Tag Archives: Zoo/Wildlife

Food limitation linked to record California sea lion pup strandings

Posted on

Large numbers of California sea lion pups have flooded animal rescue centers in Southern California in the past few years. Now, as part of an ongoing investigation into the Unusual Mortality Event of California sea lions by a team of NOAA scientists and private partners, researchers may have an explanation. Booming sea lion numbers combined […]

Tags: ,

New species couldn’t hop, but outlived its fanged kangaroo contemporaries

A University of Queensland (UQ)-led study has discovered a new genus and two new species of extinct kangaroos which couldn’t hop, but may have been ancestral to all kangaroos and wallabies living today. Lead author Kaylene Butler of UQ’s School of Earth Sciences said the new kangaroo species were discovered in ancient fossil deposits at […]

Tags: ,

Radar reveals the hidden secrets of wombat warrens

Posted on

For the first time ever, researchers from the University of Adelaide have been able to non-invasively study the inner workings of wombat warrens, with a little help from ground-penetrating radar. Despite being the faunal emblem of South Australia, very little is known about the burrowing habits of the southern hairy-nosed wombat. As part of a […]

Tags: ,

Don’t blame grey squirrels: their British invasion had much more to do with us

DNA profiling reveals grey squirrels are not as good invaders as we think, and that humans played a much larger role in spreading them through the UK. Grey squirrels were imported to the UK from the 1890s onward, and the traditional view is that they spread rapidly across the UK due to their ability cope […]

Tags: ,

Ancient wildebeest-like animal shared ‘bizarre’ feature with dinosaur

By poring over the fossilized skulls of ancient wildebeest-like animals (Rusingoryx atopocranion) unearthed on Kenya’s Rusinga Island, researchers have discovered that the little-known hoofed mammals had a very unusual, trumpet-like nasal passage similar only to the nasal crests of lambeosaurine hadrosaur dinosaurs. The findings reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on February 4 […]

Tags: ,

Detection dogs help map out bear habitat in Greater Yellowstone

A recently released study from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) details a new method using “detection dogs,” genetic analysis, and scientific models to assess habitat suitability for bears in an area linking the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) to the northern U.S. Rockies. The method, according to the authors, offers an effective, non-invasive approach to the collection […]

Tags: , ,

Plague-riddled prairie dogs a model for infectious disease spread

Every now and then, colonies of prairie dogs are wiped out by plague, an infectious disease most often associated with the Black Death of the 14th century. Plague doesn’t usually kill people these days, but it’s alive and well among the millions of ground-dwelling rodents of Colorado and other western states, notably the black-tailed prairie […]

Tags: , ,

Zebra stripes not for camouflage, new study finds

If you’ve always thought of a zebra’s stripes as offering some type of camouflaging protection against predators, it’s time to think again, suggest scientists at the University of Calgary and UC Davis. Findings from their study will be published Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 in the journal PLOS ONE. “The most longstanding hypothesis for zebra striping […]

Tags: ,

* Coexisting with dangerous carnivores

* Coexisting with dangerous carnivores Life is replete with things we don’t like that are good for us. For instance, Brussels sprouts when you were a kid, or common house spiders under your eaves. But with enough information about benefits and risks, combined with the passage of time, we learn to accept and sometimes embrace […]

Tags: , ,

* Reproduction, stem cell researchers set up a rescue plan for Northern White Rhino

International scientists set up a rescue plan for the last three northern white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) on Earth. The goal is to use the remaining three rhinos and tissue samples from already dead individuals to multiply them into a viable self-sustaining population. For this purpose, scientists apply recent findings in reproduction and stem cell […]

Tags: , ,

* Cheetahs migrated from North America

The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is now at home on the African plains, but it started a migration 100, 000 years ago from North America towards its current habitat. The research, published in the open access journal Genome Biology, found that the migration from North America was costly for the species, triggering the first major reduction […]

Tags: ,

*First brain scans of sea lions give clues to strandings

Brain scans and behavioral tests of California sea lions that stranded on shore show how an algal toxin disrupts brain networks, leading to deficits in spatial memory, according to a study to be published Dec. 18 in Science. The new findings by scientists at the University of California Santa Cruz, UC Davis and the Marine […]

Tags: , ,

Despite poaching, elephants’ social networks hold steady

While the demand for ivory has put elephants under incredible pressure from poachers, their rich social networks have remained remarkably steady. That’s according to evidence on the grouping patterns among adult female elephants living in northern Kenya over a 16-year period, which show that daughters often step up to take the place of their fallen […]

Tags: ,

Engineers develop new method to repair elephant tusks

A new resin is replacing the metal ring typically used to prevent cracks from furthering down an elephant’s tusk. When Birmingham Zoo veterinarians approached researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Engineering to help them stop a crack from growing in their oldest elephant’s tusk, the engineers saw an opportunity to use […]

Tags: ,

* Odd creature was ancient ancestor of today’s giraffes

A distant relative of today’s giraffes was a bit of an odd creature: It was about the size of a bull moose, but it had a long neck that could stretch both up to eat tree leaves and down to eat grass. That’s the conclusion of the first comprehensive analysis of a complete set of […]

Tags: ,

Researchers analyzed fossil teeth to identify Apidium zuetina as a species new to science

During upheaval in Libya in 2013, a window of opportunity opened for scientists from the University of Kansas to perform research at the Zallah Oasis, a promising site for unearthing fossils from the Oligocene period, roughly 30 million years ago. From that work, the KU-led team last week published a description of a previously unknown […]

Tags: ,

Elephants may use trunks like ‘leaf blowers’ to obtain inaccessible food

Two captive elephants blast air through their trunks to grasp hard-to-reach food, suggests an initial study published today in Springer’s journal Animal Cognition. This behaviour, studied in a zoo population of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), is altered according to the distance to the food, which may indicate advanced mental ability and awareness of their physical […]

Tags: ,

Cougars likely to recolonize middle part of U.S. within the next 25 years

A groundbreaking new study shows that cougars, also known as mountain lions and pumas, are likely to recolonize portions of habitat in the middle part of the United States within the next 25 years. It is the first study to show the potential “when and where” of the repopulation of this controversial large predator. The […]

Tags: , ,

Faster digestion in kangaroos reduces methane emissions

Animals produce methane during the digestion process — some more than others. Currently, around 20 percent of the world’s methane emissions stem from ruminants. If this gas is released into the atmosphere, it aggravates the greenhouse effect and aids global warming. Previous studies revealed that ruminants, which include cows and sheep, release more methane into […]

Tags: ,

Elephants boost tree losses in South Africa’s largest savanna reserve

Protected areas, such as nature reserves and national parks, play a crucial role in sheltering wildlife, such as African elephants, from hunting and habitat destruction. But it’s important that conservation managers understand how the vegetation in these natural protected zones is affected by the population growth that is spurred by this animal safeguarding. To this […]

Tags: ,

Meet the first Iberian lynx on the Iberian Peninsula

The remains of an Iberian lynx specimen which lived 1.6 million years ago — the oldest ever discovered — were found resting in a cave in Barcelona (Spain). This discovery not only allows us to shed light on the origins of one of the world’s most endangered feline species, but it also means that the […]

Tags: , ,

* Why elephants rarely get cancer

Why elephants rarely get cancer is a mystery that has stumped scientists for decades. A study led by researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah and Arizona State University, and including researchers from the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation, may have found the answer. According to the results, published in […]

Tags: ,

Is the eco-tourism boom putting wildlife in a new kind of danger?

Many tourists today are drawn to the idea of vacationing in far-flung places around the globe where their dollars can make a positive impact on local people and local wildlife. But researchers writing in Trends in Ecology & Evolution on October 9th say that all of those interactions between wild animals and friendly ecotourists eager […]

Tags: ,

Chernobyl: At site of world’s worst nuclear disaster, the animals have returned

In 1986, after a fire and explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant released radioactive particles into the air, thousands of people left the area, never to return. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on October 5 have found that the Chernobyl site looks less like a disaster zone and more […]

Tags: ,

New science redefines remote: Even pandas global

This just in from the pandas nestled in a remote corner of China: Their influence spans the globe. In this week’s international journal Ecology and Society, sustainability scholars from Michigan State University apply a new integrated framework to the decades of work they’ve done to understand how pandas and local people in pandas’ fragile environment […]

Tags: ,

Ocean’s wildlife populations down by half

A new WWF report reveals an alarming decline in marine biodiversity over the last few decades. According to WWF’s Living Blue Planet Report, populations of marine vertebrates have declined by 49% between 1970 and 2012, with some fish species declining by almost 75%. In addition to fish, the report shows steep declines in coral reefs, […]

Tags: ,

Polar bears may survive ice melt, with or without seals

New calculations indicate that land-based food sources like caribou, snow geese, and eggs might provide enough calories for bears to avoid starvation. As climate change accelerates ice melt in the Arctic, polar bears may find caribou and snow geese replacing seals as an important food source, shows a recent study published in the journal PLOS […]

Tags: ,

Ecologists wondering where the lions, and other top predators are

Why aren’t there more lions? That was what puzzled McGill PhD student Ian Hatton, when he started looking at the proportion of predators to prey across dozens of parks in East and Southern Africa. In this case, the answer had nothing to do with isolated human hunters. The parks were teeming with potentially tasty treats […]

Tags: ,

Seal pups listen for long distance calls to locate their mothers

Antarctic fur seal pups identify the mother’s vocal pitch at longer distance and use other components of the vocal signature at closer range to identify their mother in densely populated breeding colonies, according to a study published September 2, 2015 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Thierry Aubin from University of Paris-Sud and colleagues. […]

Tags: ,

* Hepatitis A-like virus identified in seals

Scientists in the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health have discovered a new virus in seals that is the closest known relative of the human hepatitis A virus. The finding provides new clues on the emergence of hepatitis A. The research appears in the July/August issue of mBio, […]

Tags: ,

Sidebar