The effects of population decline on culturally transmitted behaviours in animals have rarely been described, but may have major implications to population viability. Learned vocal signals in birds are of critical importance to behaviours associated with reproduction, intrasexual interactions and group cohesion, and the complexity of vocal signals such as song can serve as an honest signal of an individual’s quality as well as the viability of a population. In this study, we examined how rapid population declines recently experienced by Hawaiian honeycreepers on the island of Kaua‘i (USA) may have influenced the diversity, complexity and similarity of learned honeycreeper songs.
Continue reading “Loss of cultural song diversity and the convergence of songs in a declining Hawaiian forest bird community | Royal Society Open Science”
The humble tomato is about to get a makeover. Plant physiologists in Brazil and Ireland are researching how to use the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 to create the world’s first spicy tomato.
Read more: Scientists Are Using CRISPR to Make Spicy Tomatoes – Gastro Obscura
Researchers hope to create a new “green revolution” by improving photosynthesis.
Genetic engineers in Illinois have designed tobacco plants that grow as much as 40% larger than usual. If similar changes can be made to soybeans or potatoes, it could increase food supplies—though you won’t see the new plants in fields for many years.
Continue reading “Gene engineers make super-size plants that are 40% larger – MIT Technology Review”
New research shows that injecting wastewater deep underground can cause earthquakes far from the injection site. It also raises questions about which rock layers are the safest injection targets.
Continue reading “Injecting wastewater underground can cause earthquakes up to 10 kilometers away”
Though Greece is known for its beautiful beaches and Mediterranean climate, these lakes look like they popped out of a northern fairytale. Their name—which translates to “Dragon Lake”— and the legends attached to them enhance the sense of magic and mystery.
Continue reading “Drakolimni – Greece – Atlas Obscura”
Players strive to create a balanced desert ecosystem in which each animal has enough food to survive over a period of 12 days, in this interactive game from PLUM LANDING. Players see how the different species of plants and animals in a desert depend on one another. They also experiment with how changing the amount of one resource affects the whole ecosystem.
Continue reading “Feed the Dingo: An Ecosystem Game | Science | Interactive | PBS LearningMedia”
Fjaðrárgljúfur (Fjadrargljufur in English) is a canyon a bit off the path off Iceland’s famous Ring Road. At just over a mile long, it certainly doesn’t boast the enormous expanses of the world’s other mighty canyons. But what it may lack in size, it absolutely makes up for in beauty.
Continue reading “Fjaðrárgljúfur – Iceland – Atlas Obscura”
Greenland, the world’s largest island and home to its second largest ice sheet, is a land of ragged cliffs, breathtaking fjords and unimaginable amounts of water on either side of the freezing point. It has also, until now, been something of a mystery.
Continue reading “Scientists mapping Greenland have produced some surprising – and worrying – results | The Gazette”