Zoology in the News

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

Scientists exploring the deep ocean have delighted us with yet another wonderful creature: the yeti crab, so named due to the bristles covering its limbs.  The yeti crab actively farms nutritious ‘gardens’ of bacteria on its claws, as described by research published in PLoS ONE. Read the news article in Nature News.

Wasps are able to recognise each others’ faces, and new research published in Science suggests that this phenomenon may be due to pattern-recognition ability specialised in wasp facial features. Such specialisation would imply that complex cognitive abilities of facial recognition similar to that seen in vertebrates may have evolved independently in wasps with far smaller brain. Read the news article in Nature News and in New Scientist.

Southern Yellowjacket. Credit: Thomas Shahan
Southern Yellowjacket. Credit: Thomas Shahan

Animals can predict earthquakes, and, according to researchers at Nasa and the UK’s Open University, animals living in or near groundwater may be affected by charged particles released from stressed rocks in the Earth’s crust that react with the groundwater, as discussed in their paper published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Read the news article in BBC Nature News, also featuring a paper published in the Journal of Zoology last year.

Guereza colobus monkeys join the general howling chorus at dawn to communicate their size and dominance over conspecifics, suggests a recent study published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. The scientists were for the first time able to trigger such a chorus of responses by playback of recorded dawn chorus howling. Read the news in BBC Nature.

by Elina Rantanen

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