This post highlights zoology-related articles which have featured in the news over the last two weeks.
Zooplankton choose their mates based on size. Research published in Oecologia provides the first evidence of sexual selection by mate choice in the pelagic copepod Acartia tonsa. Both males and females preferentially choose larger mates. Read the BBC news article.
A flesh eating fly, thought to be dead for the last 160 years, has been rediscovered. The bone skipper, Thyreophora cynophila, was thought to be extinct but was caught in traps in the Spanish woodlands. The full report is published in Systematic Entomology and you can read the news articles on the New Scientist blog, Zoologger, or on the BBC website.
Humans may have caught cerebral malaria from gorillas. Contrary to previous theory that suggested that human malarial parasites originated from chimpanzees, a study published in Nature shows that full length mitochondrial DNA from western gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) malarial parasites, Plasmodium spp. are most similar to the human parasite species, Plasmodium falciparum. Read the news article on the Nature News blog.
Scientists shed light on photosynthesizing sea slugs. Some species of sea slugs are able to photosynthesize by incorporating chloroplasts directly into their cells. Details of this process, known as kleptoplasty, in the sea slug, Elysia timida, are published in Journal of Marine Biology and Ecology. Read the article on the BBC.
by Anne Braae