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  • May 6, 2016
  • 12:52 PM

Supergenes and social organization in a bird species

by Cindy Dupuis in genome ecology evolution etc

      Cindy Dupuis, Xinji Li, Casper van der Kooi   The development of new molecular mechanisms and next generation sequencing techniques have advanced our knowledge on the genetic basis underlying phenotypic polymorphism. Over the coarse of recent years, … Continue reading →... Read more »

Küpper C, Stocks M, Risse JE, Dos Remedios N, Farrell LL, McRae SB, Morgan TC, Karlionova N, Pinchuk P, Verkuil YI.... (2016) A supergene determines highly divergent male reproductive morphs in the ruff. Nature genetics, 48(1), 79-83. PMID: 26569125  

  • April 29, 2016
  • 11:32 AM

Cuckoldary is rare in humans!

by Farid Pazhoohi in Epistemophil

Human behavioral scientists argue that extra-pair copulation is adaptive in human females, as through extra-pair copulation, women can acquire good genes from other potential mates. This is suggested because it is found that women experience greater sexual attraction to particular extra-pair men, but not their own partners, during their highest peak of fertility (Gangestad & […]... Read more »

Gangestad, S., & Thornhill, R. (2008) Human oestrus. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275(1638), 991-1000. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2007.1425  

Larmuseau MH, Matthijs K, & Wenseleers T. (2016) Cuckolded Fathers Rare in Human Populations. Trends in ecology , 31(5), 327-9. PMID: 27107336  

  • April 21, 2016
  • 02:59 AM

The herbivorous side of spiders

by Diego in macrostylis

The herbivorous side of spiders
Spiders are famous for being voracious predators; indeed, some spiders may even eat bats. However, not all spiders are fully carnivore. In 1984 it was first suggested that pollen may have a role in the diet of some juvenile spiders and in 2009 one research showed that one particular spider species (Bagheera kiplingi; see picture below) mainly feeds on plant materials. Other observations of spiders eating plants or fungi are more scattered but a recent review iden........ Read more »

Nyffeler, M., Olson, E., & Symondson, W. (2016) Plant-eating by spiders. Journal of Arachnology, 44(1), 15-27. DOI: 10.1636/P15-45.1  

  • April 11, 2016
  • 02:00 AM

Week 14 In Review: Open-Access Science | 4 to 10 April

by TakFurTheKaffe in Tak Fur The Kaffe

River flooding boosts carbon emissions, six new species of Chinese dragon millipedes discovered, how ancient animals adapted to climate change, maths tell palaeontologists where to find fossils, and the Arctic Ocean was ice-free ten million years ago. Here are five of the latest scientific studies published open-access this week.... Read more »

Stegen, J., Fredrickson, J., Wilkins, M., Konopka, A., Nelson, W., Arntzen, E., Chrisler, W., Chu, R., Danczak, R., Fansler, S.... (2016) Groundwater–surface water mixing shifts ecological assembly processes and stimulates organic carbon turnover. Nature Communications, 11237. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11237  

Botha-Brink, J., Codron, D., Huttenlocker, A., Angielczyk, K., & Ruta, M. (2016) Breeding Young as a Survival Strategy during Earth’s Greatest Mass Extinction. Scientific Reports, 24053. DOI: 10.1038/srep24053  

Stein, R., Fahl, K., Schreck, M., Knorr, G., Niessen, F., Forwick, M., Gebhardt, C., Jensen, L., Kaminski, M., Kopf, A.... (2016) Evidence for ice-free summers in the late Miocene central Arctic Ocean. Nature Communications, 11148. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11148  

  • April 6, 2016
  • 09:00 AM

I’ll Fly Home—Or Not

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Why do some birds migrate and others don’t? It’s not that simple. The reason isn’t genetics, it isn’t necessarily food or weather either. There are birds that can allow their feet to go to one degree above freezing while keeping the rest of the body toasty – so they don’t need to migrate, yet other birds that are close to them genetically will fly thousands of miles. Other birds species only have a few of the adults migrate – who decides which ones make ........ Read more »

  • March 29, 2016
  • 07:33 AM

Springtime nature goo

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Here in Southern Ontario, spring is in the process of being sprung. This means warmer temperatures and lots of rain, which can bring about the appearance of various sorts of goo. That's right, goo. Time for some photos!... Read more »

  • March 22, 2016
  • 01:13 PM

White's Tree Frog

by Jason Organ in Eatlemania!

The Eatles have been busy munching away for the first time on a non-mammal vertebrate! Specifically, they are devouring the soft tissue remains of a White's Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea) from Grant's Farm in St. Louis, MO, named Nona.White's Tree Frog. Photo from Animal Diversity Web.Also known as the Smiling Frog, and the Dumpy Frog, this animal is fascinating. It belongs to the Hylidae family of frogs, which is an interesting group because it is united by a single morhpological character shared........ Read more »

  • March 16, 2016
  • 06:45 AM

How Fast Is Fast

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

What’s the fastest organism in the world? The cheetah s fast on land, and the white throated needle tail is fast in the air, but there are bacteria faster than these animals. It all depends on how you measure speed. The fastest? A beetle from down under – it’s confirmed by science!... Read more »

  • February 24, 2016
  • 09:15 AM

When The Early Bird Is Also The Night Owl

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Quick – name an animal with the body of a cat, tail of a lemur, face of a mongoose, lives in the trees, and has its big toe on the outside. It lives in a place where some of its food is nocturnal and some is diurnal – so it can be awake either days or nights and still find something to eat. Therefore, this animal has no set activity pattern, just like a college student.... Read more »

  • February 18, 2016
  • 02:30 PM

WATCH: Snails That Fly?

by Jenny Ludmer in Rooster's Report

It’s a butterfly … it’s a fruit fly … it’s a “sea butterfly”? Steadily beating it’s wing-like appendages, this bizarre creatures resembles a flying insect. And yet, on closer inspection, it is readily revealed to be a marine mollusk. Perhaps a confused sea snail, but a snail nonetheless.... Read more »

Knight, K. (2016) Bizarre snail that swims like a flying insect. Journal of Experimental Biology, 219(4), 465-465. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.138230  

  • February 17, 2016
  • 06:50 AM

Sunrise, Sunset – Life In the Twilight

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Who runs the world? – Plants! Some plants are active just as the sun rises and as the sun sets in order to save water. And this drives insect activity patterns which forces some birds to be awake only at sunrise and sunset. Who knew that a morning glory has so much power.... Read more »

  • February 10, 2016
  • 07:30 AM

Form Follows Function - It’s About Time

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Animals have some interesting nocturnal/diurnal patterns, but can parasites have daytime and nighttime activity patterns? Here is a story of nocturnal owl monkeys, mosquitoes, and malaria parasites and the timing that makes owl monkeys the only primate susceptible to the human and primate forms of malaria.... Read more »

Kreysing, M., Pusch, R., Haverkate, D., Landsberger, M., Engelmann, J., Ruiter, J., Mora-Ferrer, C., Ulbricht, E., Grosche, J., Franze, K.... (2012) Photonic Crystal Light Collectors in Fish Retina Improve Vision in Turbid Water. Science, 336(6089), 1700-1703. DOI: 10.1126/science.1218072  

  • February 6, 2016
  • 07:42 AM

Domestic Dog

by Jason Organ in Eatlemania!

The Eatles are cleaning the skull of a domestic dog. Come read about osteoporosis research in the Organ Lab at Indiana University School of Medicine... Read more »

Allen MR, Territo PR, Lin C, Persohn S, Jiang L, Riley AA, McCarthy BP, Newman CL, Burr DB, & Hutchins GD. (2015) In Vivo UTE-MRI Reveals Positive Effects of Raloxifene on Skeletal-Bound Water in Skeletally Mature Beagle Dogs. Journal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, 30(8), 1441-4. PMID: 25644867  

Allen MR, McNerny EM, Organ JM, & Wallace JM. (2015) True Gold or Pyrite: A Review of Reference Point Indentation for Assessing Bone Mechanical Properties In Vivo. Journal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, 30(9), 1539-50. PMID: 26235703  

  • February 2, 2016
  • 12:35 PM

Weird small holes in the woods

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Within the ground beneath our feet lie dark cavities of various shapes and sizes. They're home to pale and eyeless creatures living a midnight existence. Natural holes in the ground, filled with air and/or water, can be roughly categorized into three types based on the particular habitat they provide for subterranean organisms:(1) Caves are large, deep, and tend not to contain much organic matter for organisms to munch on. They're often found in karst and volcanic areas prone to developing big h........ Read more »

  • February 1, 2016
  • 03:59 PM

The tegu lizard and the origin of warm-blooded animals

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll Warm blood is the popular way to refer to endothermy, the ability that certain animals have to maintain a high body temperature by the use of heat generated via metabolism, especially in internal organs. Mammals and birds … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 28, 2016
  • 05:26 PM

WATCH: Leaf Cutter Ants Hard At Work

by Jenny Ludmer in Rooster's Report

Able to strip a tree in mere hours, leaf cutter ants are both marvels of nature and formidable pests. And that’s why researchers at University of Oregon decided to take a closer look. Armed with several cameras, the team captured never-before seen footage proving that these critters have an amazing set of skills.... Read more »

  • January 20, 2016
  • 11:00 AM

WATCH: Persistence Pays Off For Squirrels

by Jenny Ludmer in Rooster's Report

Surely you can expect that the ubiquitous furry creature — a regular at your public park — is a master problem-solver. After all, squirrels must continuously stockpile acorns and occasionally raid bird feeders, all while playing in traffic and dodging hairy little beasts on leashes. But what personality characteristic most drives these exceptional abilities: persistence or flexibility? ... Read more »

  • January 17, 2016
  • 02:37 PM

Little Brown Bat

by Jason Organ in Eatlemania!

The Eatles have recently polished off the soft tissue remains of a little brown bat. Come read about this fascinating animal.... Read more »

Dzal YA, & Brigham RM. (2013) The tradeoff between torpor use and reproduction in little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus). Journal of comparative physiology. B, Biochemical, systemic, and environmental physiology, 183(2), 279-88. PMID: 22972361  

Fenton, M., & Barclay, R. (1980) Myotis lucifugus. Mammalian Species, 1. DOI: 10.2307/3503792  

Veselka, N., McGuire, L., Dzal, Y., Hooton, L., & Fenton, M. (2013) Spatial variation in the echolocation calls of the little brown bat ( ) . Canadian Journal of Zoology, 91(11), 795-801. DOI: 10.1139/cjz-2013-0094  

  • January 13, 2016
  • 08:00 PM

African Pygmy Hedgehog (Four-Toed Hedgehog)

by Jason Organ in Eatlemania!

Read about The Eatles' feast on an african pygmy hedgehog and learn some comparative anatomy of this fascinating mammal.... Read more »

  • January 13, 2016
  • 12:37 PM

Meet The Eatles!

by Jason Organ in Eatlemania!

Meet "The Eatles", the dermestid (flesh-eating) beetle colony in the Organ Laboratory at Indiana University School of Medicine... Read more »

Sylvester AD, & Organ JM. (2010) Curvature scaling in the medial tibial condyle of large bodied hominoids. Anatomical record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007), 293(4), 671-9. PMID: 20235323  

Organ JM. (2010) Structure and function of platyrrhine caudal vertebrae. Anatomical record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007), 293(4), 730-45. PMID: 20235328  

Patel BA, Ruff CB, Simons EL, & Organ JM. (2013) Humeral cross-sectional shape in suspensory primates and sloths. Anatomical record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007), 296(4), 545-56. PMID: 23408647  

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