Rainfall in Africa drives the growth of plants that allow painted lady butterflies to make their flight to Europe and back each year. Continue reading Rainfall in Africa Drives Butterfly Populations in Europe
Research has revealed distinct sleeping pattern in octopuses, providing new evolutionary insights into speciation. Continue reading Cephalopod Resting Cycles Provide Evolutionary Insights
Hannah Smith is a Biology PhD student at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Hannah is interested in the biological pathways that regulate aging, and whether we can target these pathways to make people healthier in old age (but she’s currently doing experiments on the microscopic nematode worm C. elegans, not humans). Wei Wu is a graduate student in the Design Studies program at … Continue reading Erich Jarvis: What birds can teach us about ourselves
Early-life hunger makes animals more likely to take risks in the future. Continue reading Hunger Increases Risk-Taking
Land animals are often smarter than aquatic animals but it is still unclear exactly how their cognition developed. In @NatureComms, @malcommaciver and #UgurcanMugan found that complex landscapes and the ability of land animals to see more in air compared to fish in water may have led to planning circuitry in the brains of land animals.
Continue reading Complex landscapes affect animal cognitive evolution
by Lorena Lyon figures by Lorena Lyon If you’ve ever backed down from an argument with a popular kid, you might relate to a male spotted hyena. Spotted hyenas are highly social animals, forming large groups called clans, which range from 6 to over 100 members. Hyenas in clans, like eighth graders in middle school, are sorted into complex social hierarchies. At the top of … Continue reading Hyenas Probably Have More Friends Than You: Spotted hyena social hierarchies
Archaeologists learn about ancient humans by excavating and analyzing historical artifacts. While the use of tools was once thought to be a uniquely human trait, this is far from the case; many terrestrial animals, including chimpanzees, macaque monkeys, and even vultures use stone tools to hunt and gather food. For aquatic animals, however, these behaviors have been difficult to observe in the wild. One exception … Continue reading Sea Otters Leave an Archaeological Record of Their Tool Use
by Katherine J. Wu The pets in our households are all descendants of wild animals, many of which still run free today. But dogs, cats, and rodents are all domesticated to varying degrees, with a wide range of consequences for their behavior and genetics. To understand the nitty gritty of this, let’s get some terminology out of the way first. When we discuss domestication, we’re … Continue reading You Asked: How are pets different from wild animals?
by Tauana Junqueira Cunha If we could travel back in time 540 million years, what would the first animals look like? This is one of the longstanding questions scientists aim to answer in the study of how animals evolved and became distinct from their unicellular relatives. To answer it, we need to know how modern animals are related to each other, what order they appeared … Continue reading Were the First Animals Sponge-Like?: Complexity in the animal tree of life