My picks from ScienceDaily

Singing For Survival: Gibbons Scare Off Predators With ‘Song’:

It is well known that animals use song as a way of attracting mates, but researchers have found that gibbons have developed an unusual way of scaring off predators — by singing to them. The primatologists at the University of St Andrews discovered that wild gibbons in Thailand have developed a unique song as a natural defence to predators. Literally singing for survival, the gibbons appear to use the song not just to warn their own group members but those in neighbouring areas.

Scanner Offers Humane Way To Look At Bird Bones:

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the University of Alberta for a bone scan. Dr. Douglas Korver, a professor of poultry nutrition in the U of A Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science, has been using some innovative technology to save cash for the poultry industry, and save the chickens from excess pain and suffering. The department’s Quantitative Computed Tomography (QCT) scanner is being used to measure and calculate the bone density in laying chickens, in order to find ways to prevent osteoporosis and bone breaks in the birds.

Neurons Targeted By Dementing Illness May Have Evolved For Complex Social Cognition:

Von Economo neurons (VENs) are uniquely shaped brain cells that seem to have evolved in a select group of socially complex species: great apes, humans, and, as reported last month, whales. Across species, VENs are localized to frontal brain regions associated with cognition, emotion and social behavior. Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a common neurodegenerative condition, is characterized by early breakdown in social and emotional awareness and is accompanied by atrophy and dysfunction in the brain areas where VENs are located.

Expedition Observes Little Known Beaked Whales:

On the 17th of December, Meike Scheidat & Linn Lehnert, the whale watchers on board the research icebreaker Polarstern, made a remarkable cetaceans sighting: Four Arnoux’s Beaked Whales (Berardius arnuxii), observed from the helicopter. The Arnoux’s Beaked Whales is one of the least known species of the Beaked Whales family (Ziphidae), itself poorly known in general. Arnoux’s is one of the biggest species amongst beaked whales. The ones observed were probably 9 metre long. These deep-sea feeding whales are particularly sensitive to underwater acoustic disturbances.

Gene Tied To Longevity Also Preserves Ability To Think Clearly:

A gene variant linked to living a very long life–to 90 and beyond–also serves to help very old people think clearly and retain their memories, according to new research by scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

One response to “My picks from ScienceDaily

  1. Ziphidae, besides being extremely cool intrinsically, also start with a Z. People whose names start with Z are automatically cooler.
    Although not quite as cool as people whose middle initials are “J.”