Sex, Aggression & Damselflies

Aggression between two different species of animals is surprisingly common. But what exactly are they fighting over? Male aggression towards potential reproductive rivals could explain much of it. UCLA biologists observed and analyzed the behavior of several species of damselflies. Male damselflies typically ignore males of another species when they fly into their territory — … Read more

A New Species of Hummingbird?

UC Riverside researchers have discovered what could be a new species of hummingbird in the Bahamas. The Bahama Woodstar comprises of two subspecies: Calliphlox evelynae evelynae, found throughout the islands of the Bahamas and Calliphlox evelynae lyrura (“lyrura” for lyre-tailed, refers to the forked tail of males that resembles a classical lyre harp). This lovely … Read more

A (super cute) defender against asthma and allergies

A UCSF-led study found that a child’s risk for developing allergies and asthma is reduced when they are exposed in early infancy to a dog in the household. It has to do with the type of dust indoor/outdoor dogs carry in. The results were obtained in studies of mice challenged with allergens after earlier exposure to dust … Read more

The lawnmowers of coral reef

In the first global snapshot of its kind, a team of researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography has shown how overfishing has impacted seaweed-eating fish that are vital to coral reef health. Study leader Jennifer Smith says there are many species of fish and invertebrates that act as lawnmowers in these fragile ecosystems. If you take away … Read more

What engineers can learn from animals

Genghis Khan bathed in sherbet ice cream. This is how The Oatmeal described the violent AND beautiful mantis shrimp in their comic: “Why the mantis shrimp is my new favorite animal.” These little guys, along with 20 other animals, will serve as inspiration for a team of engineers and researchers –– led by UC Riverside’s … Read more