According to new research published in the Journal of Animal Ecology, physical contact may be good for your health. Well, at least if you’re a lemur. Scientists have found a direct link between physical contact and gut bacteria in red-bellied lemurs (Eulemur rubriventer). The study aim was to better understand causes of diversity within the animal’s gut microbiome. These communities of belly bacteria play a key … Continue reading Dodgy gut? Have a lemur cuddle!
Showy ornaments used by the male of the species in competition for mates, such as the long tail of a peacock or shaggy mane of a lion, could indicate a species’ risk of decline in a changing climate, according to a new study from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Continue reading “Competitive males are a blessing and a curse”
Increasingly frequent extreme weather events could threaten butterfly populations in the UK and could be the cause of recently reported butterfly population crashes, according to research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).
Researchers investigated the impact of Extreme Climatic Events (ECEs) on butterfly populations. The study shows that the impact can be significantly positive and negative, but questions remain as to whether the benefits outweigh the negative effects.
Birds of prey let themselves be carried by predictable winds
At the start of autumn, several billion migratory birds take flight for a long, adventurous journey to Africa. How do they manage to complete this difficult journey successfully year after year? To find out, a team of researchers from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) tracked the behaviour of migrating European honey buzzards using small GPS backpacks. They combined GPS data with meteorological models to show how these migratory birds travel via complicated detours to make use of predictable weather patterns. They do so especially over the Sahara Desert, an inhospitable landscape they need to cross as quickly as possible. Continue reading “Drifting birds of prey use predictable winds during migration”
Birds that have to work harder during breeding season will feel the effects of their exertions the following year, according to research by Oxford University scientists.
A new study published in the Journal found that migratory seabirds suffered negative repercussions when they had to spend more time rearing chicks, including decreased breeding success when they returned to the colony the following spring.
Using tags surgically implanted into thousands of juvenile salmon, University of British Colombia researchers have discovered that many fish die within the first few days of migration from their birthplace to the ocean. Continue reading “Salmon smolts find safety in numbers”
Scientists have discovered that the presence of large fish predators can reduce stress on baby fish.
The researchers – from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University and the University of Glasgow- have found that physiological stress on baby fish can be reduced by more than a third if large predatory fish are around to scare off smaller, hungry predators, known as mesopredators. Continue reading “Baby fish breathe easier around large predators”