My picks from ScienceDaily

Behavioral Ecology: Late Breeding Female Birds Surprisingly Had More Offspring:

Starting to breed late in life is a bad idea if you want to maximise the number of offspring that you produce – or so the theory goes. But doubt has now been cast on this hypothesis – one of the biggest assumptions in behavioural ecology – by researchers from the universities of Bristol and Cape Town and published today in Current Biology.


Climate Change: Natural Wonders Of The World Face Destruction:

From the Amazon to the Himalayas, ten of the world’s greatest natural wonders face destruction if the climate continues to warm at the current rate, warns WWF. Released ahead of the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Second Working Group Report, a WWF briefing — Saving the world’s natural wonders from climate change — reports on how the devastating impacts of global warming are damaging some of the world’s greatest natural wonders.

What Makes Little Dogs Small? Researchers Identify Gene Involved In Dog Size:

An international team led by researchers from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has identified a genetic variant that is a major contributor to small size in dogs. The findings appear in the April 6, 2007 issue of the journal Science.

Picky-eater Flies Losing Smell Genes:

A UC Davis researcher is hot on the scent of some lost fruit fly genes. According to population biology graduate student Carolyn McBride, the specialist fruit fly Drosophila sechellia is losing genes for smell and taste receptors 10 times faster than its generalist relative Drosophila simulans. The findings could help researchers understand how some insect pests adapt to feeding on a particular plant.

The Great Escape: Fleeing Fish Fall In Line:

With the unappealing prospect of being eaten, one might imagine that during a predator attack it is a case that all fish escape at once in the desperate hurry to escape as quickly as possible. However, new research indicates that this is not the case, and in fact fish in schools escape using a relatively fixed chronological order. Scientists mimicked an aerial predator attack by mechanical stimulation and used a high speed camera to record responses in schools of ten grey mullet each. Individuals within a school were then ranked according to the timing of their escape. The experiment was performed ten times at 10 minute intervals on a total of seven separate schools of grey mullet. Interestingly, results suggested that there is a trend for individual fish to maintain a given rank, indicating that the chronological order of escape responses within a school is maintained in successive startle events.

One response to “My picks from ScienceDaily

  1. “Late Breeding Female Birds Surprisingly Had More Offspring”
    It may be surprising for this particular species of bird, but it’s a bit hyperbolic that the article even calls it “paradoxical”. Obviously late breeding is beneficial in certain conditions, otherwise how would we get species like humans or elephants?