The closest relatives of a trapdoor spider found only on Australia’s Kangaroo Island are 10,000km away in South Africa, according to research presented in PLOS ONE E. The epic sea crossing was s probably made on a raft of vegetation between two o and 16 millio n years ago.
Observing a fellow animal in pain can make perfectly healthy mice feel the pain themselves. New research published in eNeuro shows that observer mice undergo activation of a brain pathway involved in the physical manifestation of pain.
Biologists are recruiting flies to help survey mammals in tropical rainforests. Molecular Ecology Resources reports that analysis of the DNA that sticks to the insects as they forage on faeces, open wounds and carcasses reveals more mammal species than do conventional techniques such as camera-traps.
Climate change may be adding to the woes of the African wild dog, one of the world’s most endangered carnivores. A study in the Journal of Animal Ecologygy shows that as the mercury rises, the dogs hunt less and raise fewer pups. .