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30 août 2017

La vie secrète des dodos [Sciences & Avenir - Paléontologie]

De nouvelles études renseignent sur le mode de vie des dodos, ces gros oiseaux disparus il y a plus de 300 ans.

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11 juillet 2017

Decoding ants’ coat of many odors [Phys]

It’s a waxy layer that covers their bodies and is the source of the complex aromas that ants use to communicate. These odorant blends act like biochemical uniforms, identifying individual ants by caste, colony and species. In so doing it helps regulate the ants’ behavior, allowing them to navigate the sophisticated social systems that has made ants one of the most successful families of animals on Earth.

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11 juillet 2017

New technologies boost genome quality [Science]

Three years ago, Erich Jarvis helped mastermind a massive DNA sequencing effort that netted genomes for more than 40 bird species and produced a better avian family tree. But when he tried to compare the avian genomes to those of other species to learn about the evolution and function of several key brain genes, he was stymied. His team found that gene sequences from most of the comparison species—even humans—were incomplete, missing, or misplaced in the larger genome. The group had to resequence sections of several genomes to get the needed data, delaying their project many months.

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10 juillet 2017

Massive database of 182,000 leaves is helping predict plants’ family trees [Nature - News]

The technique could be used on everything from flowers to cells to examine the factors that influence the shapes of plant parts.

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10 juillet 2017

Spiders lure bees for dinner by making flowers look flashier [New Scientist]

Ambush hunters normally rely on the element of surprise, opting to stay hidden until the moment of attack. But some spiders go for a flashier strategy. They reflect UV light, which makes the flowers they sit on appealing to bees – a bizarre strategy that has evolved multiple times in crab spiders, which ambush their prey instead of catching it in webs.

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