Archives for February, 2014

Congratulations to Nicolle Domnik, this year’s winner of the new Dr. Dolittle Travel Award to present her research at the annual Experimental Biology conference in San Diego, CA in April. Nicolle is currently a graduate student in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences at Queen’s University in Canada. The award criteria included the submission…

A paper published in Current Biology describes research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare the sound processing regions of brains in humans and dogs (border collies and golden retrievers). The subjects listened to almost 300 sounds (vocalizations from dogs and humans as well as non-vocal sounds) or no sound as a control. They…

The bonobo beat

Researchers have observed that bonobos are innately able to match a beat that was created by the research team. The bonobos demonstrated their musical skills using a special drum that was created to withstand 500 pounds of pressure, chewing, etc. The favored tempo matched the cadence of human speech, about 280 beats per minute. The…

Talk about unique adaptations. Here is a video showing how lungfish and desert frogs are able to survive for years outside of water during periods of drought. The video also shows how thorny devils living in harsh desert environments absorb water through their skin. These adaptations may come in handy with climate change.

Tawny (or Raspberry) crazy ants (Nylanderia fulva) are an invasive ant species from South America that have been invading the United States. For some reason, the ants are attracted to electronics and have been responsible for the destruction of numerous electronic devices. A new study shows that tawny crazy ants rub formic acid over their…

Coconut Crab

This animal is claimed to be the biggest living land-dwelling arthropod. In fact, this crab can reportedly drown in water. To me, its name sounds more like a fantastic dinner.

A recent study published in Ecology and Evolution shows that polar bear diets are more adaptable than previously thought. Researchers Linda Gormezano and Robert Rockwell analyzed the feces from polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the western Hudson Bay area and compared their findings to a similar report from 40 years ago. The study was conducted…