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15 May 2017

Fruit fly study measures genetic variation in learning [Phys]

You live, you learn—even if you’re a larva and especially if there’s a little shock involved.
That doesn’t sound particularly nurturing, but the jolt was important to a Rice University scientist and her team who studied common fruit fly larvae. Their strategy helped them conclude that nature and nurture do collaborate in determining the behavior of a population.

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11 May 2017

How dingoes could be shaping Australia’s landscape [Nature]

Dingoes can wreak havoc on Australia’s sheep population, so the canines have been fenced off from a large section of the country. But new research suggests that excluding dingoes can lead to a population boom in their preferred prey, kangaroos, that can change the plant composition of the landscape and even the soil chemistry. The finding is the latest addition in a long and contentious dispute about the effects of dingoes on Australia’s ecosystems.

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10 May 2017

Seabirds use preening to decide how to divvy up parenting duties [ScienceNews]

Seabirds called common murres appear to use preening as a way to negotiate whose turn it is to watch their chick and who must find food. And when one parent is feeling foul, irregularities in this grooming ritual may send the other a signal that all is not well, researchers report in the July issue of The Auk: Ornithological Advances.

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10 May 2017

Découverte de cinq nouvelles sous-espèces d’iguanes marins, dont un « Godzilla » [MNHN]

Charles Darwin, vraisemblablement herpétophobe, ne semblait guère apprécier les iguanes marins (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) les affublant du surnom peu flatteur de « lutins des ténèbres » (Imps of Darkness). Pourtant, ces animaux endémiques des îles Galapagos sont herbivores et le plus souvent inoffensifs.

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9 May 2017

Tous les indicateurs du réchauffement climatique sont au rouge [Le Monde - Planète]

L’espoir de maintenir la hausse de la température moyenne sous la barre fatidique des 2°C s’éloigne de plus en plus.

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