My Picks From ScienceDaily

Great Apes Think Ahead: Conclusive Evidence Of Advanced Planning Capacities:

Apes can plan for their future needs just as we humans can - by using self-control and imagining future events. Mathias and Helena Osvath's research, from Lunds University Cognitive Science in Sweden, is the first to provide conclusive evidence of advanced planning capacities in non-human species.

Female Chimps Use Copulation Calls Strategically:

Female chimps are more concerned with having sex with many different males than finding the strongest mate, according to researchers. The new study by University of St Andrews scientists suggests that female chimps keep quiet during sex so that other females don't find out about it, thus preventing any unwanted competition.

Chimps Not So Selfish: Comforting Behavior May Well Be Expression Of Empathy:

Compared to their sex-mad, peace-loving bonobo counterparts, chimpanzees are often seen as a scheming, war-mongering, and selfish species. As both apes are allegedly our closest relatives, together they are often depicted as representing the two extremes of human behaviour.

Birds Communicate Reproductive Success In Song:

Some migratory songbirds figure out the best place to live by eavesdropping on the singing of others that successfully have had baby birds -- a communication and behavioral trait so strong that researchers playing recorded songs induced them to nest in places they otherwise would have avoided.

Flies Found To Have Internal Thermosensors To Monitor Environmental Temperatures:

Flies, unlike humans, can't manipulate the temperature of their surroundings so they need to pick the best spot for flourishing. New Brandeis University research in this week's Nature reveals that they have internal thermosensors to help them.

Worm-like Marine Animal Providing Fresh Clues About Human Evolution:

Research on the genome of a marine creature led by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego is shedding new light on a key area of the tree of life. Linda Holland, a research biologist at Scripps Oceanography, and her colleagues from the United States, Europe and Asia, have deciphered and analyzed fundamental elements of the genetic makeup of a small, worm-like marine animal called amphioxus, also known as a lancelet.

Male Homosexuality Can Be Explained Through A Specific Model Of Darwinian Evolution, Study Shows:

An Italian research team, consisting of Andrea Camperio Ciani and Giovanni Zanzotto at the University of Padova and Paolo Cermelli at the University of Torino, found that the evolutionary origin and maintenance of male homosexuality in human populations could be explained by a model based around the idea of sexually antagonistic selection, in which genetic factors spread in the population by giving a reproductive advantage to one sex while disadvantaging the other.

Soccer Parents: Why They Rage:

Wonder if you could be one of "those" parents who rant and rage at their kid's soccer game? Well, you don't have to look much farther than your car's rearview mirror for clues.

Shallow Water Corals Evolved From Deep Sea Ancestors:

New research shows that the second most diverse group of hard corals first evolved in the deep sea, and not in shallow waters. Stylasterids, or lace corals, diversified in deep waters before launching at least three successful invasions of shallow water tropical habitats in the past 40 million years.

Identifying Canadian Freshwater Fish Through DNA Barcodes:

New research by Canadian scientists, led by Nicolas Hubert at the Université Laval in Québec brings some good news for those interested in the conservation of a number of highly-endangered species of Canadian fish.

Zebra's Stripes, Butterfly's Wings: How Do Biological Patterns Emerge?:

A zebra's stripes, a seashell's spirals, a butterfly's wings: these are all examples of patterns in nature. The formation of patterns is a puzzle for mathematicians and biologists alike. How does the delicate design of a butterfly's wings come from a single fertilized egg? How does pattern emerge out of no pattern?

Marine Snail Study Leads To New Insights Into Long-term Memory:

UCLA cellular neuroscientists are providing new insights into the mechanisms that underlie long-term memory -- research with the potential to treat long-term memory disorders.

Scientists Fix Bugs In Our Understanding Of Evolution:

What makes a human different from a chimp? Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory's European Bioinformatics Institute [EMBL-EBI] have come one important step closer to answering such evolutionary questions correctly. In the current issue of Science they uncover systematic errors in existing methods that compare genetic sequences of different species to learn about their evolutionary relationships.


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Our closest extant relatives have received a fair bit of attention in the past few days, with the publication of two new studies which have been picked up by numerous news outlets. First came the study by Fraser et al, which shows that chimps, like humans, console each other with physical contact…
Despite Their Heft, Many Dinosaurs Had Surprisingly Tiny Genomes: They might be giants, but many dinosaurs apparently had genomes no larger than that of a modern hummingbird. So say scientists who've linked bone cell and genome size among living species and then used that new understanding to…