Horse Owners Can Manage Flies with Wasps
September 25, 2015 09:49 AM - Entomological Society of America

Horses need help when it comes to insect pests like flies. But, unfortunately, horse owners are in the dark about how best to manage flies because research just hasn't been done, according to a new overview of equine fly management in the latest issue of the Journal of Integrated Pest Management, an open-access journal that is written for farmers, ranchers, and extension professionals.

Nearly half of US seafood supply is wasted
September 24, 2015 03:13 PM - Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

As much as 47 percent of the edible U.S. seafood supply is lost each year, mainly from consumer waste, new research from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) suggests. The findings, published in the November issue of Global Environmental Change, come as food waste in general has been in the spotlight and concerns have been raised about the sustainability of the world’s seafood resources.

Alarming report on the health of our oceans
September 20, 2015 06:29 AM - Alicia Graef, Care2

The sheer vastness of the oceans on this planet make it seem almost impossible that our actions could bring them to the point of no return, but a new report has found that we are causing an alarming decline of marine ecosystems and the species who rely on them.

According to the World Wildlife Fund‘s (WWF) recently released Living Blue Planet Report, marine populations have declined by an astonishing 49 percent between 1970 and 2012, with with some fish species, including tuna, declining by almost 75 percent.

Birds that flock to feeders are more likely to get sick, spread disease
September 17, 2015 08:56 AM - Virginia Tech

Wild songbirds that prefer to eat at bird feeders have an increased risk of acquiring a common eye disease. In turn, these birds also spread the disease more quickly to their flock mates, according to an international research team led by Virginia Tech scientists.

Plants migrate to higher altitudes because of climate change
September 16, 2015 02:46 PM - Aarhus University

Although most of the world’s species diversity is found in tropical areas, there are very few studies that have examined whether tropical mountain species are affected by climate change to the same extent as temperate species. A new study has now determined that major changes have taken place during the last two centuries.

By comparing the migration of plant communities on the Chimborazo volcano in Ecuador with historical data from 1802, Aarhus University researchers found an average upslope shift of more than 500 metres. The entire vegetation boundary has moved upwards from 4,600 metres to almost 5,200 metres. The main explanation for this dramatic shift is climate change over the last 210 years.

New study finds massive eruptions likely triggered mass extinction
September 16, 2015 09:14 AM - Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office

Around 252 million years ago, life on Earth collapsed in spectacular and unprecedented fashion, as more than 96 percent of marine species and 70 percent of land species disappeared in a geological instant. The so-called end-Permian mass extinction ­— or more commonly, the “Great Dying” — remains the most severe extinction event in Earth’s history.

Is the fate of the polar bear really doomed?
September 9, 2015 08:36 AM - Kevin Mathews, Care2

With global warming and melting ice, it isn’t easy being a polar bear anymore. Some studies have predicted that polar bears could very well be extinct by the end of the century. The good news is not all researchers think the bears are absolutely doomed. Scientists at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) have published a new paper indicating that things might not be as bleak for polar bears as their peers expect.

The long-term effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill
September 8, 2015 10:02 AM - NOAA FISHERIES WEST COAST REGION via EurekAlert

For 25 years, methodical research by scientists has investigated the effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 on Alaskan communities and ecosystems. A new study released today into the effects of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska shows that embryonic salmon and herring exposed to very low levels of crude oil can develop hidden heart defects that compromise their later survival, indicating that the spill may have had much greater impacts on spawning fish than previously recognized.

The herring population crashed four years after the spill in Prince William Sound and pink salmon stocks also declined, but the link to the oil spill has remained controversial. The new findings published in the online journal Scientific Reports suggest that the delayed effects of the spill may have been important contributors to the declines.

Hummingbirds and Hawks, perfect together?
September 6, 2015 07:58 AM - Elizabeth Pennisi - Science

Sometimes it pays to have big, bad neighbors. Weighing in at about 3 grams, black-chinned hummingbirds (Archilochus alexandri) can do little but stand by and watch Mexican jays 40 times their weight chow down on their eggs. So in the mountains of southeastern Arizona, the hummers have learned to build their nests near goshawk and Cooper’s hawk nests (Accipiter gentilis and Accipiter cooperii). Almost five times bigger than the jays (Amphelocoma wollweberi), the hawks enjoy these birds for lunch. So to avoid hawks swooping down and surprising them, the jays only forage above the hawks’ nests. Thus a cone-shaped safe zone exists below the 20-meter-high hawk nests, extending out about 100 meters, researchers report today in Science Advances. Of 342 hummer nests studied over three years, 80% were near hawk nests—and for good reason.

The million year old monkey
September 5, 2015 08:08 AM - University of Melbourne

An international team of scientists have dated a species of fossil monkey found across the Caribbean to just over 1 million years old.

The discovery was made after the researchers recovered a fossil tibia (shin bone) belonging to the species of extinct monkey Antillothrix bernensis from an underwater cave in Altagracia Province, Dominican Republic. The fossil was embedded in a limestone rock that was dated using the Uranium-series technique.

In a paper published this week in the well renowned international journal, the Journal of Human Evolution, the team use three-dimensional geometric morphometrics to confirm that the fossil tibia does indeed belong to Antillothrix bernensis, a primate that we now know existed on Hispaniola relatively unchanged for over a million years. This monkey, roughly the size of a small cat, was tree-dwelling and lived largely on a diet of fruit and leaves.

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