Box jellyfish are much more active swimmers than other jellyfish — they exhibit strong directional swimming, are able to perform rapid 180 degree turns, and can deftly move in between objects. So how do they manage to manoeuvre the obstacle course that is in the sea bed?
Many of us will be familiar with cravings for sweet food, after having overindulged in alcohol the night before. It appears that Egyptian fruit bats also crave particular types of sugar to reduce the effects of ethanol toxicity. Francisco Sanchez from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel) presented data demonstrating this on Sunday 1st of April at the Society for Experimental Biology’s Annual Meeting in Glasgow.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) placed the African elephant on its most critically endangered list, Appendix I, in 1989. The ban led to more aggressive anti-poaching campaigns and increased investment in wildlife protection, and set African elephants on the road to recovery.
The cartilaginous elephant shark has a basal phylogenetic position useful for understanding jawed vertebrate evolution. Survey sequencing of its genome identified four Hox clusters, suggesting that, unlike for teleost fishes, no additional whole-genome duplication has occurred.
Bacteria live in, on and around us and other organisms with sometimes very beneficial results. For the first time scientists have shown that one species of insect deliberately cultivates bacteria in its antennae in order to protect their larvae from fungal attack. This highly specialised interaction between an insect species and bacteria protects the insect’s offspring against microorganisms which might infect it during its cocoon stage.
Given the choice, many of us would opt for warmer climes during the bleak midwinter. However, most of us cannot afford to move abroad for a few months, so instead we pile on extra layers of clothing to keep warm. Arthropods face much the same dilemma, as they cannot migrate long distances to avoid low winter temperatures — so why are they not killed off by the cold?