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26 April 2018

Ants found to use trapping technique to capture much larger prey [Phys]

Two researchers, one with Biofaction in Austria, the other with Université de Toulouse in France, report an example of ants (Azteca brevis) in Costa Rica who have developed a truly unique way of capturing prey that are much larger than they are. As Markus Schmidt and Alain Dejean describe in their paper published in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, the ants have found a way to take advantage of the impact a type of fungus has on trees to help them capture prey.

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26 April 2018

Fungus senses gravity using gene borrowed from bacteria [Phys]

The pin mold fungus Phycomyces blakesleeanus forms a dense forest of vertically growing fruiting bodies, but how does it know which way is "up"? New research publishing 24 April in the open access journal PLOS Biology, from Gregory Jedd’s group at the Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, National University of Singapore, reveals that the fungi have acquired and re-modelled a gene from bacteria to help them make large gravity-sensing crystals.

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26 April 2018

Land use and pollution shift female-to-male ratios in snapping turtles [Phys]

Most of us know that our biological sex is decided by the pairing of X and Y chromosomes during conception.
However, for many wildlife species, sex of offspring is determined after fertilization and often influenced by environmental factors, such as temperature. The sex of reptiles, for example, is based on temperatures in the nest while eggs incubate.

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26 April 2018

Scent of Death: Honeybees Use Odors to Clean Out Deceased Broods [Scientific American]

Understanding this mechanism could help scientists breed healthier colonies.

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25 April 2018

La Pologne, Eden de la biodiversité européenne ? [Espèces-menacées]

Sur une superficie proche de la moitié de la France, la Pologne compte certains des sites naturels les mieux préservés d’Europe. Jusqu’alors méconnue, la biodiversité du pays commence à être documentée mais sa préservation peut faire l’objet de conflits avec l’Union Européenne. Exemple avec deux territoires majeurs aux destins différents.

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