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16 May 2017

La France va-t-elle sauver ses hérissons ? [Le Monde - Blogs]

Il est à la fois le garant de la bonne santé des campagnes, un précieux auxiliaire des jardiniers et un emblème de la biodiversité. Cet animal des plus communs et pourtant de plus en plus menacé, c’est le hérisson.

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15 May 2017

Polar bears shift from seals to bird eggs as Arctic ice melts [New Scientist]

Polar bears are ditching seafood in favour of scrambled eggs, as the heat rises in the Arctic melting the sea ice. A changing coastline has made it harder for the predators to catch the seals they favour and is pushing them towards poaching goose eggs.

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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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