Zoology in the News

This post highlights zoology-related articles which have featured recently in the news.

Song Thrush chick. Credit: Sid Mosdell
Song Thrush chick. Credit: Sid Mosdell

Threat of predation during female birds’ ovulation period influences the subsequent development of the chick. Chicks from predator threatened females are smaller and grow their wings faster and longer than chicks produced from non-threatened females. The research, published in Functional Ecology, shows that predators can influence the physiology of their prey. Read the news article on the Nature News blog.

Long-tailed macaques can judge quantities, but only when counting items that they will ultimately not get to eat. Research published in Nature Communications shows that these Old World monkeys are able to recognize relative quantities. Read the news article on the BBC.

Lower rainfall may inadvertently delay bird migration by decreasing the amount of available insects. Researchers publishing in Proceedings of the Royal Society B show that changes in rainfall influence when migratory birds leave their winter territories for their northern breeding grounds. Read the news article on Science Daily.

Research on lice evolution, published in Biology Letters, suggests that lice started diversifying around 50 million years before dinosaurs went extinct, implying that their hosts, modern birds and mammals, were also radiating into new species. This conflicts with the current view that mammals and birds did not diversity into modern lineages until after dinosaurs became extinct. Read the news article on the New Scientist and the Daily Mail.

by Anne Braae

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