “thumb” is not an extra digit, but a protrusion resulting from an enlarged wrist bone called a radial sesamoid.  A group of scientists from various USA […]

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Giraffe Neck Theory Evolves!

For around one hundred and fifty years students have been dogmatically told giraffes have evolved long necks by stretching them to browse from tall trees. Chinese scientists studying a fossil skull and vertebrae of an extinct “giraffoid”, have now come up with the new theory. “Giraffoids” are a group of mammals that includes living giraffes […]

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Wolves

Old Wolves Had “Toy Dog” Genes

The many breeds of domestic dogs vary enormously in body size, even though all domestic dogs belong to one species.  An international team of scientists has carried out a wide-ranging study of genes that influence body size in domestic and wild dogs.  A gene named IGF1 is already known to have a strong influence on […]

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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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