Life Lines

Dr. Dolittle

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…

Scientists have identified the origin of a genome for a specific type of transmissible cancer that has spread between dogs beginning 11,000 years ago!

Pigeons on the menu for some catfish

I came across this interesting video today from Animal Wire that shows a population of catfish caught hunting pigeons on land: Who knew that catfish had more in common with cats than just their whiskers.

Fruit flies detect cancer

New research published in Science Reports by Strauch et al., shows that fruit flies can tell the difference between cancerous and healthy cells. The researchers recorded calcium patterns indicative of neuronal activity that was stimulated in response to various odors emitted by healthy and cancerous cells. Because cells with cancer differ metabolically from healthy cells,…

I am very excited to report that the Puerto Rico Physiological Society will be hosting their 4th annual meeting, “Exercise Physiology: From Molecules to Systems” on February 8th. PRPS 2014 Save the Date Last year’s meeting was focused on mitochondria and was a big success. This year’s meeting is shaping up to be similarly successful.

Amazon Prime Air might want to pay attention to this research. Scientists have studied the flight patterns of albatrosses to understand how the animals are able to sustain flight with minimal energy expenditure.

New research provides more evidence of how birds conserve energy by flying in a “V” formation: