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Mosquitoes remember human smells, but also swats

Your grandmother's insistence that you receive more bug bites because you're 'sweeter' may not be that far-fetched after all, according to Science daily.

 The study, shows that mosquitoes can rapidly learn and remember the smells of hosts and that dopamine is a key mediator of this process. Mosquitoes use this information and incorporate it with other stimuli to develop preferences for a particular vertebrate host species, and, within that population, certain individuals.

Plastic pollution is ‘killing endangered corals reefs’

Plastic pollution in the world's oceans are threatening the already endangered coral reefs with disease, a new study has warned, according to Daily Mail. 

More than 11 billion plastics are currently putting coral reefs at risk of becoming diseased and destroying the habitat of millions of fish species, the research said.

The study conducted estimates that this level will increase by 40 per cent within seven years.    

'That equates to an estimated 15.7 billion plastic items on coral reefs by 2025,' said Joleah Lamb, who led the study. 

Scientists are still uncertain why plastics are so dangerous for coral but saw how the exposure to plastics caused the organisms stress through light deprivation, toxin release and the absence of oxygen. 

New Caledonian crows extract prey faster with complex hooked tools

Biologists have discovered why some crows 'craft' elaborate hooked tools out of branched twigs according to Science daily.

The new study explores why crows go the extra mile rather than using simple, unmodified sticks to extract prey -- it allows them to get at hidden food several times faster than if they used basic (non-hooked) tools.

New Caledonian crows are famous for their use of tools to winkle beetle grubs and other small prey out of hiding places. Although crows are capable of extracting food with straight twigs, in some areas they actively manufacture hooked stick tools before going hunting.

A survival lesson from bats: Eating variety keeps species multiplying

Diet is an important factor influencing the survival and evolution of all species. Many studies have shown that when species evolve from being a predator or insectivore to being a vegetarian, the rate at which new species arise increases. But a new study reveals that omnivorous New World noctilionoid bats, those species with diets including both plant and animal materials, produce more generations in the long run than specialized vegetarian or insectivorous species, according to Science Daily.

Co-author Liliana Dávalos, PhD, a Professor, and colleagues examined the rate at which new species arise, as well as the rate of change for diet across the evolutionary history of more than a hundred species of these bats. They found that adding plants to the diet increased rates of new species formation. The fastest rates of species formation corresponded to lineages that fed mostly -- but not exclusively on plant products -- or fed on many different types of products such a fruit, nectar and pollen.

Hope for threatened 'little tiger cat'

It's the smallest cat in the Americas, occupying the smallest area of land.

Listed as vulnerable to extinction, the güiña wildcat of Chile has lost much of its natural home as forests are chopped down or converted to farmland, according to BBC.

And, like many carnivores, it's at risk from human persecution over fears it might kill livestock.