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Some Spiders Can Eat Bats

One night in 1941, G.C. Bhattacharya walked in to a cowshed in Calcutta, India and saw a small figure struggling and twisting against one of the walls. It was a small bat fighting its way out from in between two of the bamboo strips that the shed's walls were made of.
As he got closer, Bhattacharya saw that the crevice was not the only thing the bat was struggling with. A large spider was holding the bat by the neck with its mandibles and biting it. The bat gasped and screamed and struggled against its attacker, but the spider would not let go. When Bhattacharya lit a torch to help him see better, the bat shrieked and flapped its wings, freeing itself from the crevice, but not from the spider.

Source: Here

Spiders exchange gifts for sex

Female spiders like being courted with gifts from their male counterparts. New research shows that the females store more sperm from males if they bring a gift prior to mating.
It is not only human males who benefit from flattering that special lady with gifts.

In the world of nursery spiders it is normal for males to initiate mating by giving the female a gift – an insect prey wrapped in silk.
Now a new study shows that this courting behaviour actually pays off for the male nursery spider:

Source: Here

Snakes on the brain: Are primates hard-wired to see snakes?

Was the evolution of high-quality vision in our ancestors driven by the threat of snakes? Work by neuroscientists in Japan and Brazil is supporting the theory originally put forward by Lynne Isbell, professor of anthropology at the University of California, Davis.
In a paper published Oct. 28 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Isbell; Hisao Nishijo and Quan Van Le at Toyama University, Japan; and Rafael Maior and Carlos Tomaz at the University of Brasilia, Brazil; and colleagues show that there are specific nerve cells in the brains of rhesus macaque monkeys that respond to images of snakes.

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Do "Kid Cages" Really Protect Children From Wolves?

In rural Reserve, New Mexico, children wait for school buses inside boxy, wood-and-mesh structures that look like chicken coops. The "kid cages" are meant as protection from wolves. But are they even necessary?
The issue is part of a long-simmering political debate, which recently came to a boil in the Southwest when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it wants the Endangered Species Act to cover about 75 Mexican wolves in New Mexico and Arizona. That would make it illegal to kill these wolves—a smaller subspecies of gray wolf—and expand the area where they can roam safely.

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SECRET DOLPHIN SPECIES reveals itself to stunned boffins

A previously unknown species of humpback dolphin has been blithely swimming the waters off northern Australia, according to boffins.


A research team made up of scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the American Museum of Natural History and other groups set out to figure out the number of distinct types of humpback dolphins using physical features and genetic data.

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Researchers shed new light on flying fox — world’s least-studied bat

According to an October 29 news release from Pensoft Publishers, a specimen of Mortlock Islands flying fox that has remained preserved in a jar of alcohol in The Natural History Museum in London, England, for more than 140 years received renewed interest – and a new name – by a team of bat biologists from the College of Micronesia.  Led by Dr. Don Buden, the team collected new data on the bat and studied it in its natural habitat for the first time.
flying fox
 The results of the study appear today in the open access journal ZooKeys, an imprint of Pensoft Publishers, in an article entitled, “Taxonomy, distribution, and natural history of flying foxes (Chiroptera, Pteropodidae) in the Mortlock Islands and Chuuk State, Caroline Islands.”

Source: Here

Scientists discover new species in 'Lost World' in Australia

 On the second day of a four-day trek to Cape Melville a team led by Dr Conrad Hoskin, from James Cook University, and Dr Tim Laman, from Harvard University, discovered three reptile species, including a "bizarre-looking" leaf-tailed gecko, a golden-coloured skink and a boulder-dwelling frog — species that have been isolated from their closest cousins for millions of years.
"We're talking about animals that are ancient — they would have been around in the rainforest of Gondwana... rainforest that's been there for all time," said Dr Hoskin.

Source: Here

Dinosaur-era bird tracks: Proof of 100-million-year-old flight?

It's all about the fourth toe. While birds and dinosaurs both left three-toed footprints, few dinosaurs have the backward-facing fourth toe that birds use to grab a branch or provide drag during landing. So when Anthony Martin saw the four-toed impression left in an Australian rock more than 100 million years old, he knew he was looking at something special.
"The track seemed familiar, like a face I had seen before but couldn’t quite identify," writes the Emory University paleontologist in a blog describing the find. "Then I realized who it belonged to, and where I had seen many others like it. It was a bird track, remarkably similar to those in the sands and muds of the Georgia coast, made daily by the herons, egrets, and shorebirds."

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Southeast braces for ‘crazy ants’ invasion

Researchers at the University of Texas are warning that the invasive species from South America has the potential to change the ecological balance in the southeastern United States, largely because the ants can wipe out colonies of what’s been widely considered the insect villain of the region, the fire ant.
The crazy ants, officially called “Tawny crazy ants,” are omnivores that can take over an area by both killing what’s there and starving out what they don’t kill, said Ed LeBrun, a research associate with the Texas invasive species research program at the Brackenridge Field Laboratory in the College of Natural Sciences.

Source: Here

Are Marmoset Monkeys Taking Turns To Talk?

When we talk to one another, we take turns. This simple rule seems to apply to all human conversation, whether the speakers are English city-dwellers or Namibian hunter-gatherers.

One person speaks at a time and, barring the occasional interruption, we wait for our partner to finish before grabbing the conch. Timing is everything: cutting someone off is rude; leaving pregnant pauses is awkward. You need to leave a Goldilocks gap—something just right.

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Is the Abominable Snowman a Bear?

A British scientist has linked supposed hair samples from the legendary Yeti, or "Abominable Snowman," to a breed of ancient Arctic bears that he says could have survived to the modern day—but other experts say the results need to be published before any conclusions can be drawn.
Bryan Sykes, a respected geneticist at Oxford University in the U.K., this week reported the findings of a yearlong project that aimed to rigorously test hair and tissue samples that were claimed to have belonged to the elusive creature.

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Bee brains challenge view that larger brains are superior at understanding conceptual relationships —The humble honeybee may not seem very intelligent at first sight, but recent research has shown that it possesses a surprising degree of sophistication that is not expected in an insect brain. Specifically, the honeybee can understand conceptual relationships such as "same/different" and "above/below" that rely on relationships between objects rather than simply the physical features of objects.
bee brains
In primates, this ability to understand conceptual relationships is attributed to neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). However, honeybees don't have PFCs. Their brains are so small and lacking in complex brain structures that scientists have traditionally thought that the ability to understand conceptual relationships was beyond them.

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Dinosaur Shocker

Neatly dressed in blue Capri pants and a sleeveless top, long hair flowing over her bare shoulders, Mary Schweitzer sits at a microscope in a dim lab, her face lit only by a glowing computer screen showing a network of thin, branching vessels. That’s right, blood vessels. From a dinosaur. “Ho-ho-ho, I am excite-e-e-e-d,” she chuckles. “I am, like, really excited.”
After 68 million years in the ground, a Tyrannosaurus rex found in Montana was dug up, its leg bone was broken in pieces, and fragments were dissolved in acid in Schweitzer’s laboratory at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. “Cool beans,” she says, looking at the image on the screen.

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Older Siblings' Cells Pass from Female Dogs to Their Puppies in the Womb

Some people possess a small number of cells in their bodies that are not genetically their own; this condition is known as microchimerism. In prior studies, researchers from the Univ. of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine found that this condition also exists in dogs. Now, the researchers have found evidence that this condition can be passed from a female dog to her offspring while they are still in the womb. Jeffrey Bryan, an associate professor of oncology at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and director of Comparative Oncology and Epigenetics Laboratory, says this discovery will help further study into the health effects of microchimerism in dogs and in humans.
“We already have some evidence that microchimerism may increase risk of thyroid disease while lowering the risk of breast cancer in women,” Bryan says. “The pet dog represents an excellent model of many ailments in people, and the presence of fetal microchimerism in dogs will allow studies which further clarify its role in health and disease. Knowing that the condition can be passed on through birth will help us track the condition and its effects through several generations of animals.”

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Monkey that Purrs like a Cat is Among New Species Discovered in Amazon Rainforest

Washington, D.C. – At least 441 new species of animals and plants have been discovered over a four year period in the vast, underexplored rainforest of the Amazon, including a monkey that purrs like a cat.
Found between 2010 and 2013, the species include a flame-patterned lizard, a thumbnail-sized frog, a vegetarian piranha, a brightly coloured snake, and a beautiful pink orchid, according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Source: Here

U.S. Wildlife Supports Conservation Plan for Lesser Prairie Chicken

The species is one of the candidates under the federal conservation for the Endangered Species Act. At this time, there are only an estimated 18,000 in the bird's population. But just in December 2012, the population was at close to 45,000.
The conservation plan proposed that landowners work to manage their land properties via the advantage of the lesser prairie chicken, while given financial incentives. This plan was drafted in order to avoid the impact of land development via the chicken's habitat, including oil and gas digging, which can possibly be done through collecting fees and enrollments.

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Dino impact also destroyed bees, says study

Scientists say there was a widespread extinction of bees 66 million years ago, at the same time as the event that killed off the dinosaurs.
The demise of the dinosaurs was almost certainly the result of an asteroid or comet hitting Earth.

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Hard-as-woodpecker-lips MOUSE GOBBLES live scorpion, LAUGHS off stings to face

The mighty mouse, native to the southwestern US, has managed to take the toxin, which is lethal to other animals, and turn it into an analgesic that numbs pain.
Michigan State University assistant professor of neuroscience and zoology Ashlee Rowe had already figured out that the mice weren't bothered by bark scorpion toxin, but didn't know why.

Source: Here

Killer whales may have menopause so grandma can look after the kids

Killer whales are just one of three species – we're one of the others - that continue to live long after they've stopped reproducing. But scientists still don't know why these three alone evolved this unusual menopausal trait.

In a bid to find out, NERC has agreed to fund a project worth nearly £500k to look at why killer whales stop reproducing a third of the way through their lives, dedicating the rest of their lives to protecting and caring for children and grandchildren

Source: Here

Tiny bats use leaves as megaphones to call hom

Bats are climbing inside curled leaves and using them to amplify sound, marking the first time an animal has been observed using a tool to increase its vocalization range. A recent study has shown that Spix's disk-winged bat uses the shape of the leaves to boost the sound of both incoming and outgoing calls.
tiny bats
The tiny bats — so named for cute little suction disks on their wings — roost inside curled-up leaves. To identify the correct roosting spot, they call out: when that call is met by a chirped response, they know they've found home. The study, published by the Proceedings of the Royal Society, found that both call and response sounds were amplified by the shape of the leaves. Outgoing replies from roosting bats were faintly boosted by the leaves' trumpetlike effect; incoming calls from flying bats were significantly increased in power as sound waves were funneled down the leaves' lengths.

Source: Here

Some Monkeys Have Conversations That Resemble Ours

The sounds of marmoset monkeys chattering may hint at the mysterious origins of human language.
A new study shows that marmosets exchange calls in a precisely timed, back-and-forth fashion typical of human conversation, but not found in other primates. The monkeys don’t appear to have a language, but the timing suggests the foundations of our own.

Source: Here

Amazon rainforest is home to 16,000 tree species, estimate suggests

Almost four hundred billion trees belonging to 16,000 different species grow in the Amazon, according to a new estimate.
Amazon rainforest
More than 100 experts analysed data from 1,170 surveys to come up with the figures, highlighting the extraordinary scale and diversity of the Amazon rain forest.

Source: Here

Dolphin calf born at Brookfield Zoo

Dolphin shows at Brookfield Zoo have been temporarily canceled to allow a male calf born Wednesday to bond with his mother.
The 40-pound calf was born to Tapeko and is about 3-1/2 feet long, according to a release from the zoo. Staff are “cautiously optimistic that the calf is healthy and doing well,” zoo spokesman Jamie Hansen said in an email.

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Behold, the MONSTER-CLAWED critter and its terrifying SPIDER BRAIN

The massively clawed beast is an example of a megacheiran, an extinct group of creatures related to modern day chelicerates, which include spiders and scorpions.
water spider fossil
This marine spider provides evidence that the ancestors of scorpions and spiders branched off from other arthropods, including insects, crustaceans and millipedes, more than half a billion years ago.

Source: Here

Buy a huge Diplodocus dinosaur for £600,000

A huge Diplodocus skeleton, discovered in the US in 2009, is being auctioned in the UK for £600,000.
The Diplodocus skeleton, nicknamed "Misty," is being sold at Summers Place Auctions in West Sussex on November 27. 

Source: Here

Markers of the best dog food options – Packaging

Though the packaging of certain products are simply the façade (the mask or the frontage, so to speak) of the said item, a close inspection of the said product would reveal a lot about the inherent quality of the product itself.

When talking about the markers of the best dog food options, packaging also plays an important role, and not in terms of how colorful of how its makers pick fine photographs of dogs to cover the entire package.

Packaging and why it matters

As the old saying goes, beauty is only skin deep.

However, in the case of dog food choices and their packaging, the “skin deep aspect” actually says a lot about how serious a maker is in offering only the best for its consumers, with their packaging offering responsible dog owners a sneak peak on what they can expect from buying them.

Consider the material used in a dog food option’s packaging, for example. One can tell how a certain dog food product was made using organic or natural ingredients in the way such items are packaged using similar organic or natural materials.

Another “packaging aspect” to look into would be a dog food item’s nutritional chart sheet. Quality dog food makers would always make it a point to be highly detailed in jotting down the ingredients and their nutritional content details on the packaging of their products.

While there’s nothing wrong with dog food items obviously packaged via production lines, looking into the specifics and particulars of its packaging offers dog owners a glimpse of what to expect from the said item itself.


Markers of the best dog food options - The dog's 'wild' diet

While it is true that dogs are among the most commonly found domestic animals in the world, in no way does this mean that their constitutions are still not specific to the “wild”.

This is the reason why dog food products that are “calibrated” to match with a dog’s natural diet are considered to be the best.

The dog’s “wild” diet

Just as with any other animal, dogs have their own particulars and quirks when talking about their daily nutritional needs, particulars and quirks that are specific to the natural sustenance their bodies should ideally have.

With more and more dogs living in homes as members of different households, the odds of them getting their nutritional needs from sources that aren’t tuned in to their natural constitutions are quite high – putting the spotlight on dog food items that are made to match the dog’s natural diet as the best dog food types around.

Generally, dog food products made with “fillers” like corn-derived ingredients are perceived as poor choices, since these food items don’t fit too well with a dog’s digestive system.

Looking into the types of ingredients used in the making of dog food items helps responsible dog owners find the best match for their furry best buddies, with reputable dog food brands keen on announcing that their products are naturally matched or suitable for dogs.

Bottom line, how fine tuned a dog food product is with a dog’s natural diet stands as a marker for spotting the best from the others.


Markers of the best dog food options – The Dog's Say

To some extent, finding the best dog food of choice for dogs can be a game of trial and error, with responsible dog owners, at times, required to give different dog food brands and meals a go before an ideal can be found.

Should you be undergoing your own trial and error phase in finding the best dog food of choice for your dog, don’t fail to consider what your dog has to “say” over the matter.

The dog’s say in spotting the best dog food of choice

A dog’s say in finding the best dog food of choice goes beyond how he or she heartily partakes in a meal that is given to him or her. A positive change in his or her digestive system, the frequency of how “regular” he or she has to answer nature’s call, and the evident condition of his or her coat are also a crucial factors.

Generally, a good dog food option induces better “toilet habits” in dogs, saying something about how well-tuned its ingredients are in matching with a dog’s natural diet in the wild. This dog food factor essentially says something about how favorable a dog food option is in keeping a dog’s nutritional needs in check, deeming it as a good choice.

Also, the more obvious positive upsides of a given dog food type can be found in how healthy a dog’s coat becomes after some time. Since good nutrition would evidently appear in a dog’s physical characteristics, a healthy coat is something to watch out for as a dog’s “say” in the matter.

Markers of the best dog food options – On Preservatives

Preservatives have somewhat become a subject of concern for food items today, with dog food choices even having their share of concerned dog owners who question the type of preservatives being used in the making of dog food meals.

In defining the best of dog food options available in the market from the rest, the type of preservatives used in their making remains to be a maker that weeds out the best from the rest.

The type of preservatives used in the making of dog food meals

Organic preservatives are viewed to be better than their more artificial or chemically-riddled counterparts when generally talking about food or consumable products, regardless if we’re talking about products for human beings or for pets.

For dog food items, the organic preservative standard remains to be the same as a marker that comes as an upside for dog owners and dogs.

Dog food choices made using natural or organic preservatives are particularly advantageous for dog breeds which are susceptible to certain ailments or conditions, including breeds known for joint problems.

Though responsible dog owners are reminded that opting for dog food products made with organic or natural preservatives should not be viewed as medicine, opting for dog food meals with the least amount of chemicals helps keep the more adverse effects of old age and other associated ailments at bay.

While it can be argued that dog food options made with natural preservatives don’t keep as long as those made with artificial preservatives, products made using natural preservatives are certainly healthier for dogs of different ages and breeds.


Markers of the best dog food options – The Use of Human-Grade Ingredients

As with almost every other food choice or option, there are markers that define the best dog food options from the rest. From the packaging to the type of meats used in their making, the use of human-grade ingredients and not cut-offs of by-products is one.

The use of Human-Grade Ingredients

Regardless if we’re talking about chicken, meat or fish, the best dog food options only use the best of ingredients, well aware that using human-grade ingredients in their making doesn’t just make them scrumptious, but also healthy.

With average dog food makers simply content on utilizing low cost or readily available ingredients, superior dog food makers don’t sell themselves short in the making of their products, treating it with the proper care and concern that ever dog owner would give due emphasis on, as if they were making their own dog’s dog food.

Apart from the use of human-grade ingredients, quality dog food makers are also keen on the way their products are prepared or made, particularly with the cooking process. Since high temperatures in cooking tends to lessen the nutrient content-factor of certain ingredients, quality dog food makers are inclined to keep tabs on the temps of their products’ cooking protocols, in ensuring that their meals are not only made using the finest of ingredients, but also the most healthiest.

Long story short, if you’re in search for the best of dog food choices for your dogs, looking into the ingredients used in their making, is one marker worth watching out for.


Biswamoyopterus laoensis: New Species of Flying Squirrel from Laos

The new species is named Biswamoyopterus laoensis. The suggested common name is the Laotian giant flying squirrel.
Biswamoyopterus laoensis
Biswamoyopterus laoensis is a large flying squirrel that weighs 1.8 kg and measures about 42 inches (1.08 m) in total length – the body is about 18 inches (0.46 m) long and the tail is 24 inches (0.62 m) long.

Source: Here

The Best Organic Dog Food – Sojo’s

In offering a wide gamut of different selections of organic dog food options, Sojo’s has made a habit out of churning out healthy, grain-free and truly organic dog food meals.

As such, it really is no wonder why it continues to be one of the top organic dog food brands among discerning pet circles based here and there.


“Low Grade” are words responsible dog owners are not liable to find in Sojo’s featured selection of organic dog food options, with the brand keen on only using the best and freshest of ingredients.

Using only USDA approved meats and poultry cuts, the brand doesn’t use fillers, cut-offs or anything that could be pegged under the “low grade” umbrella, nor does it use any grains in the formulation of its meals, considering the fact that grains are not a natural staple in a dog’s diet in the wild, IE they aren’t really complementary with a dog’s digestive system.

Utilizing a variety of meat sources – from poultry to red meat – as its protein-source base, the brand’s organic meals are presented in “dry” form, which means that dog owners simply have to add water as part of its preparation phase, then serve.

With its keen take on only using the best of ingredients, it thrust in staying clear from chemical-riddled ingredients and its superior formulation of scrumptious meals, responsible dog owners will find a truly natural, comprehensive and wholesome meal selection for their dogs in all of Sojo’s offered range of organic dog food choices and options.


Two-Tailed Ancient Bird Uncovered

The early bird gets two tails? A 120-million-year-old bird sported a long tail and a second, unexpected tail frond, paleontologists suggest. The discovery points to a complicated evolutionary path for the tails we see in birds today.
One of the oldest known birds, Jeholornis, lived in what is today China, along with a trove of other feathered dinosaurs discovered in the region over the last decade. It was also thought to sport only a long fan-feathered tail at its back end. Now, however, paleontologists are claiming discovery of a second tail frond adorning the bird. (See "Did Feathered Dinosaurs Shake Their Tail Feathers?")

Source: Here

Elephants and humans have 'unique bond'

Researchers from the University of St Andrews have found that African elephants seem to have an instinctive understanding of what it means when a human points to something.
Commenting on this new research, Rachel Melling, an animal keeper from Knowsley Safari Park said African elephants were "highly intelligent".

Source: Here

Close call: Seal gives shark the slip

Wildlife photographer David “Baz” Jenkins seems to have a knack for photographing great white sharks.

His website is filled with pictures of the fearsome predators leaping from the sea and devouring seals.
But a photo Jenkins took during a July shark-watching cruise in South Africa is garnering the Irish photographer so much attention that his website was having trouble keeping up Wednesday after numerous media outlets published his shots.

Source: Here

The Best Organic Dog Food – Lily’s Kitchen

Using only the best and freshest of ingredients, Lily’s Kitchen has built a solid reputation not only in offering dogs with a wholesome, healthy and natural organic dog food option, but also extends its product offerings to cats.

With freshly deboned meat and fish playing an important role in the making of its products, Lily’s Kitchen continues to be one of the best organic dog food brands available in the market.

Lily’s Kitchen

With all of its pet food options calibrated to yield the highest balance of healthiness and scrumptious taste, Lily’s Kitchen has made an art form out of balancing natural goodness and truly healthy meals for pets.

Sourcing its ingredients from local meat sources, the brand is keen on only using fresh meats that are delivered to their production sites everyday, backing its “fresh ingredients” dynamic by not including the use of chemicals, artificial flavorings and artificial preservatives.

Aware that poor nutrition essentially affects a pet’s overall health and well-being, the brand is notorious for causing positive changes in a cat or dog’s daily life, as well as known for actually causing some reduction in regular trips to the vet.

Also known for maintaining the integrity of the ingredients they are using – ie not overcooking their meals with high temperatures – the brad knows that high temperature does a dent on the nutrient factors of certain food items used in the making of their products.

As such, Lily’s Kitchen remains to be one of the best organic dog food brands currently in the market today.

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