Science 

WATCH: World’s First Footage of Baby Dumbo Octopus

For the first time, scientists have witnessed the birth of one of the ocean’s strangest creatures: a dumbo octopus. While on a research cruise east of Cape Cod in 2005, marine biologist Tim Shank was remotely operating an underwater vehicle to collect coral. He noticed something hiding in the coral that looked like a set of smooth, tan golf balls. He collected the little spheres and brought them to the surface. Once inside the facility, he noticed that one of them was opening. Shank filmed the opening and saw that…

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Mute crickets can’t chirp but rub their wings together anyway

A Hawaiian cricket (Teleogryllus oceanicus)Caroline Harding, MAF / CC by 3.0 AU Hawaiian crickets still try to call for females, despite having lost their ability to sing. Male crickets woo females by “singing”, which they do by vigorously rubbing their wings together. Bumps and ridges on the wings scrape against each other, making a distinctive sound. However, in the early 2000s researchers noticed that up to 95 per cent of male Hawaiian crickets (Teleogryllus oceanicus) on the islands of Kauai and Oahu had lost their voices. Both sets of males…

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Mute male crickets are still trying to serenade females

A Hawaiian cricket (Teleogryllus oceanicus)Caroline Harding, MAF / CC by 3.0 AU Hawaiian crickets still try to call for females, despite having lost their ability to sing. Male crickets woo females by “singing”, which they do by vigorously rubbing their wings together. Bumps and ridges on the wings scrape against each other, making a distinctive sound. However, in the early 2000s researchers noticed that up to 95 per cent of male Hawaiian crickets (Teleogryllus oceanicus) on the islands of Kauai and Oahu had lost their voices. Both sets of males…

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Science 

Why Do We Behave the Way We Do? New Research Reveals Biology Guiding Different Life Stages

Why Do We Behave the Way We Do? New Research Reveals Biology Guiding Different Life Stages More The simple worm sometimes behaves differently from others with the exact same genes—an evolutionary advantage that confounds basic genetics, according to a new study. Researchers studying why the tiny creatures behave a certain way at different life stages found that worms with identical genes and living in the same environment will nonetheless engage in atypical behavior. Related: Weird Head Shape Personality Study Links Sex Drive to Vocabulary While Trying to Debunk Phrenology The study, which is…

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Medical examiner taps DNA science to find missing persons

For families who have searched years for missing loved ones, donating a sample of their DNA is often a last, desperate act to confirm their worst fears. New York City’s medical examiner is leading a nationwide effort to collect genetic material and match it with unidentified human remains. It’s a way to finally give family members some answers and maybe some solace. “People will not rest without answers, at least some answers,” said Dr. Barbara Sampson, the city’s chief medical examiner. Over the last decade, thousands of DNA samples have…

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What does a bear do in the Alaska woods? Disperse seeds

FILE- In this October 2017 file photo, a black bear walks in Granite Basin, amid low-lying blueberry thickets, in Juneau, Alaska. A study of bears and berries has determined that the big animals are the main dispersers of fruit seeds in southeast Alaska. The study by Oregon State University researchers says it’s the first instance of a temperate plant being primarily dispersed by mammals through their excrement rather than by birds. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer) ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Does a bear leave scat in the woods? The answer is obvious…

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We thought gorillas only walked on their knuckles. We were wrong

A silverback mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) on the moveFLPA / Alamy By Richard Kemeny Our ape ancestors might have been more versatile than we’ve given them credit for. A study of modern gorillas suggests that the common ancestor we share with them may have been able to walk in a variety of ways, not just one or two. Within the last 20 million years, our ancestors split from those of orangutans. Later, we also branched off from the African great apes: first gorillas, then chimpanzees and bonobos. However, we…

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Startling orangutan population decline recorded in Borneo

FILE PHOTO: An orangutan hold its baby at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center in the Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo island on January 11, 2004. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad/File Photo More By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hunting by people and habitation destruction by oil palm, paper, logging and mining industries helped drive a startling drop of about 50 percent in the orangutan population on the island of Borneo from 1999 to 2015, scientists said on Thursday. The researchers calculated a population decrease of about 148,500 during that 16-year period and…

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People are slaughtering orangutans and wiping them out

Many Bornean orangutans are the victims of deliberate killingTim Laman / National Geographic / Getty By Andy Coghlan Borneo’s orangutan population has halved in just 16 years. Worse, it was not a tragic by-product of the growth of farming, as many had believed. Instead, most of the lost orangutans were deliberately killed. “It’s not a good picture,” says study leader Serge Wich of Liverpool John Moores University in the UK. “We really need to acknowledge that killing of orangutans is a big issue.” His team studied Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus),…

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Ants care for wounded comrades by licking their wounds clean

“Lie still, this won’t hurt a bit”Erik T. Frank By Jasmin Fox-Skelly A species of ant has become the first known non-human animal to tend the wounds of its fellows. “Nurse” ants lick the wounds of fallen comrades, and this helps them survive. Matabele ants (Megaponera analis) live dangerous lives. Several times a day, parties of 200-600 soldier ants set out to hunt termites, dragging them from their nests and carrying them home. The termites fight back, and their powerful jaws can administer lethal bites, so Matabele ants frequently lose…

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