WILDLIFE UP­DATES

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild News -

SEA SPI­DERS

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.

LOVE HURTS

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.

LIT­TLE HELPERS

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.

HOT DOGS

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. .

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