WILDLIFE UP­DATES

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild News -

SHADY BUSI­NESS

It’s the sheer scale of gi­ant kelp forests, not their nu­tri­tional value, that makes them so species-rich, re­ports the Pro­ceed­ings of the Royal So­ci­ety B. By shad­ing out other al­gae, the huge fronds al­low en­crust­ing an­i­mals such as sponges and sea squirts to flour­ish, which in turn at­tracts mo­bile preda­tors.

CLOSE CALL

Bar­bas­teelle bats spe­cialise in hunt­ing eared moths, which can hear echolo­ca­tion calls and take eva­sive ac­tion. Func­tional Ecol­ogy re­ports that not only do the bats pro­duce un­usu­ally quiet sonar clicks, but they lower the vol­ume even fur­ther as they close in on their quarry.

WAR VETER­ANS

For­get the reck­less­ness of youth. Bi­ol­ogy Let­ters re­ports that when Ja­panese Reti­c­uliter­mes ter­mites go into bat­tle with preda­tory ants, it’s the old­est sol­diers that risk their lives at the front­line. The strat­egy spares younger sol­diers, whose deaths would be a greater loss to the colony.

BREAK­FAST IN BED

By day, yel­low-billed ox­peck­ers rum­mage through the fur and folds of large African her­bi­vores for ticks and scabs. But ac­cord­ing to the African Jour­nal of Ecol­ogy, big mam­mals serve ass both kitchen and be ed­room. A favourite no oc­tur­nal roost­ing site is be­tween the warm in ner thighs of f gi­raffe.

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