Stephen Fry and zoologist Mark Carwardine head to the ends of the earth in search of animals on the edge of extinction. In New Zealand the travellers make their way through one of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. They are on a journey to find the last remaining kakapo, a fat, flightless parrot which, when threatened with attack, adopts a strategy of standing very still indeed.
Tag Archives | Zoology
New strain can kill 80 percent of an oyster bed in a week, experts say. Don't worry — oyster herpes isn't a new side effect of eating "the food of love." The incurable, deadly virus is, however, alarming fishing communities in Europe, where oyster herpes seems to be spreading — and could go on spreading as seas continue to warm, experts say. In July lab testing of farmed oysters detected the first known United Kingdom cases of herpes in the shellfish. The virus has already killed between 20 to 100 percent of breeding Pacific oysters in some French beds in 2008, 2009, and 2010, according to the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea.
You are really screwed, Daffy. All that time you spent arguing with that rabbit … Susan Milius writes on Wired Science:
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New measurements find that the maximum length of a duck’s penis depends on the company he keeps. And in this case, it’s his fellow males who make the difference.
A drake’s penis substantially wastes away at the end of one breeding season and then regrows as the next season begins. Among lesser scaup and ruddy ducks, the regrowth varies in length or timing depending on whether males have to compete with a bunch of other guys, said Patricia Brennan of Yale University.
Her new measurements offer the first evidence in vertebrates that social circumstances influence penis growth, she reported July 29 at the annual meeting of the Animal Behavior Society.
In many bird species, males don’t grow specialized organs to deliver sperm. Ducks typically do, their penises sometimes reaching considerable lengths (9.8 inches for a ruddy duck, more than half its body length).
Chimpanzees are our closest primate relative, and have a number of behaviors we once thought were human only: they empathize, cooperate, and have a sense of self. But how do they deal with the most distressing event possible — death? Two studies this being published in Current Biology this week show a remarkable amount about how chimpanzees mourn, and the effect that death has on them — sometimes in ways very similar to us, sometimes shockingly different. In what is an incredibly rare occurrence, cameras recorded the death and mourning of two groups of chimps — one with an elderly female, and the other with the death of two infants. When an adult chimp dies unexpectedly or traumatically, the tribe's reaction is often loud and violent. Both times here, the reaction from those close to the dead was very different.