Ornithologists have described a new bird species from the subantarctic islands

Ornithologists have described a new species of bird that lives on the Diego Ramirez Islands south of South America. It is called the subantarctic rayadito. In the past, the local population was thought to be the spiny-tailed rayadito, which is widespread in Chile and Argentina. However, the analysis showed that individuals from the Diego Ramirez… Continue reading Ornithologists have described a new bird species from the subantarctic islands

Hamsters from the wet slopes of the Andes turned out to be larger than their relatives from the arid plains

Zoologists from Argentina, the USA and Chile have discovered that plateau hamsters Abrothrix hirta from the wet western slopes of the Andes are larger than relatives that inhabit the arid plains east of this mountain range. This pattern is explained by the fact that the abundance of precipitation has a positive effect on the growth… Continue reading Hamsters from the wet slopes of the Andes turned out to be larger than their relatives from the arid plains

Biochemists have discovered the mechanism behind the red coloration of birds

Biochemists from the USA and Portugal have discovered how in vertebrate cells yellow carotenoid pigments are converted into red ketocarotenoids, which are responsible for the red coloration of some vertebrates. It turned out that this transformation requires two enzymes, and the third, auxiliary, plays the role of a carrier of reacting molecules. The study was… Continue reading Biochemists have discovered the mechanism behind the red coloration of birds

Evolution forced mammals to recreate salivary proteins fifteen times

American bioinformaticians have discovered traces in the genomes of mammals of 15 independent occurrences of new proteins responsible for the viscosity of saliva. According to the findings of the authors of a study published in Science Advancesthe culprit is a region of the genome with a high mutation rate and selection pressure during the evolutionary… Continue reading Evolution forced mammals to recreate salivary proteins fifteen times

Bioarchaeologists have discovered differences in the diet of men and women from a Roman necropolis

Bioarchaeologists from Spain and South Africa conducted a study of human and animal bones excavated in a Roman necropolis of the 2nd–3rd centuries AD in Barcelona. It turned out that most often the meat of pigs, large and small livestock was used as offerings, that is, species that were regularly eaten in everyday life. At… Continue reading Bioarchaeologists have discovered differences in the diet of men and women from a Roman necropolis

Oxytocin caused dogs to cry when reunited with their owner after separation

Japanese researchers have found that dogs cry when reunited with their owners after separation. This is due to an increase in oxytocin concentrations. The study was published in Current Biology. Dogs were domesticated and, through convergent evolution, learned to communicate with people through eye contact. For dogs, it plays a key role in the formation… Continue reading Oxytocin caused dogs to cry when reunited with their owner after separation

Simulated plankton surfed on turbulence and accelerated twice

Physicists and biologists from France and the USA have modeled the movement of plankton, which uses vortices in the water to move faster, riding them like surfers on waves. To do this, scientists derived the equation of motion of plankton, which measures the local flow gradient and changes its direction so as to swim upward… Continue reading Simulated plankton surfed on turbulence and accelerated twice

Argo AI tested self-driving cars with a bird model on a quadcopter

Argo AI showed off one of the challenges its self-driving cars face during testing at the proving ground. To test how cars react to diving and low-flying birds, engineers decided to hang a bird model on a quadcopter and fly it over the test site at car level. The best way to train a self-driving… Continue reading Argo AI tested self-driving cars with a bird model on a quadcopter

Birds began dispersing plant seeds 120 million years ago

Paleontologists have found that primitive birds from the genus Jeholornis (Jeholornis), who lived about 120 million years ago, ate fruits and dispersed seeds. The study's findings helped paleontologists explain the widespread occurrence of fruits and fruit-like structures during a period of dramatic increases in biodiversity known as the Cretaceous Land Revolution. This is the earliest… Continue reading Birds began dispersing plant seeds 120 million years ago

Male and female Balinese cynomolgus macaques masturbate with stones

Zoologists have confirmed that cynomolgus monkeys from the island of Bali use stones as sex toys. Males and females of these monkeys regularly tap and rub their genitals with stones, and in males this behavior is associated with an erection, while females choose angular stones with a rough surface to stimulate the genitals. The research… Continue reading Male and female Balinese cynomolgus macaques masturbate with stones