Ecology News

A New Birth Story for Gigantic Marine Lizards That Once Roamed the Oceans

April 10, 2015

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A New Birth Story for a Gigantic Marine Lizard That Once Roamed the Oceans

Paleontologists now believe that mosasaurs gave birth to their young in the open ocean, not on or near shore. They weren’t in the delivery room, but researchers at Yale University and the University of Toronto have discovered a new birth story for a gigantic marine lizard that once roamed the oceans. Thanks to recently identified […]

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Future Supply Risks of Metals and Metalloids

March 24, 2015

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High-Tech Products Face Future Supply Risks

New research from Yale University details the “criticality” of all 62 metals on the Periodic Table of Elements, providing key insights into which materials might become more difficult to find in the coming decades, which ones will exact the highest environmental costs — and which ones simply cannot be replaced as components of vital technologies. […]

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Yale Study Reveals Connection Between Genes That Contribute to Autism

March 10, 2015

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Study Shows Connection Between Key Autism Risk Genes

A newly published study from Yale University reveals an important connection between key autism risk genes in the human brain, a major step toward understanding how brain development goes awry in some individuals with the disorder. The research shows that CHD8, a gene that is strongly linked to autism, acts as a master regulator in […]

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Nanotubular Structures Enable a Direct Exchange of Nutrients Between Bacteria

February 23, 2015

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Bacteria Connect to Each Other Via Nanotubes

New research from the Max Planck Institute shows that some bacteria can form nanotubular structures between single cells that enable a direct exchange of nutrients. It is well-known that bacteria can support each others’ growth and exchange nutrients. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, and their colleagues at the […]

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Barb Geometry of Asymmetrical Feathers Sheds Light on Evolution of Flight

February 11, 2015

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Feathers Shed Light on Evolution of Flight

By taking a closer look at feathers representing the evolutionary transition from dinosaurs to modern birds, Yale researchers demonstrate a better understand of how feathers facilitate flight in modern birds. The asymmetrical flight feathers of their wings are among the most distinctive features of living birds. But how are these feathers actually constructed, and when […]

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Yale Study Details Recent Shifts in Occurrence, Cause, and Magnitude of Mass Animal Die-Offs

January 13, 2015

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New Research Shows Mass Animal Die-Offs May Be Increasing

A newly published study from Yale University shows that an increase in mass animal die-offs appears to be associated with a rise in disease emergence, biotoxicity, and multiple interacting stressors. Mass die-offs of animals may be increasing in frequency and — for birds, fishes, and marine invertebrates — in severity as well, according to a […]

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Toxic Fruits Increases Fertility in Female Drosophila Sechellia Flies

December 9, 2014

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Dopamine Precursor in Toxic Fruits Increases Fertility

In a new study, researchers from the Max Planck Institute reveal that a dopamine precursor in the toxic fruits of the morinda tree increases fertility in female Drosophila sechellia flies. In the course of evolution, animals have become adapted to certain food sources, sometimes even to plants or to fruits that are actually toxic. The […]

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The Rapid-Fire Evolution of Green Anoles

November 13, 2014

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Native Lizards Show Rapid Fire Evolution

A newly published study from Harvard University found that in just 20 generations in 15 years green anoles evolved larger toe pads equipped with more sticky scales to allow for better climbing. Though it’s often portrayed as a process that takes place over thousands of years, under the right circumstances the evolution of enhanced traits […]

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Research Shows Ancient Kangaroos Likely Preferred Walking to Hopping

October 23, 2014

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Ancient Family of Sthenurine Kangaroos Likely Preferred Walking to Hopping

Based on a rigorous comparative analysis of kangaroo anatomy, biologists at Brown University reveal that the ancient family of sthenurine kangaroos likely preferred walking to hopping. Imagine that a time machine has transported you to the Australian outback 100,000 years ago. As you emerge, you see a huge kangaroo with a round rabbit-like face foraging […]

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Temperature Variability Across the World Alters the Ecological Impacts of Seasons

October 8, 2014

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Study Reveals Climate Change Alters the Ecological Impacts of Seasons

New research from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology and the University of Wyoming details how changes in temperature variability across the globe are altering the environment. If more of the world’s climate becomes like that in tropical zones, it could potentially affect crops, insects, malaria transmission, and even confuse migration patterns of birds […]

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Study Reveals the Importance of Tiny Creatures in Structure of Grasslands

October 3, 2014

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Tiny Creatures Play Key Role in Structure of Grasslands

A newly published study reveals the importance of earthworms, beetles, and other tiny creatures to the structure of grasslands and the valuable ecosystem services they provide. When asked to describe a forest or a meadow, most people would probably begin with the plants, the species diversity, or the color of the foliage. They probably wouldn’t […]

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How Tiny Imbalances Result in Massive Phytoplankton Blooms

September 30, 2014

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Ocean Data Shows Plankton Movement

New research details how tiny imbalances in the phytoplankton predator-prey relationship, caused by environmental variability, give rise to massive phytoplankton blooms, having huge impacts on ocean productivity, fisheries and carbon cycling. The greens and blues of the ocean color from NASA satellite data have provided new insights into how climate and ecosystem processes affect the […]

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Study Reveals Why Life in Earth’s Early Oceans Increased in Size

January 24, 2014

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Biologists Reveal Why Early Life Began to Get Larger in Earths Oceans

A newly published study examined the earliest communities of large multicellular organisms in the fossil record, revealing why life in Earth’s early oceans increased in size. Why did life forms first begin to get larger and what advantage did this increase in size provide? UCLA biologists working with an international team of scientists examined the […]

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Scientists Discover Life in the Sediments of an Antarctic Subglacial Lake

September 11, 2013

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Researchers Discover Life in the Sediments of an Antarctic Subglacial Lake

Scientists from the British Antarctic Survey have discovered evidence of diverse life forms in the sediments of an Antarctic subglacial lake for the first time. Evidence of diverse life forms dating back nearly a hundred thousand years has been found in subglacial lake sediments by a group of British scientists. The possibility that extreme life […]

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Scientists Detail the Evolutionary Success of Spiny-Rayed Fishes

July 16, 2013

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Researchers Detail the Evolutionary Success of Spiny Rayed Fishes

In a newly published study, Yale University researchers detail the evolutionary history of the 18,000 species of spiny-rayed fishes, finding close evolutionary relationships between lineages of fish species and suggesting some fish lineages are experiencing high rates of new species origination. Even as the dinosaurs were becoming extinct 66 million years ago, the ancient ancestor […]

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New Study Links Expanding Human Population to Threats of Animal Extinction

June 19, 2013

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Outlook Grim for Animals as Human Population Grows

A newly published study paints a grim outlook for the future of certain mammals and birds, suggesting that the average growing nation should expect at least 3.3 percent more threatened species in the next decade and an increase of 10.8 percent species threatened with extinction by 2050. Columbus, Ohio – The ongoing global growth in […]

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Study Suggests Europeans Are Closely Related

May 8, 2013

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Geography of Recent Genetic Ancestry Across Europe

A newly published study suggests that Europeans are closely related, finding on a genealogical level that everyone in Europe traces back to nearly the same set of ancestors only a thousand years ago. From Ireland to the Balkans, Europeans are basically one big family, closely related to one another for the past thousand years, according […]

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