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Humans are lightweights

Humans are lightweights

Posted Tue, 23 Dec 2014 08:31:00 GMT by JW Dowey

How does our skeleton fit us? Is it designed for the activity and sports that we love so much, because of a past of long-distance running and hunting and gathering. Is it more suited to the couch potato, who rarely needs his or her joints to mobilise their frame? The answer lies in agriculture apparently, needing hard work, but from a more gracile form than that of our relatives such as the Neanderthals. The great apes here have heavy frames apart from the 2 extremes, the leaping gibbon and the agricultural human!

Humans are lightweights

Mammals as they used to be.

Mammals as they used to be.

Posted Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:40:00 GMT by Paul Robinson

The mammals are great at adaptation to different niches, but we can’t easily study many lost species that must have contributed to the ecology of living species, as well as being their ancestors!

Mammals as they used to be.

Femme fatale mantis is a cheating cannibal

Femme fatale mantis is a cheating cannibal

Posted Wed, 17 Dec 2014 08:45:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

The mantids earn their popularity from the fearsome triangle of a head while the elegant bodies and displays they give us only add to the mystique. Now the background to that grisly mating habit can be revealed !

Femme fatale mantis is a cheating cannibal

Birdsong proves geographical races have different responses.

Birdsong proves geographical races have different responses.

Posted Sun, 30 Nov 2014 12:25:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

In racial discrimination, we have problems, but in birds it is all about the mating prospects of similar individuals. In this case, the stonechat has already successfully colonised many parts of the Old World over millions of years. Here is an insight into evolution of the song and the bird as it continues the selection and the speciations that have made it successful for so long. The nightingale is mentioned as a plastic song

Birdsong proves geographical races have different responses.

Remember Wallace for his birdwing but conserve this incredible insect too

Remember Wallace for his birdwing but conserve this incredible insect too

Posted Mon, 24 Nov 2014 19:59:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

Our humble attempt to stir interest in the most intriguing species on earth moves to the Mollucas. Wallace discovered more animals than almost any other explorer in the richly biodiverse islands we can now call Wallaceana (Indonesia, Australasia and Malaysia.) What a man!

Remember Wallace for his birdwing but conserve this incredible insect too

The artful crocodiles can hunt cooperatively.

The artful crocodiles can hunt cooperatively.

Posted Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:44:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

How stupid we are. For thousands of years, many have regarded reptiles and crocodilians in particular as slow and stupid themselves. From these papers, you can understand how wrong we were and how artful the croc can be. Just ask Captain Hook! (Who actually proves that some people always thought the scaly monster was not just tough, but wily too.)

The artful crocodiles can hunt cooperatively.

Monkeys' and apes' cultural learning

Monkeys' and apes' cultural learning

Posted Wed, 12 Nov 2014 04:00:00 GMT by JW Dowey

The human species exploded with tools and cultural learning at several stages in their distant history. Just how mentally-equipped are other primates for a cultural rush of tool using and rapid evolution?

Monkeys' and apes' cultural learning

Oil palm ecology suits some.

Oil palm ecology suits some.

Posted Tue, 11 Nov 2014 17:40:00 GMT by Paul Robinson

How can we cope with the burgeoning oil palm plantations. Instead of just complaining, here is one piece of evidence from the Journal of Applied Ecology . Perhaps some other organisms can survive in these nightmares for many almost-extinct animals and plants.

Oil palm ecology suits some.

Cultures can exist beyond the (naked) apes.

Cultures can exist beyond the (naked) apes.

Posted Wed, 05 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT by JW Dowey

For years, humans have been advancing slowly on how animal culture might be transmitted. In efforts to understand both our own ancestors and the mechanisms of social behaviour everywhere, we are seeing achievements at many levels of discovery.

Cultures can exist beyond the (naked) apes.

 Spot (or hear) the vole - in the snow

Spot (or hear) the vole - in the snow

Posted Wed, 29 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

The ways of the prey organism must be known to an efficient predator, and there are no one more deadly that the mustelid race. Fortunately for humans, we don’t have to hide under the snow as one of these hunters searches above. The nearest I can think of is to be stalked by those fascinating Madagascan fossa..

Spot (or hear) the vole - in the snow

Horse Sense

Horse Sense

Posted Mon, 13 Oct 2014 20:04:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

After the great interest shown by our articles on the recent evolution of dogs, cats and horses, we thought it better to follow these up, rather than spout on about relatively unknown species, much as we’d love to. North Americans love to think that horses belong there, but they became extinct there for an odd combination of circumstances, like camels and many others.

Horse Sense

We’re mad about Madagascar.

We’re mad about Madagascar.

Posted Sat, 11 Oct 2014 09:17:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

How much research flows out of Madagascar, on the lemurs, chameleons and frogs alone. We have to preserve this island and sustain its people in their struggles with nature, including climate change. The age of introspection is over. This is one planet and we all are one with it – just investigate the biodiversity and the climate change conferences mushrooming in response to popular demands.

We’re mad about Madagascar.

Bad news for corals and divers.

Bad news for corals and divers.

Posted Tue, 07 Oct 2014 08:30:00 GMT by JW Dowey

It’s worrying, because coral is vital to young fish and many predatory organisms that need its shelter, near the surface and full of prey. Hawaii’s remote nature reserves should be free from many human-induced problems, but El Nino cannot be denied. This loss of coral in the summer could be the beginning of a horrific scene of local extinctions. It must be carefully monitored.

Bad news for corals and divers.

Voyage to/from Ancient New Zealand

Voyage to/from Ancient New Zealand

Posted Tue, 30 Sep 2014 09:15:00 GMT by JW Dowey

The marvels of the Pacific Islands were not discovered by Europeans. The Polynesians made brave and fantastic voyages across giant stretches of water to colonise much of Oceania. They may have been helped by favourable winds before 1300AD but the means of their success were giant canoes, carrying livestock, food and colonists. Here is the germ of their story.

Voyage to/from Ancient New Zealand

Language evolved quickly.

Language evolved quickly.

Posted Thu, 25 Sep 2014 08:17:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

Some of the great thinkers have come up with ideas to propagate after-dinner discussion of chat and scribble for eons to come. The whole process took a very short time to evolve, according to this “think-tank for talk.”

Language evolved quickly.

Monkeys redden up for breeding.

Monkeys redden up for breeding.

Posted Wed, 24 Sep 2014 07:54:00 GMT by JW Dowey

Humans don’t have sexual coloured skin, but many primates use their colour to attract mates. The red colour of rhesus monkeys attracts the opposite sex, so perhaps there is hope for redheads yet!

Monkeys redden up for breeding.

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Gibbon families grow larger with bi-female groups.

Posted Tue, 14 Apr 2015 08:06:05 GMT by Dave Armstrong

The owl and the butterfly - and mimicry

Posted Wed, 08 Apr 2015 08:50:00 GMT by Paul Robinson

April Fools, with the naughty bits explained!

Posted Thu, 02 Apr 2015 09:48:52 GMT by JW Dowey

The Ancient Romance of Samarqand.

Posted Sat, 28 Mar 2015 04:30:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

Will we release these reincarnated mammoths?

Posted Sun, 22 Mar 2015 17:54:49 GMT by Paul Robinson

Navigating the Atlantic as a giant turtle.

Posted Wed, 11 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT by JW Dowey

How mantis control their leaps.

Posted Thu, 05 Mar 2015 20:05:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

Great Lakes Puzzles (or Lessons) for Ecologists.

Posted Tue, 24 Feb 2015 20:16:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

Our evolution from jelly!

Posted Fri, 20 Feb 2015 09:40:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

Cooperative fin whales in Baja California

Posted Tue, 17 Feb 2015 09:10:01 GMT by Dave Armstrong

Losing sight of the real causes of mass animal death?

Posted Tue, 08 Mar 2011 16:15:00 GMT by Kieran Ball

Massive public evolutionary study sights ¾ million brightly colored snails

Posted Wed, 27 Apr 2011 21:05:01 GMT by Martin Leggett

Spider 'Repell-Ant'

Posted Wed, 23 Nov 2011 22:02:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

Smallest animals around, for now!

Posted Tue, 01 Oct 2013 09:50:00 GMT by Paul Robinson

Guppies, mating and the social group

Posted Thu, 08 Dec 2011 14:22:00 GMT by Ines Morales

Muriqui Mothers - a stabilising influence

Posted Tue, 08 Nov 2011 14:25:00 GMT by Dave Collier

Changing climate may help invasive Asian tiger mosquito spread north

Posted Wed, 25 Apr 2012 21:23:08 GMT by Dave Armstrong

Skinks and other Squamates - Sorted!

Posted Fri, 10 May 2013 10:40:29 GMT by Dave Armstrong

A wakeup call for the Pacific Northwest

Posted Wed, 16 Mar 2011 19:00:02 GMT by Michael Evans

Panda-monium!

Posted Mon, 22 Apr 2013 19:57:07 GMT by Dave Armstrong