Horseshoe bats are bizarre-looking animals with giant ears and elaborate flaps of skin on their noses that they use like satellite dishes. There are about a hundred different species of horseshoe bats -- and that number is only going to grow. By studying the DNA of horseshoe bat specimens in museum collections, scientists have discovered that there are probably a dozen new species of horseshoe bat that haven't been officially described yet.
Migration patterns in present-day Denmark shifted at the beginning of the Nordic Bronze Age, according to a study published Aug. 21, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Karin Frei of the National Museum of Denmark and colleagues. Migrants appear to have come from varied and potentially distant locations during a period of unprecedented economic growth in southern Scandinavia in the 2nd millennium BC.
People in Croatia during the 5th to 6th centuries may have used cranial modifications to indicate their cultural affiliations, according to a study published Aug. 21, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE led by Ron Pinhasi of the University of Vienna and Mario Novak of the Institute for Anthropological Research in Zagreb, Croatia.
An international research team led by the University of Goettingen has deciphered the defence mechanism of filamentous fungi. Moulds are a preferred food source for small animals. As fungi cannot escape predation by running away, they produce defence metabolites, thereby rendering themselves toxic or unpalatable. After decades-long unsuccessful investigation, these defence compounds have now been identified. The results were published in Nature Communications.
Studying cognition in the wild is a challenge. Field researchers and their study animals face many factors that can easily interfere with their variables of interest and that many say are 'impossible' to control for. A novel observational approach for field research developed by Karline Janmaat at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology can now guide young scholars, who want to study cognition in the field before this opportunity disappears.
Scientists have found that increasing oxygen levels are linked to the rise of North American dinosaurs around 215 million years ago. A new technique for measuring oxygen levels in ancient rocks shows that oxygen levels in North American rocks leaped by nearly a third in just a couple of million years, possibly setting the scene for a dinosaur expansion into the tropics of North America and elsewhere. From the Goldschmidt Geochemistry conference, Barcelona.
Researchers at McMaster University who rush in after storms to study the behavior of spiders have found that extreme weather events such as tropical cyclones may have an evolutionary impact on populations living in storm-prone regions, where aggressive spiders have the best odds of survival.
A common birthplace of new genes, the male testes are a hotspot for biological innovation. Within these organs, scientists have found a trove of virgin genetic sequences--and a better understanding of how evolution moves forward.
The molecular mechanism used by many bacteria to kill neighboring cells has redundancy built into its genetic makeup, which could allow for the mechanism to be expressed in different environments.
When Earth's species were rapidly diversifying nearly 500 million years ago, that evolution was driven by complex factors including global cooling, more oxygen in the atmosphere, and more nutrients in the oceans. But it took a combination of many global environmental and tectonic changes occurring simultaneously and combining like building blocks to produce rapid diversification into new species, according to a new study by Dr. Alycia Stigall, Professor of Geological Sciences at Ohio University.