Pigeons flap faster to fly together

New research.l, led by Dr Lucy Taylor from the University of Oxford's Department of Zoology now reveals that homing pigeons fit in one extra wingbeat per second when flying in pairs compared to flying solo.

Birds that fly in 'V'-formations, such as geese, are able to conserve energy by flying in aerodynamically optimal positions. By contrast, in species that don't fly in formation, such as homing pigeons, the costs and benefits of flocking have been less well understood, according to Science Daily.

Coral bleaching causes a permanent change in fish life

Repeat coral bleaching caused by rising sea temperatures has resulted in lasting changes to fish communities, according to a new long-term study in the Seychelles.

Large predator fish such as snappers and very small fish such as damselfish dramatically reduced in number and were largely replaced by seaweed-loving fish like rabbitfish, according to Science Daily.

Researchers show clear evidence that coral bleaching back in 1998 has led to changes in biodiversity and permanent shifts in the range of fish species coexisting on coral reefs, which still remain in place today.

Do Plants Feel Pain?

Given that plants do not have pain receptors, nerves, or a brain, they do not feel pain as we members of the animal kingdom understand it. Uprooting a carrot or trimming a hedge is not a form of botanical torture, and you can bite into that apple without worry. However, it seems that many plants can perceive and communicate physical stimuli and damage in ways that are more sophisticated than previously thought.

Some plants have obvious sensory abilities, such as the Venus fly trap and its incredible traps that can close in about half a second.

Bermuda land snail: An animal 'back from the dead'

The greater Bermuda land snail was thought to have disappeared for many years until an empty shell turned up in the territory's capital city, Hamilton.

Live snails were then found among litter in a nearby alleyway.

Some were flown to Chester Zoo for a unique breeding programme.

More than 4,000 snails raised at the zoo have now been taken back to the island and released.

Many more captive snails will soon be returned to their homeland to help give the species a new lease of life.

Chinese tombs yield earliest evidence of cannabis use

Researchers have uncovered the earliest known evidence of cannabis use, from tombs in western China.

The study suggests cannabis was being smoked at least 2,500 years ago, and that it may have been associated with ritual or religious activities.

Traces of the drug were identified in wooden burners from the burials, according to BBC.

The cannabis had high levels of the psychoactive compound THC, suggesting people at the time were well aware of its effects.