Wolf species have ‘howling dialects’

08 Feb 2016

Largest quantitative study of howling, and first to use machine learning, defines different howl types and finds that wolves use these types more or less depending on their species, resembling a howling dialect. Researchers say findings could help conservation efforts and shed light on the earliest evolution of our own use of language.

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Why Spider-Man can’t exist: Geckos are ‘size limit’ for sticking to walls

18 Jan 2016

Latest research reveals why geckos are the largest animals able to scale smooth vertical walls – even larger climbers would require unmanageably large sticky footpads. Scientists estimate that a human would need adhesive pads covering 40% of their body surface in order to walk up a wall like Spider-Man, and believe their insights have implications for the feasibility of large-scale, gecko-like adhesives.

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‘Virtual fossil’ reveals last common ancestor of humans and Neanderthals

18 Dec 2015

New digital techniques have allowed researchers to predict structural evolution of the skull in the lineage of Homo sapiens and Neanderthals, in an effort to fill in blanks in the fossil record, and provide the first 3D rendering of their last common ancestor. The study suggests populations that led to the lineage split were older than previously thought.

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