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Why do animals hide their warning signals? A paradox explained

Scientists have understood quite well why so many poisonous animals have brightly colored bodies - the colors send a message to the predators: " don't eat me, or you'll get sick and die". But why some toxic animals actually hide the warning colors from the predator's view, showing them only at the

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Water striders’ jumping on water — understood and imitated after careful observations

Jumping is an antipredatory adaptation of many water strider species to avoid capture by predators that attack from under the water surface. The Korean-Polish team of biologists, Piotr Jablonski, Sang-Im Lee and Jae Hak Son from the Laboratory of Behavioral Ecology and Evolution (Jablonski, Lee and Son) and the Institute of Advanced

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A small vortex on the wing makes the elegance of birds’ flight

One mystery of birds' flight is solved! The elegance of birds' flight, their seemingly effortless aerial turns and the softness of their landing, have been envied by many people. From countless observations, it has been known that the birds use a small group of feathers, called "the alula", a thumb-like structure that

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Birds ‘weigh’ peanuts and choose heavier ones

Many animals feed on seeds, acorns or nuts. The common feature of these are that they have shells and there is no direct way to know what's inside. How do the animals know how much and what quality of food is hidden inside? A simple solution would be to break the shells,

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Magpies take decisions faster when humans look at them

Researchers from the Seoul National University found that wild birds appear to "think faster" when humans, and possibly predators in general, are directly looking at them ... [Read More]

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Bees tell birds to buzz off

A new study highlights the 'parasitism by theft' of bumblebees that invade birds' nests and claim them as their own. Their warning buzz helps bumblebees to "scare" the bird away from the nest. The work by Piotr Jablonski and colleagues, from the Laboratory of Behavioral Ecology and Evolution at Seoul National University

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Camouflage of moths: Secrets to invisibility revealed

Moths are iconic examples of camouflage. Their wing coloration and patterns are shaped by natural selection to match the patterns of natural substrates, such as a tree bark or leaves, on which the moths rest. But, according to recent findings, the match in the appearance was not all in their invisibility ... [Read

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A murder in the magpie’s nest

Finding their young dead in the nest is not uncommon for bird mothers. In many bird species some of the nestlings die before they leave the nest. This is known as "brood reduction", a common form of infanticide that the parents are to blame ... [Read More]

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Magpies recognise and ‘scold’ individual humans

During a routine nest-monitoring study a research team in South Korea discovered that the birds recognised an individual that had previously climbed up to and disturbed their nests ... [Read More]

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I know you, bad guy!

Most people who have had the experience of having pet animals in their houses have the gut feeling that the animals can "recognize" us. They seem to recognize our faces, our voices and our smell. One way or another, they respond to us differently from other people ... [Read More]

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