ecology

Under poaching pressure, elephants are evolving to lose their tusks

Written by Dina Fine Maron for National Geographic. [Excerpt] “Their goal is to uncover more information about how these animals move, eat, and what their genomes look like. Long hopes to detail how elephants without the benefit of tusks as tools may alter their behavior to get access to nutrients. Rob Pringle, at Princeton University, plans to look at dung…

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‘This Is Very Alarming!’: Flying Insects Vanish from Nature Preserves

Not long ago, a lengthy drive on a hot day wouldn’t be complete without scraping bug guts off a windshield. But splattered insects have gone the way of the Chevy Nova — you just don’t see them on the road like you used to. Biologists call this the windshield phenomenon. It’s a symptom, they say, of a vanishing population. “The windscreen phenomenon is probably one of the best illustrative ways…

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UCLA Study Aims To Improve Interaction Between LA Residents, Wildlife

UCLA researchers are studying how wildlife mammals live in urban Los Angeles to improve the relationship between animals and humans. With a prize of $225,000 from UCLA’s Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, the researchers will survey residents and study mammals such as squirrels, raccoons and possums in a three-part study starting next quarter. The three parts, which involve studying pathogens animals…

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Adapting to the Heat

In classic experiments on frogs, scientists found that the amphibians’ urge to escape from dangerously hot water decreased significantly when the water temperature rose very gradually. In fact, sensitivity of many animals to temperature — including humans — is similarly affected by the rate of increase. Exactly why, however, has not been understood. “We know a lot about how animals…

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