Poppy genome reveals opiate evolution
The world’s illegal medicinal plant had a turbulent history.
A series of bizarre events and biological errors over evolutionary history were responsible for the intoxicating medi...
Happy goat lucky!
Goats can distinguish between happy and angry faces
“When you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you,” goes the lyric to the popular song, recorded variously by Lou...
Solving the mystery of lost foals
Outbreaks of spontaneous abortions in horses are devastating - and costly.
Hairy caterpillars, bird-borne bacteria, and flying foxes share something in common – they all pose serious threats t...
Hundreds of parasitic worm larvae incubate inside a snail.
The parasitic worm that causes schistosomiasis hatches in water and grows up in a freshwater snail, as shown here. O...
Parrots play the odds when making decisions
Macaws can delay gratification to maximise reward.
When it comes to delaying gratification for greater reward, parrots compare well with chimpanzees and out-perform cap...
Exotic pets turn into invasive pests
Cute, unusual animals don’t always stay that way.
The fearsome crime-fighting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are, in fact, red-eared slider terrapins (Trachemys scripta ...
Macaws blush to communicate
Parrot language is more complicated than thought.
The large New World parrots known as macaws are known to be incredibly talkative, but it turns out they also communic...
Dodo relative lived in New Zealand
A fossil dove was a close relative of the iconic pigeon.
The dodo’s family tree has gained another member: the Zealandian dove. Researchers have described a new species of ...
For cliff-dwelling birds, pointy eggs are best
Egg shape and physics are critical for survival of species.
A study confirms that for cliff-nesting birds, pointy eggs are best. Common murres or guillemots (Uria aalge) are sm...
Botched ID discovery prompts lemur rethink
Dental evidence suggests a new story for primates.
Ancient dental records offer a radical new explanation for how Madagascar’s lemurs evolved. Scientists have long bel...
Don’t believe the mice
Experiments using mice are often heavily publicised.
When you read that a lab animal with a human disease has been cured with a new drug candidate, do not get your hopes ...
Ants avoiding a jam
Too many ants spoil the tunnel.
To understand their strategies for working effectively without clogging traffic jams, researchers studied how fire an...