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Hybrid Forms of the Common House Mosquito May Serve as Vectors Between Birds and Humans

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Researchers from Vetmeduni Vienna for the first time collected quantified data on hybrid forms of two species of the northern house mosquito in eastern Austria. The reproductive hybrid feeds – in contrast to the two known species of house mosquito – on the blood of both birds and humans. Hybrid mosquitoes could therefore serve as a vector for the transmission of avian diseases to people. Identification of the three forms is only possible through molecular biology. Morphologically they are indistinct. The study was published in the journal

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Fossils May Reveal 20-Million-Year History of Penguins in Australia

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Multiple dispersals of penguins reached Australia after the continent split from Antarctica, including 'giant penguins' that may have lived there after they went extinct elsewhere, according to a study published April 26, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Travis Park from Monash University, Australia, and colleagues.

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How Deep Does Life Go?

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One of the startling discoveries about life on Earth in the past 25 years is that it can − and does − flourish beneath the ocean floor, in the planet’s dark, dense, rocky crust.

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The Female Pelvis Adjusts for Childbearing Years

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According to new studies, wide hips do not reduce locomotor efficiency.

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Mammal-Like Reptile Survived Much Longer Than Thought

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Teeth can reveal a lot, such as how the earliest mammals lived with their neighbors. Researchers have uncovered dozens of fossilized teeth in Kuwajima, Japan and identified this as a new species of tritylodontid, an animal family that links the evolution of mammals from reptiles. This finding suggests that tritylodontids co-existed with some of the earliest mammal species for millions of years, overturning beliefs that mammals wiped out mammal-like reptiles soon after they emerged.

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Do Fish Survive in Streams in Winter?

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Most stream-resident fish stay throughout winter despite the ice. This has been shown by Christine Weber, previous researcher at Umeå University, by tagging trout and sculpins with transponders to follow fish migration. Fish's general state of health is the single most important factor for surviving winter. The findings have been published in the journal Ecology and Evolution.

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Ocean Currents Push Phytoplankton and Pollution Around the Globe, Snowmobiling Could Be Hard Hit by Climate Change, Which Trees Face Death in Drought? More Stories in the Climate Change Channel

Ocean Currents Push Phytoplankton and Pollution Around the Globe, Snowmobiling Could Be Hard Hit by Climate Change, Which Trees Face Death in Drought? More Stories in the Climate Change Channel

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Lemur Family Tree Shake-Up: Extinct and Living Lemurs in One Evolutionary Tree

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By combining genetic and anatomical data of extinct and living lemurs, a Stony Brook University team of evolutionary biologists has developed the most complete evolutionary tree of lemurs yet. With extinct and living lemurs in a single evolutionary tree, scientists can better understand the evolution of these primates and what their future may be on earth. Their findings are published in the journal Systemic Biology.

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Missing Links Brewed in Primordial Puddles?

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How easily did life arise on Earth, how likely is it on other planets? A new experiment strongly supports the idea that very early life coding molecules, ancestors of RNA and DNA, arose in primordial puddles with relative ease and speed, and not necessarily just in rarer fiery cataclysms.

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Study of Chimpanzees Explores the Early Origins of Human Hand Dexterity

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Chimpanzees use manipulative dexterity to evaluate and select figs, a vital resource when preferred foods are scarce, according to a new Dartmouth-led study just published by Interface Focus.

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Researcher Studies How Animals Puncture Things

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If shooting arrows from a crossbow into cubes of ballistics gelatin doesn't sound like biological science to you, you've got a lot to learn from University of Illinois animal biology professor Philip Anderson, who did just that to answer a fundamental question about how animals use their fangs, claws and tentacles to puncture other animals.

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13-Million-Year-Old 'Storyteller' Crocodylian Fossils Show Evidence for Parallel Evolution

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Long-snouted crocodylians in South America, India evolved separately to adopt river-dwelling lifestyle, protruding eyes.

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Leg-Wing Cooperation in Baby Birds, Dinosaurs Is Key Transition in Origin of Flight

New research based on high-resolution x-ray movies reveals that despite having extremely underdeveloped muscles and wings, young birds acquire a mature flight stroke early in their development, initially relying heavily on their legs and wings to work in tandem to power the strenuous movement. The new study, published today in the journal PLOS ONE, is important for understanding the development of flight in modern birds and reconstructing its origins in extinct dinosaurs.

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DNA Proves Mammoths Mated Beyond Species Boundaries

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Several species of mammoth are thought to have roamed across the North American continent. A new study in the open-access journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, provides DNA evidence to show that these mammoths, which should only mate within their species boundaries, were in fact likely to be interbreeding.

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Sonic Hedgehog Gene Provides Evidence That Our Limbs May Have Evolved From Sharks' Gills

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Latest analysis shows that human limbs share a genetic programme with the gills of cartilaginous fishes such as sharks and skates, providing evidence to support a century-old theory on the origin of limbs that had been widely discounted.

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Multiple Paternity May Offer Fewer Advantages Than Previously Thought

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Promiscuity is common among females in the animal kingdom. Mating with multiple males can increase genetic diversity and enhance the survival of the offspring. When given a choice, female house mice mate with multiple males. "The females select their partner on the basis of their scent markings. These chemical signals provide a surprising amount of information about possible partners, including their health and disease resistance," explains Kerstin Thonhauser of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Ethology at Vetmeduni Vienna.

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UCLA Scientists Unravel the Genetic Evolution of Zika Virus

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A new UCLA study suggests that the virus possesses the ability to mutate rapidly, allowing the current outbreak to spread swiftly around the world.

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Visualizing and Predicting Evolution by Mapping the Elusive 'Fitness Landscape'

Suppose you were trying to design a vaccine to combat next season's influenza virus. Having a detailed map that tells you exactly how various strains of the flu bug will evolve would be extremely helpful.

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The Red Queen Rules

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What does the Red Queen in “Alice in Wonderland” have to do with biology? “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.” Sexual reproduction protects species by continuously shuffling their genes. A UI-led team bolstered the theory by studying snails’ resilience to parasitic worms.

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Research Reveals Trend in Bird-Shape Evolution on Islands

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In groundbreaking new work, Natalie Wright, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Montana, has discovered a predictable trend in the evolution of bird shape.