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Prey in Biological News

As super-predators, humans reshape their prey at super-natural speeds

SANTA CRUZ, CA--Fishing and hunting are having broad, swift impacts on the body size and reproductive abilities of fish and other commercially harvested species, potentially jeopardizing the ability of entire populations to recover, according to the results of a new study that will appear in the J...

Predators ignore peculiar prey

Rare traits persist in a population because predators detect common forms of prey more easily. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Ecology found that birds will target salamanders that look like the majority even reversing their behavior in response to alterations in the ratio of...

Predatory bacterial swarm uses rippling motion to reach prey

Oct. 29, 2008 Like something from a horror movie, the swarm of bacteria ripples purposefully toward their prey, devours it and moves on. Researchers at the University of Iowa are studying this behavior in Myxococcus xanthus (M. xanthus) , a bacterium commonly found in soil, which preys on o...

Siberian jays can communicate about behavior of birds of prey

With the aid of various alarm calls the Siberian jay bird species tells other members of its group what their main predators-hawks-are doing. The alarm calls are sufficient for Siberian jays to evince situation-specific fleeing behaviors, which enhances their chances of survival. This discovery,...

Carnivorous plants use pitchers of 'slimy saliva' to catch their prey

Carnivorous plants supplement the meager diet available from the nutrient-poor soils in which they grow by trapping and digesting insects and other small arthropods. Pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes were thought to capture their prey with a simple passive trap but in a paper in this weeks PLo...

Bats prey on nocturnally migrating songbirds

It was until now believed that nocturnally migrating songbirds, while venturing into the unfamiliar night sky for accomplishing their long, challenging trans-continental migrations, could at least release anti-predator vigilance thanks to the concealment of darkness. A new study by Spanish and Swis...

Archerfish tune their shots to universal properties of prey adhesion

Archerfish exhibit the remarkable ability to hunt for insects and other small terrestrial animals by firing precisely aimed streams of water that knock prey onto the water's surface. These water shots were once thought to be all-or-none in quality, but researchers have now discovered new levels of ...

Vital ocean prey play active role in environment

Although Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) are one of the best-studied organisms of the open sea, key aspects of their life cycle have remained murky. Understanding krill is important because they are vital prey for fish, birds, and marine mammals, yet they are vulnerable to fishing pressure an...

Scientists find universal rules for food-web stability

... stability is enhanced when species at high trophic levels feed on multiple prey species and species at intermediate trophic levels are fed upon by multiple...abilizes the system. On the other hand, a strong dependence of predation on prey density has a stabilizing impact on food webs. Differences between smal...

Scary ancient spiders revealed in 3-D models, thanks to new imaging technique

...f the physical traits that helped them to hunt for prey and evade predators. The researchers created th..., which suggests that it used its legs to grab its prey before killing them. The researchers believe this ...h predator, living in logs and fronds, waiting for prey such as insects to walk by before catching and kil...

Animal and plant communication at the ESA Annual Meeting

...e." Pitcher plants' red colors don't attract prey Pitcher plants have distinctive adaptations f...tion to their nectar-producing glands that attract prey to a potential food source, the plants' bright col...ttle evidence that these colorful patterns attract prey to pitcher plants. Aaron Ellison of Harvard Un...

Freshwater fish at the top of the food chain evolve more slowly

... mostly relies on swimming to overtake its prey, and at the last moment will pop open its mouth kind of like popping open an umbrella and inhale the prey item," says Wainwright. "They're able to strike very quickly and inhale a huge volume of water, which allows them to catch these big elusive prey." ...

121 breeding tigers estimated to be found in Nepal

... been reported. Other important reasons of tiger population decline are habitat shrinkage and fragmentation due to human intervention, loss/decline of prey species. "The tiger numbers have increased in Chitwan but decreased in Bardia and Shuklaphanta," said Mr. Anil Manandhar, Country Representative, W...

Noise pollution negatively affects woodland bird communities, says CU-Boulder study

... major nemesis of the birds -- the western scrub jay -- which was shown to prefer the quiet woodland sites. Western scrub jays, which are known to prey on eggs and young of songbirds, play a key role in Southwest woodland ecology, said Francis. They were shown to be 32 percent more common in the quie...

The value of variation: Ecologists consider the causes and consequences

...e said. In order to make effective management decisions, for example, conservation biologists need to know under what conditions a predator and its prey can co-exist together. "The problem is that a lot of the ecological models say that predator/pray populations are unstable, and yet we know that they ...

NOAA bans commercial harvesting of krill

...rous other species and are a principal food source for many species of fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Some of the species that depend on krill as prey are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and many others are important as target species for commercial and recreation...

Finding the constant in bacterial communication

...different types of drugs or selectively kill cancer cells" For example, You has already gained insights into the relationship between predators and prey by creating a synthetic circuit involving two genetically altered lines of bacteria. The findings from that work helped define the effects of relative...

What makes a great footballer?

...lling ability in humans will also provide them with insight into the role that individual skills play in other species, for example during aggression, prey capture or escape from a predator. Dr. Wilson argues that the importance of skill for the evolution of vertebrate physical performance is currently un...

Geographic profiling applied to track hunting patterns of white sharks in South Africa

...rch base for hunting, but not where the chances of prey interception were greatest. Instead the attacks se... strategic locations that could offer a balance of prey detection, capture rates, and inter-shark competit...f power and acrobatic prowess, white sharks attack prey with a sudden vertical rush that propels them out ...

Discovery of a water snake that startles fish in a way that makes them flee into its jaws

...e small water snake has found a way to startle its prey so that the fish turn toward the snake's head to f...too fast for the human eye to follow. However, its prey reacts even faster, in a few thousandths of a seco...began examining the movements of the snake and its prey in slow motion, he saw something peculiar. When th...

Siberian jays use complex communication to mob predators

...icated as those of primates and meerkats. Most prey immediately escape upon detecting a predator. However, when encountering resting predators, many prey approach and mob predators despite the associated risk. While mobbing predators, prey utter mobbing calls, which have been suggested to ...

Midge keeps invasive mosquito in check, aiding native mosquitoes

...risky" behaviors than the invasive mosquito larvae, making them less susceptible to being eaten. "Size is having a major effect in terms of how the prey are getting consumed," said Barry Alto, a medical entomologist with the State Natural History Survey at the University of Illinois and principal inves...

Who will pick up the bill?

... sea water could directly damage corals and mollusks which all depend on sufficient carbonate levels to form shells successfully. Subsequent losses of prey such as plankton and shellfish would also alter food webs and intensify competition among predators for nourishment. As harvesting levels drop, job...

Lenfest forage fish task force launched

... scientists from around the world that will develop management plans to tackle the unprecedented depletion of forage fish from our oceans. These small prey fish are a critical food source for marine mammals, seabirds, and many large fish species, and their excessive removal can undermine or even collapse ...

A combined tooth-venom arsenal revealed as key to Komodo dragon's hunting strategy

...thors also dismiss the widely accepted theory that prey die from septicemia caused by toxic bacteria livin...These large carnivorous reptiles are known to bite prey and release them, leaving the prey to bleed to death from the horrific wounds inflict...

Komodo even more deadly than thought: Research

...reptiles ( Varanus komodoensis ) are known to bite prey and release them, leaving them to bleed to death f...ill and eat them. Some researchers believe that prey are killed by pathogenic bacteria in the dragons' ...odo dragons eat carrion, they also hunt and ambush prey including invertebrates, birds, and mammals. Th...

Climate change driving Michigan mammals north

...at seeds, they eat the insects that kill trees, they disperse the fungus that grows in tree roots that is necessary for trees to grow, and they're the prey base for a huge number of carnivorous birds, mammals and snakes. But we don't know enough about their natural history to know whether replacing a nort...

American Chemical Society's weekly PressPac -- April 29, 2009

...ercury. However, researchers have never determined how these levels are linked to sea ice extent and the resulting composition of arctic cod and other prey containing mercury available to ringed seals. The scientists analyzed the mercury content in muscle samples collected from ringed seals between 1...

Study assesses impact of fish stocking on aquatic insects

...wn effects on ecosystems," said Karen Pope, a Forest Service scientist at the Pacific Southwest Research Station and one of the study's authors. "They prey upon aquatic insects that are also food for other insects, amphibians, birds and bats." In 2003, Pope and her colleagues began testing the effects i...

Clarke clarifies pattern recognition theory

...remarkable survival advantage. The power of patterns includes the recognition of environmental and climatic trends, behavioural patterns in predators, prey and competing species or conspecifics, providing an insight into information that would produce significant survival advantages. "Further, pattern...

Study unravels why certain fishes went extinct 65 million years ago

... he said. "The hardest hit species are consistently big predators." Studies of modern fishes demonstrate that large body size is linked to large prey size and low rates of population growth, while fast-closing jaws appear to be adaptations for capturing agile, evasive preyin other words, other fishe...

Australia's most endangered snake might need burning

...broad-headed snakes require sunny, hot-rocks for shelter. Shaded rocks do not reach sufficiently high temperatures for the snakes to hunt their lizard prey effectively in the evenings," he said. "The trend is clear as the vegetation cover increases, the snakes' available habitat decreases. Our results...

American carnivores evolved to avoid each other, new study suggests

...els, skunks and raccoons. Commonly, 20 or more species can occupy the same region. "For the most part, these overlapping species all share the same prey base -- other animals -- which includes each other," said Jennifer Hunter, who conducted the study for her Ph.D. dissertation in ecology. Hunter an...

BioScience tip sheet, March 2009

...esent in large numbers in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, especially around the Columbia River corridor and the Willamette River basin. Non-native fish prey on juvenile native salmon in large numbers and appear to represent a major source of mortality comparable to better-known threats, such as harvest, ha...

Tigers get a stimulus plan

...ing available habitat, mainly in strictly protected reserves. Any surplus animals moving beyond such areas are likely to perish rapidly due to lack of prey or direct hunting. The main threats to tigers are loss and degradation of their forest habitats, legal and illegal hunting of tiger prey, and direct...

Lake Michigan fish populations threatened by decline of tiny creature

...o all depths occupied by the dwindling Diporeia . It is estimated that the mass of quagga mussels in the lake is now about four times the mass of all prey fish. In Lake Michigan, declines in Diporeia masses were first observed in the early 1990s soon after the discovery of invasive mussels in the Gr...

Controlling cucumber beetles organically

...mpanion plants thought to repel cucumber beetles. A third group was planted with a different set of companion plants that seem to attract insects that prey on cucumber beetles. Sticky traps stationed among the plants collected cucumber beetles, which were counted and removed on a weekly basis. The waterme...

Penguins marching into trouble

...particularly of anchovies, a favorite penguin food. This has forced some penguins to attempt to nest outside of protected areas where they often fall prey to predators. Meanwhile, changing weather patterns have also led to increased instances of heavy rains, which have caused high mortality of penguin c...

Biodiversity itself begets a species cascade, researchers say

...gist James J. Smith and colleagues reported. As those flies became genetically different from the parent hawthorn fly, so did the parasitic wasps that prey on the flies' larvae. Apples have grown in the New World for just 250 years, demonstrating how quickly new niches can become occupied. The team's r...

Biologists solve mystery of black wolves

...ly to the genetic legacy of a wild species." Scientists have thought that coat color is related to camouflage, perhaps to hide wolves from their prey or from one another. "Apparently, natural selection has increased the frequency of black coat color dramatically in wolf populations across Nort...
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