Sight and hearing are the most important senses for birds – this is at least the received wisdom. By studying bird DNA, however, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, along with a colleague at the Cawthron Institute in New Zealand, have now provided genetic evidence that many bird species have a well-developed sense of smell (Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 16.07.2008).
Some 40,000 years ago, Cro-Magnons — the first people who had a skeleton that looked anatomically modern — entered Europe, coming from Africa. A group of geneticists, coordinated by Guido Barbujani and David Caramelli of the Universities of Ferrara and Florence, shows that a Cro-Magnoid individual who lived in Southern Italy 28,000 years ago was a modern European, genetically as well as anatomically.
Though many policymakers have argued that environmental regulations can negatively impact on an organization’s bottom line, a new study by George Mason University researcher Nicole Darnall shows that companies that develop green production processes can not only offset the costs of regulations, but can also reap further benefits.
Good pollen makes bees hot, biologists at UC San Diego have found. Wasps warm up too when they find protein-rich meat, a separate experiment has shown.
Bats are a remarkable evolutionary success story representing the second largest group of mammals, outnumbered only by rodents in number of species. Now, researchers of the Leibniz-Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin (Germany) and Boston University (U.S.A.) have discovered the place that harbours the highest number of bat species ever recorded. In a few ha* of rainforest in the Amazon basin of eastern Ecuador, the authors have found more than 100 species of bats.