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29 June 2017

Darwin’s ’strangest animal ever’ finds a family [Phys]

Charles Darwin, Mr. Evolution himself, didn’t know what to make of the fossils he saw in Patagonia so he sent them to his friend, the renowned paleontologist Richard Owen.
Owen was stumped too. Little wonder.
"The bones looked different from anything he knew," said Michael Hofreiter, senior author of a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications that finally situates in the tree of life what Darwin called the "strangest animal ever discovered".

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29 June 2017

« Une aire marine en Antarctique permettrait de protéger les ressources alimentaires de plus de 75 000 couples de manchots Adélie » [Le Monde - Planète]

Dans une tribune au « Monde », Yan Ropert-Coudert, directeur de recherche au CNRS, appelle à la création d’un nouveau refuge pour les espèces marines.

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29 June 2017

Flying ant day: when virgin queens and male drones mate on the wing [The Guardian]

After warm weather and summer rain, flying ants emerge from nests for a mass mating event to ensure survival and dispersal of the species.

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28 June 2017

Study shows fairy wrens aware that their mating plumage attracts predators [Phys]

A team of researchers with Monash University and Australian National University has found that male superb fairy wrens are aware that their seasonal bright plumage attracts predators and take extra precautions because of it. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes experiments they carried out with the birds and what they learned about them.

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28 June 2017

Overlooked water loss in plants could throw off climate models [Nature - News]

Errors could cause researchers to overestimate the rate of photosynthesis when water is scarce.

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