Mate choice is important for females, who often invest much more energy in offspring than males. However, being too selective is a bad idea, as they might end up not mating at all. Biologists have wondered for a long time how females optimize their chances. Scientists at the University of Groningen have discovered that mating induces a behavioural change in female flies that makes them more choosy than when they are virgins.
Male jackdaws don't stick around to console their mate after a traumatic experience, new research shows.
Body axes are molecular coordinate systems along which regulatory genes are activated. These genes then activate the development of anatomical structures in correct locations in the embryo. Thus, the body ensures that we do not develop arms on our heads or ears on our backs. In many organisms, the main body axis is regulated by the β-catenin signaling pathway.
Researchers took a close look at bobtail and bottletail squids to establish their evolutionary relationships and the timing of the divergence of different species.
Researchers have revealed that praying mantis (mantids) infected with parasitic hairworms are attracted to horizontally polarized light that is strongly reflected off the surface of water, which causes them to enter the water. In a world-first, these results demonstrate that parasites can manipulate the host's specific light perception system to their advantage, causing the host to behave in an abnormal manner.
When regions of the human genome where the DNA can fold into unusual three-dimensional structures called G-quadruplexes (G4s) are located in regulatory sequences or other functional, but non-protein coding, regions of the genome, they are maintained by selection, are more common, and their unusual structures are more stable. Together, these lines of evidence suggest that G4 elements should be added to the list of functional elements of the genome.
Ten million years before the well-known asteroid impact that marked the end of the Mesozoic Era, dinosaurs were already in decline. That is the conclusion of the Franco-Anglo-Canadian team led by CNRS researcher Fabien Condamine from the Institute of Evolutionary Science of Montpellier, which studied evolutionary trends during the Cretaceous for six major families of dinosaurs, including those of the tyrannosaurs, triceratops, and hadrosaurs.
The oldest strain of Yersinia pestis -- the bacteria behind the plague that caused the Black Death, which may have killed as much as half of Europe's population in the 1300s -- has been found in the remains of a 5,000-year-old hunter-gatherer. A genetic analysis publishing June 29 in the journal Cell Reports reveals that this ancient strain was likely less contagious and not as deadly as its medieval version.
The death of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago was caused by the impact of a huge asteroid on the Earth. However, paleontologists have continued to debate whether they were already in decline or not before the impact. In a new study, published today in the journal Nature Communications, an international team of scientists, which includes the University of Bristol, show that they were already in decline for as much as ten million years before the final death blow.
After centuries of human impact on the world's ecosystems, a new study from Flinders University details an example of how a common native bee species has flourished since the very first land clearances by humans on Fiji. In a new paper in Molecular Ecology, research led by Flinders University explores a link between the expansion of Homalictus fijiensis, a common bee, which has increased its spread on the main island Viti Levu alongside advancing land clearance and the introduction of new plants and weeds.