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predator in Biological News

'Plant-eating predator to fight superweed is not magic bullet'

Plans to introduce plant-eating predators to fight a superweed spreading throughout Britain should not be seen as a 'magic bullet', says a world expert on Japanese knotweed at the University of Leicester. Dr John Bailey of the Department of Biology has been researching the invasive weed since t...

New discovery suggests trees evolved camouflage defense against long extinct predator

Many animal species such as snakes, insects and fish have evolved camouflage defences to deter attack from their predators. However research published in New Phytologist has discovered that trees in New Zealand have evolved a similar defence to protect themselves from extinct giant birds, provi...

Fossil fragments reveal 500-million-year-old monster predator

Hurdia victoria was originally described in 1912 as a crustacean-like animal. Now, researchers from Uppsala University and colleagues reveal it to be just one part of a complex and remarkable new animal that has an important story to tell about the origin of the largest group of living animals, ...

Predicting the perfect predator

Garlic mustard has become an invasive species in temperate forests across the United States, choking out native plants on forest floors and threatening ecosystem diversity. University of Illinois ecologist Adam Davis has created a computer model that in combination with quarantined research tests ...

At the molecular level, the predator is the prey

An evolutionary arms race between predatory garter snakes and their newt quarry is turning out to be something of an illusion. At the molecular level, another battle rages. And in this second, miniature realm, it's the newt who's the aggressor. Biologists at Indiana University Bloomington, Utah S...

Scientists find universal rules for food-web stability

...ich individual animal or plant species function as predator or prey. Potential food webs not only differ by th...termediate trophic levels are fed upon by multiple predator species," says Ulf Dieckmann of IIASA. The scie... stable, while a strong dependence of predation on predator density destabilizes the system. On the other hand...

Venomous sea snakes play heads or tails with their predators

...redators such as sharks, large bony fishes, and even birds. "The value of such an adaptation is twofold; it may increase the chances of surviving predator attack by exposing a less 'vital' body part, but more importantly it may deter attack in the first place if attackers perceive the tail as the venomou...

Sustainable agriculture at the ESA Annual Meeting

...show up," Chaplin-Kramer says. Fostering larger predator communities is time-consuming and can take years t...dea. But, she says, there's no doubt that a strong predator base is more sustainable than simply using pestici...onstantly being developed," she says. "Building up predator communities takes time, but the systems are more s...

Warmer environment means shorter lives for cold-blooded animals

...ude (Spain 43N and Russia 66N) could have such a drastic impact on lifespan. While one might expect that local adaptations or geographic variations in predator and food abundance would account for this disparity, we wanted to see whether the geographical variation in lifespan that we see in all sorts of speci...

The value of variation: Ecologists consider the causes and consequences

... a population," he 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 kn...

Wolf reintroduction proposed in Scottish Highland test case

...teractive webs of birds, insects, fish and beaver are returning to health. These processes, called "trophic cascades," result when the loss of one key predator can have cascading effects on an ecosystem that go far beyond the obvious. The new report is just being published in the journal Biological Conser...

Scientists are learning more about big birds from feathers

... must attach to eagles, a prohibitive cost if studying more than a few birds. DeWoody's studies were done in Kazakhstan with imperial eagles, a top predator of international concern because its population is declining. The feathers give a good picture of recent eagle habits because they do not survive l...

Evolution: Crabs go deep to avoid hot water

...f this group to rapid climate change." This study elucidates temperature as a driving force behind the speciation and radiation of a major seafloor predator globally and over tens of millions of years of Earth's history. The study has been supported by the National Environment Research Council (UK) thr...

Mice run faster on high-grade oil

... 100m world records over more than 75 years. For a mouse, or other small mammal, this would be significant in evolutionary terms when escaping from a predator or catching prey. "The results of the current study on mice suggest that moderate differences in dietary n-6/n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake can...

Siberian jays use complex communication to mob predators

...erent calls to communicate the level of danger and predator category to other members of their own group. A Sw...h have been suggested to vary depending on risk or predator category. The new study from the Department of Eco...pecific for owls and other for hawks, the two main predator categories of jays," says researcher Michael Gries...

Climate change threatens Lake Baikal's unique biota

...rns and changes in wind dynamics. Shortened periods of ice cover and changes in the ice's transparency may also harm the Baikal seal, the lake's top predator and the world's only exclusively freshwater seal. Because the seals mate and give birth on the ice, premature melting of the ice forces them into the ...

Field Museum paleontologist leads study on two new dinosaurs from China

...d a skull over a foot and half in length and armed with over 70 teeth. "Although impressive by today's standards, Xiongguanlong was still a fly weight predator compared to its heavy-weight relatives such as T. rex" says Peter Makovicky, PhD, Curator of Dinosaurs at Chicago's Field Museum, and corresponding au...

UBC study first to show evolution's impact on ecosystems

...oral fellow who is now a researcher at Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. "It also demonstrates how speciation of a predator might alter the evolutionary course of other organisms in the food web." "As new species arise from a common ancestor and evolve new ways of exploi...

Aussie meat ants may be invasive cane toad's Achilles' heel

...eal way to control toad numbers would be to find a predator that kills and eats toads but leaves native frogs alone. However, bringing in a predator from overseas might have catastrophic consequences...e toads' behaviour that makes them vulnerable to a predator that poses little danger to native frogs." Thro...

Study finds life-saving trend among seagulls

... were the subjects." This behavioural mimicry may be advantageous when a predator is close. "If the surrounding group is agitated and ready to take flight, i...t," says Dr. Beauchamp. "You don't want to be the last gull standing when a predator approaches." How does this relate to humans? Dr. Beauchamp spent t...

Honest crabs, power to the hungry, nice mice and clever meerkats: News from the American Naturalist

...erkats have the ability to vary their alarm calls depending on what type of predator threatens them. In other words, they use one call when threatened from the ...te their foraging activities as well as their escape plans. So knowing what predator is approaching helps in coordination. The ground squirrels, on the other ha...

Tree lizard’s quick release escape system makes jumpers turn somersaults

...ey simply drop their tails, leaving the twitching body part to distract the predator as they scamper to safety. According to Gary Gillis from Mount Holyoke Coll...uraging the lizards to drop their tails by holding them, just like a hungry predator would, Bonvini then persuaded the tailless reptiles to jump while Gillis fi...

Origin of claws seen in 390-million-year-old fossil

...ing early shrimp-like forms, a scorpion and sea spiders as well as the ancient arthropods trilobites. "With a head like the giant Cambrian aquatic predator Anomalocaris and a body like a modern arthropod, the specimen is the only known example of this unusual creature," said Derek Briggs , director of Ya...

Holy guacamole: invasive beetle threatens Florida's avocados

...ers is that it's hard to tell a tree has been infested until it begins dying. "There are a lot of people very concerned about the potential of this predator attacking avocado trees. And no one knows quite what to do," Koch says. "Some are trying to figure out if they can protect avocado trees with fungicid...

Research uncovers surprising lion stronghold in war-torn central Africa

...e period. And if lions disappear, as some are forecasting, the entire ecosystem could be in peril, says Treves. Past research shows that loss of a top predator can trigger a cascade of unpredictable changes and completely transform the system. Still, he's optimistic this won't come to pass, so long as imme...

To climate-change worries, add 1 more: Extended mercury threat

...ting it to methylmercury in lakes, rivers and oceans. Methylmercury builds up through the food chain, with the flesh of the biggest, most sought-after predator fish tuna, swordfish, king mackerel and so on containing the highest concentrations. That's why the federal government has advised pregnant women, c...

Ocean acidification from CO2 emissions will cause physiological impairment to jumbo squid

...er these conditions, and their activity levels declined, presumably enough to have an effect on their feeding behavior. Jumbo squid are an important predator in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and they are a large component of the diet of marine mammals, seabirds and fish. According to Seibel, jumbo squid mi...

USGS Science Picks

...elopment, and human-induced fires. Scientists developed seven models that explored how humans influence wildlife populations via changes in habitat or predator abundance. Managers can use these models to help plan land-use actions, develop restoration scenarios and identify conservation areas. To view the map...

156th Acoustical Society of America Meeting, Nov. 10-14, 2008 in Miami

....html . HOW HARBOR PORPOISES CATCH PREY A Danish study of how these animals locate food with short acoustic bursts whose frequency goes up as the predator approaches prey. http://asa.aip.org/web2/asa/abstracts/search.nov08/asa210.html . BRAIN CIRCUITS FOR SOUND PROCESSING "Rhythmic brain activiti...

Details of evolutionary transition from fish to land animals revealed

...RO-zay) in 2004, in Devonian-age rock on Ellesmere Island in Canada, more than 700 miles above the Arctic Circle. The creature was a large aquatic predator with a flattened head and body. The body plan and nature of the deposits where the fossils were found suggest an animal that lived on the bottom in...

New meat-eating dinosaur from Argentina had bird-like breathing system

...turns, the explanations for which must account for their presence in a huge predator like Aerosteon as well as in a chicken." Sereno further noted that Aeros...ially intrigued by heat loss, given that Aerosteon was likely a high-energy predator with feathers but without sweat glands as in birds. At approximately 30 fee...

Meat-eating dinosaur from Argentina had bird-like breathing system

...turns, the explanations for which must account for their presence in a huge predator like Aerosteon and herbivores like Diplodocus, as well as in a chicken." ...ially intrigued by heat loss, given that Aerosteon was likely a high-energy predator with feathers but without the sweat glands that birds possess. At approxima...

August LabBits: A media tip sheet from the MBL in Woods Hole

...beat against the water, creating a current that brings prey closer to the mouth. Using high-speed video, the team is observing their feeding behavior, predator and prey interactions, as well as the hydrodynamics of how they swim. "This will help us to understand on which types of ecosystems they might have a ...

Great white's mighty bite revealed

...great whites. They predict that it could generate between 10.8 to 18.2 tonnes of bite force. Fossil evidence suggests that Big Tooth was an active predator of large whales that immobilised its huge prey by biting off their tail and flippers before feeding at will. A comparison of Tyrannosaurus rex with...

Lionfish decimating tropical fish populations, threaten coral reefs

...r as Rhode Island. "This is a new and voracious predator on these coral reefs and it's undergoing a populat...extreme, and they now have to deal with this alien predator in the Atlantic. These fish eat many other species...seaweeds from smothering corals. A major, invasive predator such as lionfish could disrupt the entire system. ...

Migrating songbirds learn survival tips on the fly

...ate in mobs, the researchers speculate that they may gain information about predator location, identity and degree of threat through listening to mob calls of o...d to assess the amount of information the respondents have learned by using predator decoys. ...

Research measures movement of nanomaterials in simple model food chain

...ver time) and biomagnification (the progressive buildup of a substance in a predator organism after ingesting contaminated prey). In their study, the NIST te...rocess of a material crossing different levels of a food chain from prey to predator is called "trophic transfer." Quantum dots are nanoparticles engineered ...

When following the leader can lead into the jaws of death

...datory fish. That the test fish regarded the model predator as a threat was confirmed by our control experiments, where fish showed a strong aversion to the predator model. Despite this, solitary test fish were prepared to follow a replica leader towards the predator model, suggesting that an isolated member of a soc...

Are you looking at me?

...before others join the patch. Responses to obvious indicators of risk a predator looming overhead or the fleeing of other animals are well documented, but ...ngs are able to discriminate the very subtle eye-gaze cues of a nearby live predator and adjust their anti-predator responses in a beneficial manner. ...

Ancient ecosystems organized much like our own

...sis, a large, unusual organism with no modern descendents, was a formidable predator of trilobites and other arthropods, consistent with bite marks found on som...rs through selective pressures that result in extinctions or development of predator defences. Or, patterns may reflect dynamically persistent configurations of...
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