For a small, reddish-beaked bird called the zebra finch, sexiness is color-coded. Males have beaks that range from light orange to dark red. But from a female’s point of view, a male’s colored bill may simply be hot, or not, new findings suggest. Due to a phenomenon called categorical perception, zebra finches partition the range

Aphids — who hasn’t been bothered by these little insects at one time or another? Why do they reproduce on plants so successfully? These are among the questions that Professor Dr Caroline Müller and her research team are addressing at Bielefeld University’s Faculty of Biology. They have found out that aphids are able to influence

Birds create songs by moving muscles in their vocal organs to vibrate air passing through their tissues. While previous research reported that each of the different muscles controls one acoustic feature, new research shows that these muscles act in concert to create sound. An international team of researchers describes how zebra finches produce songs in

Biologists at Lund University in Sweden have shown that the great tit, a common European songbird, has a tremendous capacity for self-control. Until now, such impulse control has been primarily associated with larger cognitively advanced animals with far larger brains than the great tit. According to the new results, the great tits’ capacity for self-control

Worker ants, despite their diligence, seldom encounter opportunities for social mobility. In many species, individuals adhere to strict caste roles: queens lay eggs and workers take care of almost everything else, including offspring. In a new study, published in Science, Rockefeller scientists describe the molecular mechanisms controlling this division of labor. “We wanted to know:

A global biodiversity collapse is imminent unless we take urgent, concerted action to reverse species loss in the tropics, according to a major scientific study in the journal Nature. In their paper ‘The future of hyperdiverse tropical ecosystems’ an international team has warned that a failure to act quickly and decisively will greatly increase the

The Black Hills region of the United States is famous today for tourist attractions like Deadwood and Mount Rushmore, but around 150 million years ago it was home to one of the largest dinosaurs known. This dinosaur was a member of the sauropod family with long necks and tails. These giant plant-eating dinosaurs like Brontosaurus

Two high-speed electron microscopes. 7,062 brain slices. 21 million images. For a team of scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, these numbers add up to a technical first: a high-resolution digital snapshot of the adult fruit fly brain. Researchers can now trace the path of any one neuron

Fossils of a new genus and species of an ankylosaurid dinosaur — Akainacephalus johnsoni — have been unearthed in the Kaiparowits Formation of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM), in Kane County, southern Utah, U.S.A., and are revealing new details about the diversity and evolution of this group of armored dinosaurs. Expected to look like other North American

An international team of scientists, led by geneticists from Trinity College Dublin, have sequenced the genomes from ancient goat bones from areas in the Fertile Crescent where goats were first domesticated around 8,500 BC. They reveal a 10,000-year history of local farmer practices featuring genetic exchange both with the wild and among domesticated herds, and

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