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

AI identifies wounded wild animals and poachers in camera trap footage

An AI designed to detect bed sores in digital images has been used to identify wounded animals in camera trap footage, and can also detect poachers Life 25 January 2022 By Matthew Sparkes Sifting through footage to identify wounded animals is made easier by AI ConservationAI AI is being used to identify animals, plot their … Read more

Wild New Paper Suggests Earth’s Tectonic Activity Has an Unseen Source

Earth is far from a solid mass of rock. The outer layer of our planet – known as the lithosphere – is made up of more than 20 tectonic plates; as these gargantuan slates glide about the face of the planet, we get the movement of continents, and interaction at the boundaries, not least of which is … 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

Australian wildlife: Reintroductions help threatened mammals recover

Conservationists are reintroducing threatened mammals to their former ranges with fences to keep out cats and foxes Environment 29 December 2021 By Alice Klein A greater bilby scavenging at night cbstockfoto / Alamy Stock Photo Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world, having lost 34 mammal species in the past 200 years. … Read more

Fish farms: Escaped salmon have damaging effect on wild gene pool

The evolutionary fitness of Atlantic salmon is being damaged by genetic contamination as wild fish breed with escapees from fish farms Life 22 December 2021 By Adam Vaughan A salmon farm in Norway Marius Dobilas/Shutterstock When wild Atlantic salmon breed with escaped farmed salmon, their descendants grow faster and mature at a younger age, undermining … Read more

Wild Wild Life newsletter: The natural history of partridges and pears

By Penny Sarchet The gray partridge (Perdix perdix, left) and red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa) Shutterstock / Voodison328 (L) Shutterstock / Jesus Giraldo Gutierrez (R) Hello, and welcome to December’s Wild Wild Life, the monthly newsletter that celebrates the biodiversity of our planet’s animals plants and other organisms. To receive this free, monthly newsletter in your … Read more

We May Finally Know What Makes One of The World’s Largest Organisms So Tough

With massive webs of probing black tentacles extending for miles below the ground, the Armillaria group of fungi includes some of the largest known organisms on our planet.  An 8,500-year-old specimen of Armillaria ostoyae in Oregon covers 2,385 acres (3.7 square miles) with its mass of rhizomorph tentacles and is estimated to weigh roughly 7,500 … Read more