If you get a chance to sip some shade-grown Mexican organic coffee, please pause a moment to thank the bats that helped make it possible. At Mexican organic coffee plantations, where pesticides are banned, bats and birds work night and day to control insect pests that might otherwise munch the crop.
Dog owners, who have noticed that their four-legged friend seem equally delighted to see them after five minutes away as five hours, may wonder if animals can tell when time passes. Newly published research from The University of Western Ontario may bring us closer to answering that very question.
Millions of people tend bird feeders in their backyards each year, often out of a desire to help the animals. But a new survey of research on the topic finds that feeding may not always bring a positive outcome for the birds.
Despite their reputation for deadly attacks on humans and pets, alligators are wiggling their way toward a new role as potential lifesavers in medicine, biochemists in Louisiana reported at the 235th national meeting of the American Chemical Society. They described how proteins in gator blood may provide a source of powerful new antibiotics to help fight infections associated with diabetic ulcers, severe burns, and “superbugs” that are resistant to conventional medication.
Enormous numbers of migratory moths that fly high above our heads throughout the night aren’t at the mercy of the winds that propel them toward their final destinations, researchers report online on April 3rd in Current Biology. Rather, they rely on sophisticated behaviors to control their flight direction, and to speed their long-distance journeys into areas suitable for the next generation of moths.
Researchers have confirmed the first case of complete lunglessness in a frog, according to a report in the April 8th issue of Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press. The aquatic frog Barbourula kalimantanensis apparently gets all the oxygen it needs through its skin.
In the first experiment of its kind conducted in nature, a University of British Columbia evolutionary biologist has come up with strong evidence for one of Charles Darwin’s cornerstone ideas — adaptation to the environment accelerates the creation of new species.