Juvenile zebra finches that experience high stress levels will ignore how their own parents forage and instead learn such skills from other, unrelated adults. This may help young birds avoid inheriting a poor skillset from parents – the likely natural cause of their stress – and becoming trapped by a “bad start in life”.
Surprising finding shows that thornbills simulate a ‘chorus of alarm’ to distract predators by convincing them something scarier is on its way.
New research on a highly social fish shows that those reared in larger social groups from the earliest stage of life develop increased social skills and a brain shape, or ‘neuroplasticity’, which lingers into the later life of the fish.
Females protect offspring from infanticide by forcing males to compete through sperm instead of violence13 Nov 2014
Latest research shows the females of some mammal species will have many mates to ensure unclear paternity, so that males can’t resort to killing their rival’s offspring for fear of killing their own. This forces males to evolve to compete through sperm quantity, leading to ever-larger testicles. Scientists find that as testis size increases, infanticide disappears.
New research shows multiple invasive species with the same origin facilitate each other’s ability to colonise ecosystems. By studying how these species interact as well as current population locations, researchers believe that Britain is heading for an ‘invasion meltdown’ of freshwater species from south east Europe.
Latest research shows that coral trout can now join chimpanzees as the only non-human species that can choose the right situation and the right partner to get the best result when collaboratively working.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a grant of £1.8 million to the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge. This funding will support ambitious plans to completely redevelop the Museum of Zoology with displays showcasing the wonders of the animal kingdom, and new stores to preserve its outstanding collections for the future.
Scientists have discovered that, when upright, stick insects don’t stick. Instead, they deploy special hairy pads designed to create huge amounts of friction from the tiniest of pressure increases - ensuring that the insects grip but don’t stick.
Previously believed to be only man-made, a natural example of a functioning gear mechanism has been discovered in a common insect - showing that evolution developed interlocking cogs long before we did.