“Lonesome George,” a giant Galapagos tortoise and conservation icon long thought to be the sole survivor of his species, may not be alone for much longer, according to a multinational team of researchers headed by investigators at Yale University. New research led by biologists Adalgisa Caccone and Jeffrey Powell in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale, with the strong support and cooperation of the Galápagos National Park and Charles Darwin Research Station, has identified a tortoise that is clearly a first generation hybrid between the native tortoises from the islands of Isabela and Pinta. That means, this new tortoise has half his genes in common with Lonesome George.
The heart is one of the most energy demanding organs of the human body. Its failure to function properly accounts for 600,000 deaths each year. Similarly, the rainbow trout, native to the Pacific Northwest and beloved as a sport- and food fish, requires dynamic and sustained cardiac function to maintain its health and swimming activity. A new study expands upon previous findings that sex differences in cardiac performance and metabolism exist in fish in general, and have now been found to occur in rainbow trout in particular. Female rainbow trout prefer carbohydrates and tolerate lower oxygen levels better than males.
An international team of scientists led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Joint Genome Institute has peered into the genetic makeup of two species of phytoplankton, the tiny plants key in global photosynthesis and carbon cycling, and come away with surprising results about evolutionary engineering and new ideas about the role that a poorly understood chemical element may play in the world’s oceans.
Changes in growth rates in some coastal and long-lived deep-ocean fish species in the south west Pacific are consistent with shifts in wind systems and water temperatures, according to new Australian research.
What would be the opening chapter of the Kamasutra of plant sex? A good pick would be a description of the numerous ways in which plants arrange their sexual organs: from both sexes in the same flower to sexes separated in different flowers or individuals. One widespread sexual strategy that remains an evolutionary enigma is the production of both male and bisexual flowers in the same plant, which occurs in approximately 4000 species.