Archives for September, 2015

Biofluorescent sea turtle

Check out this neat video from National Geographic’s emerging explorer, David Gruber (a marine biologist at the City University of New York) in which he discusses coming across what he claims is the first observation of biofluorescence in a sea turtle: Video source: YouTube

Maintaining blood sugar during fasting

A study published earlier this month examined how Canada geese (Branta canadensis), long-distance migratory birds, regulate their blood sugar levels during prolonged fasting. Dr. Jean-Michel Weber and Eric Vaillancourt (University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) were interested in understanding whether the pancreatic hormone glucagon could alter blood sugar in the birds. In mammals, glucagon maintains glucose homeostasis during periods of…

A giraffe says “hum”?

Researchers at the University of Vienna are studying vocalizations from giraffes. They captured recordings of the animals “humming” during the night at local zoos. Zookeepers were surprised to learn the animals made such noises as they are not heard during the day. Researcher Dr. Angela Stöger remarked to the New Scientist, “I was fascinated, because these signals…

How to attract a female

A female mouse that is. You may recall a post from several years ago when we talked about how rats seem to “laugh” when tickled. Back in April 2015 researchers at Duke University presented a video that showed male mice “singing” a tune after either smelling the urine of a female mouse or being in her presence.…

Economical reasons to save bats

New research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that bats are important nocturnal predators of insects that would otherwise attack crops. In addition, bats help to protect crops from fungal infections brought on by pests and are important pollinators. According to the new research, the pest-control services provided by bats for corn crops alone is…

A vaccine for cancer

Dr. Mark Mamula at Yale University has been working on developing a vaccine for cancer. Here is an interview featuring Dr. Mamula discussing how dogs are helping researchers test a vaccine that so far, has shown promise in fighting cancer growth. Video Source: NBC www.King5.com

The wonders of melatonin

  In a new study published in the American Journal of Physiology Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, researchers at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse were interested in understanding how thirteen-lined ground squirrels protect their brains during arousal from hibernation. This is a period of time in which the animals experience major changes in their body…

The hummingbird micropump

A new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences provides evidence that hummingbird tongues act like micropumps when drinking nectar. This finding is in contrast to the long-held belief that their tongues use capillary action to pull in fluids. A team of researchers from the University of Connecticut used high-speed film to…

Answer: pregnancy. Unlike most animals, it is the male seahorses that give birth to live young. A new study conducted at the University of Sydney and published in Molecular Biology and Evolution, found that the male seahorses not only carry out the pregnancy, they also supply nutrients to the developing embryos, including fats and calcium. The researchers suspect…