Ancient rain gauge: New evidence links groundwater, climate changes in deep time
New collection showcases cutting-edge techniques in insect morphology and systematics
Changes in groundwater millions of years ago created alternating layers of vivid yellow and brown in the mineral sphalerite, and those variations align with movements in Earth's orbit that impacted climate in the deep past, Penn State scientists found.
Larger than life: Augmented ants
While the field of morphology—the study of the form and function of organisms—is centuries old, the last two decades have brought incredible leaps forward through the emergence of new technologies and genetic research methods. And the impact of these advances has been revolutionary for the scientists working to untangle the vast biodiversity and evolutionary paths of the world of insects.
Whale shark hot spot offers new conservation insights
An ant the size of a lion isn't as far-fetched as you would think. From as small as a sesame seed to the size of a big cat, ants come in all sizes—in augmented reality, at least.
Songbirds sing species-specific songs
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), whale sharks are considered endangered, which means the species has suffered a population decline of more than 50% in the past three generations. The whale shark is only two classifications from being extinct. Improvements and conservation efforts are in place, but there is still a long way to go to protect these gentle underwater giants.
The generation of species-specific singing in songbirds is associated with species-specific patterns of gene activity in brain regions called song nuclei, according to a study published November 12 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Kazuhiro Wada of Hokkaido University in Japan, and colleagues. According to the authors, the findings could be a promising step toward a better understanding of the contribution of multiple genes to the evolution of behaviors.