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Study Finds Fish Just Wanna Have Fun

Gordon Burghardt and his colleagues Vladimir Dinets, a psychology research assistant professor, and James Murphy of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., are the first to document play with objects in a cichlid fish species.

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Dolphin 'Breathalyzer' Could Help Diagnose Animal and Ocean Health

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Alcohol consumption isn't the only thing a breath analysis can reveal. Scientists have been studying its possible use for diagnosing a wide range of conditions in humans — and now in the beloved bottlenose dolphin. In a report in the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry, one team describes a new instrument that can analyze the metabolites in breath from dolphins, which have been dying in alarming numbers along the Atlantic coast this year.

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Ancient Fossils Confirmed Among Our Strangest Cousins

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More than 100 years since they were first discovered, some of the world's most bizarre fossils have been identified as distant relatives of humans, thanks to the work of University of Adelaide researchers.

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Lake Erie Increasingly Susceptible to Large Cyanobacteria Blooms

Lake Erie has become increasingly susceptible to large blooms of toxin-producing cyanobacteria since 2002, potentially complicating efforts to rein in the problem in the wake of this year's Toledo drinking water crisis, according to a new study led by University of Michigan researchers.

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Study Finds Crocodiles are Sophisticated Hunters

Vladimir Dinets, a research assistant professor in UT's Department of Psychology, has found that crocodiles work as a team to hunt their prey. His research tapped into the power of social media to document such behavior.

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How Beavers Have Affected the Ecosystem at Voyageurs National Park

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Felling trees, building dams and creating ponds—beavers have a unique ability to alter the landscape in ways that are beneficial to other organisms, according to South Dakota State University professor Carol Johnston of the natural resource management department. That’s why they are known as a “keystone species.” The ecologist received a two-year National Science Foundation grant for more than $143,000 to compile a book based on her previous NSF-funded research on how beavers have affected the ecosystem at Voyageurs National Park near International Falls, Minnesota.

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Launch of New Sensor Device on Hudson River Set to “Wire” River for Cleaner Water

In the race to find solutions to critical water issues, the launch of a new cost-effective water quality sensor device is the first step in overcoming hurdles of historically prohibitive costs for long-term water resource monitoring.

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Balancing Birds and Biofuels: Grasslands Support More Species Than Cornfields

In a new study, scientists examined whether corn and grassland fields could provide both biomass for bioenergy production and bountiful bird habitat. The research team found that grasslands supported more bird species than cornfields did, and new findings indicate grassland fields may represent an acceptable tradeoff between creating biomass for bioenergy and providing habitat for grassland birds.

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Snakes and Snake-like Robots Show How Sidewinders Conquer Sandy Slopes

The amazing ability of sidewinder snakes to quickly climb sandy slopes was once something biologists only vaguely understood and roboticists only dreamed of replicating. By studying the snakes in a unique bed of inclined sand and using a snake-like robot to test ideas spawned by observing the real animals, both biologists and roboticists have now gained long-sought insights.

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Penguins Use Their Personalities to Prepare for Climate Change

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Birds’ individual personalities may be among the factors that could improve its chances of successfully coping with environmental stressors. Research presented at the APS intersociety meeting “Comparative Approaches to Grand Challenges in Physiology.”

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