Monday, 18 June 2012

Wildlife stuff from the week 11-17/6/12

The northern river terrapin, pushed toward extinction by habitat loss, and hunting to feed alternative-medicine markets, has been successfully bred on a Bangladeshi beach.

Fossil-fuel pollution has been causing Swedish carnivorous plants to give up on eating insects, because the nitrogen pollution amply fulfils their dietary needs.

[video] The giant bumphead parrotfish was previously thought be entirely docile, and to use its reversely-eponymous bumps for knocking lumps of coral off the reefs in which they live.
It's now known that, like rams, and the extinct pacycephalosaurs, they actually have brief periods of aggression, in which the males bump their heads together!

'Bat bridges don't work: study'
Bats typically travel at hedgerow height. The wires over roads were introduced as a kind of hedgerow replacement, so that the bats can get around safely - but they don't use them.
One bridge, built just 15 metres from the road-severed commuting route it replaced, was still spurned by the bats.

African cichlid fish don't just look nice to tempt females - they quiver in a sexually alluring way, too!
Researchers noticed that competitor males could detect the seduction of other males, even when outside their line of sight.
They were detecting the male's low-frequency vibrations, which sexually receptive females are particularly responsive to.

[video] The male club-winged manakin has evolved a heavy forearm that benefits it in one respect - it brings all the girls to the yard.
But it's rubbish for flying - sexual selection has outdone other selective procedures, in this instance.

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