Study Confirms Suspicions That Cat Brains Are Smaller Than They Used to Be

As cats have become domesticated over the last 10,000 years or so, their brains have shrunk significantly in size, a new study confirms – a finding that could lead to important new insights into how animals adapt when they start being regularly kept by human beings.   Researchers compared the size of craniums (an indicator … Read more

Huge Project Is Now Underway to Sequence The Genome of Every Complex Species on Earth

The Earth Biogenome Project, a global consortium that aims to sequence the genomes of all complex life on earth (some 1.8 million described species) in ten years, is ramping up.   The project’s origins, aims and progress are detailed in two multi-authored papers published today. Once complete, it will forever change the way biological research … Read more

New tarantula species: YouTuber finds new-to-science tarantula that lives in bamboo stems

A species of tarantula seems to live exclusively inside hollow bamboo stems, which no other tarantula is known to do 18 January 2022 By Jake Buehler Taksinus bambus – a tarantula that lives inside bamboo JoCho Sippawat Tarantulas make their homes everywhere from dusty desert burrows to a rainforest canopy. Now, researchers have discovered a … Read more

The 6th Mass Extinction Really Has Begun, Scientists Warn in Newly Published Study

The signs of death are everywhere, if you look. For years, scientists have rung the alarm bell, warning that grave declines in animal biodiversity around the globe herald the onset of what will be Earth’s sixth mass extinction.   Despite the looming weight of evidence to suggest this grim phenomenon is unfolding all around us, … Read more

These Ancient ‘War Donkeys’ Were Likely The 1st Human-Bred Hybrid Animals

Mesopotamians were using hybrids of domesticated donkeys and wild asses to pull their war wagons 4,500 years ago – at least 500 years before horses were bred for the purpose, a new study reveals.   The analysis of ancient DNA from animal bones unearthed in northern Syria resolves a long-standing question of just what type of animals … Read more

In a conservation first, a cloned ferret could help save her species | Science

Last month, at a conservation center near Fort Collins, Colorado, staffers held an unusual birthday party, complete with a two-tiered cake made of prairie dog and mouse carcasses, minced meat, and kibble. The recipient of the macabre cake was a small, weasellike animal named Elizabeth Ann. She is the world’s first cloned black-footed ferret, one … Read more

The Earliest Unequivocal Evidence of Our Species May Be Even Older Than We Realized

The course of human evolution never did run smooth. The emergence of hominins on the continent of Africa is full of twists, turns, gaps, and dead ends, which makes it all the more difficult to retrace the rise of our own species.   Today, we still don’t really know when or where the first Homo … Read more

Deep-sea anglerfish: Unusual species glows with bioluminescent and fluorescent light

We already knew that anglerfish have light-generating bacteria in their tissues – now it turns out that one species, the Pacific football fish, can also glow by fluorescing green Life 12 January 2022 By Jake Buehler The Pacific footballfish (Himantolophus sagamius) William Ludt/Journal of Fish Biology Deep-sea anglerfish illuminate their pitch-black home using a lure … Read more

The Dolphin Clitoris Is Full of Surprises, Scientists Discover

The bottlenose dolphin (Tersiops truncatus) appears to have a very large and well-developed clitoris, potentially better placed for coital pleasure than the clitoris of humans, according to new research.   The visible tip of the human clitoris is but the size of a pea and located slightly north of the vagina and urethra (although much … Read more