Zoology in the News

African elephant. Credit: Ian Press Photography
African elephant. Credit: Ian Press Photography

This post highlights zoology-related articles which have featured in the news over the last two weeks.

A humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) has set the record for the longest documented distance migrated by a mammal. Researchers identified a whale from a tourist’s holiday photos of Madagascar as the same animal which had been photographed off the coast of Brazil. This discovery was published in Biology Letters and suggests that we may need to further investigate whale migration. Read the news articles on Wildlife Extra and Nature News.

Young crows learn the “tools of the trade” from their parents. New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides) make and use impressively complex tools. New research published in Animal Behaviour sheds light on how the small social unit of these crows assists the young crows with learning these skills.  Read the news article on the BBC.

African elephants increase herpetofauna biodiversity. A study in African Journal of Ecology has found that there are more species of amphibians and reptiles in habitats which have been extensively damaged by African elephants (Loxodonta Africana) than there are in habitats without elephants. Read the news articles on the BBC and Mongabay.com.

Assassin beetles pluck at the strands of spiders’ webs to lure them to their death. Research published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B describes how these beetles (Stenolemus bituberus) use aggressive mimicry to hunt spiders. Read the news articles on the BBC and DiscoveryNews.

by Anne Braae

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