Nature

Bigger dogs, with larger brains, perform better than smaller pups on certain measures of intelligence, new research shows. Larger-brained dogs outperform smaller dogs on measures of executive functions – a set of cognitive processes that are necessary for controlling and coordinating other cognitive abilities and behaviors. In particular, bigger dogs have better short-term memory and
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It’s unclear whether the initial incursion happened stealthily at night or brazenly during the day – though authorities are almost certain the invasion occurred by sea. And federal employees who returned from the month-long partial government shutdown decided that it was probably not worth the effort to relocate the roughly 90 individuals involved. That’s because
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The first time he saw them, on a freezing morning last January, George Howard thought the odd-shaped humps protruding from his iced-over swamp were tree stumps. But somehow that didn’t seem right. He strained his eyes. They were tree stumps with teeth? Howard panicked. He is, after all, the manager of the Swamp Park, which features an
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Birds see a very different world to the one we’re familiar with, and now we can get a hint of what that looks like thanks to a specially designed camera that simulates birdo-vision. Apart from being fascinating, the resulting images also explain why birds can navigate so accurately through dense foliage. Behavioural biologist Cynthia Tedore
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Is devolution possible? Two verified experts answered this question on independent fact-checking platform Metafact.io. Both answered ‘yes’. You can read one answer below. The short answer is “yes,” but that needs to be explained, because the concept of “devolution” is very misleading and makes assumptions about evolution that simply aren’t true (it’s not a term that
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In the water, it’s getting harder to breathe. Suffocating dead zones with little or no oxygen are pervading the world’s oceans, rivers, and streams. This phenomenon – which has exploded in recent decades – poses an extinction-level nightmare for marine populations already beset by a complex interaction of human-made menace. When it comes to these
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Lake Mercer, a subglacial lake deep below the Antarctic Ice, sat untouched by humans for millennia – until now. Scientists accidentally discovered the lake in 2007, when they were examining satellite imagery of Antarctica’s ice sheet. Then on December 26, 2018, they finally reached it. To explore the 50-foot-deep subglacial lake, researchers from a project called SALSA
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The flowers are listening, according to new research – well, in a sense, at least. Scientists have found evidence that plants can actually hear the buzz of passing bees and produce sweeter nectar in response to entice the flying insects in. And flowers are technically their ‘ears’. Based on observations of evening primroses (Oenothera drummondii), the
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Nature is filled with astonishing and sometimes terrifying phenomena. Case in point: this footage of spiders seemingly raining from the sky. Filmed in Minas Gerais in southern Brazil, these spiders are Parawixia bistriata, a rare ‘social’ spider that works together to build giant, fine webs up high. And contrary to how it might look, don’t worry,
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What makes a species monogamous? New research has uncovered evidence of a universal genetic code that underlies monogamy in vertebrates. For hundreds of millions of years, animals have been ‘doing it’. But not all of these wild hook-ups represented the same thing – even to animals that look incredibly similar. Some species, like the furry little prairie
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Scientists have fixed a natural flaw in photosynthesis, and as a result have boosted plant productivity by an incredible 40 percent compared to wild relatives. Photosynthesis is the chemical reaction that lets plants turn sunlight and carbon dioxide into food, and this new hack could result in enough calories to help feed another 200 million people
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Nathaniel ‘Coyote’ Peterson knows his stings. From scorpions to bullet ants, the YouTube celebrity endures intense pain in the name of education, if not a few million clicks. But recently he discovered a new contender for the most agonising of insect weapons, and it’s not one he’d expected. Peterson’s channel Brave Wilderness currently has close
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A gelatinous, single-celled life form has just solved an increasingly complex problem that many researchers use to test algorithms. Even more impressive is the fact that, as the problem got harder, the slime mould amoeba actually solved the problem in a totally different – and arguably more efficient – way than most algorithms. The result suggests
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