Spitting fish adjust for distance when shooting

Footage captured by two high-speed cameras shows the fish’s ability in detail The jets of water that archer fish use to shoot down prey are “tuned” to arrive with maximum impact over a range of distances, according to a study. By Jonathan Webb Science reporter, BBC News High-speed cameras were used to analyse fishes’ spittingContinue reading “Spitting fish adjust for distance when shooting”

Evolution silences crickets in Hawaii

Scientists investigating the silence of the crickets in Hawaii have uncovered a bizarre evolutionary story that is part horror movie, part Cyrano de Bergerac. In the most recent edition of the journal Current Biology, researchers from Scotland’s University of St. Andrews report on the separate but nearly simultaneous quieting of chirping crickets on Kauai andContinue reading “Evolution silences crickets in Hawaii”

Female insect uses spiky penis to extract nourishment from male in marathon-long mating sessions

In desolate caves throughout Brazil live insects that copulate for days, the female’s penetrating erectile organ sticking fast in a reluctant male’s genital chamber until he offers a gift of nutritious semen. Neotrogla seems to be unique among species with reversed sex roles — with choosy males and aggressive, promiscuous females — in also havingContinue reading “Female insect uses spiky penis to extract nourishment from male in marathon-long mating sessions”

New research shows that elephants naturally understand human pointing

The next time you need to show an elephant where something is, just point. Chances are he’ll understand what you mean. New research shows elephants spontaneously understand the communicative intent of human pointing and can use it as a cue to find food. Richard Byrne and Anna Smet of the University of St. Andrews testedContinue reading “New research shows that elephants naturally understand human pointing”

Scientists discover why the chicken lost its penis.

Researchers have now unraveled the genetics behind why most male birds don’t have penises, just published in Current Biology. [Ana Herrera et al, Developmental Basis of Phallus Reduction During Bird Evolution] There are almost 10,000 species of birds and only around 3 percent of them have a penis. These include ducks, geese and swans, andContinue reading “Scientists discover why the chicken lost its penis.”

Trouble With Math? Maybe You Should Get Your Brain Zapped

by Emily Underwood ScienceNOW If you are one of the 20% of healthy adults who struggle with basic arithmetic, simple tasks like splitting the dinner bill can be excruciating. Now, a new study suggests that a gentle, painless electrical current applied to the brain can boost math performance for up to 6 months. Researchers don’tContinue reading “Trouble With Math? Maybe You Should Get Your Brain Zapped”

Putting the Clock in ‘Cock-A-Doodle-Doo’

Of course, roosters crow with the dawn. But are they simply reacting to the environment, or do they really know what time of day it is? Researchers reporting on March 18 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, have evidence that puts the clock in “cock-a-doodle-doo” “‘Cock-a-doodle-doo’ symbolizes the break of dawn in many countries,”Continue reading “Putting the Clock in ‘Cock-A-Doodle-Doo’”

First Evidence That Magnetism Helps Salmon Find Home

When migrating, sockeye salmon typically swim up to 4,000 miles into the ocean and then, years later, navigate back to the upstream reaches of the rivers in which they were born to spawn their young. Scientists, the fishing community and lay people have long wondered how salmon find their way to their home rivers overContinue reading “First Evidence That Magnetism Helps Salmon Find Home”

Do eunuchs live longer?

Talk about a longevity strategy no man wants to pursue. A recent study published in the journal Current Biology finds that Korean eunuchs — castrated men — lived 14 to 19 years longer than other men, suggesting that male sex hormones play a role in life span. In the study, the researchers used a genealogyContinue reading “Do eunuchs live longer?”