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Latest Biology Letters Stories

2014-03-26 11:06:47

Knowing what another person wants is not a trivial issue, particularly when the other's desires are different from our own. The ability to disengage from our own desire to cater to someone else's wishes is thought to be a unique feature of human cognition. New research challenges this assumption. Despite wanting something different to eat, male Eurasian jays can disengage from their own current desire in order to feed the female what she wants even when her desires are different to his....

Earthworm Species Thriving In Ireland As Global Temperatures Rise
2012-07-26 07:04:21

Scientists have discovered a thriving population of Mediterranean earthworms in an urban farm in Dublin, Ireland. The findings by University College Dublin scientists published in the journal Biology Letters on 25 July 2012 suggest that rising soil temperatures due to climate change may be extending the geographical habitat range of the earthworm Prosellodrilus amplisetosus. "Soil decomposer species including earthworms are frequently introduced into non-native soils by human activities...

2012-07-18 14:46:34

Researchers at UCL and Harvard have found that we punish cheats only when they end up better off than us, in a study that challenges the notion that punishment is motivated by revenge. Published today in the journal Biology Letters, the research shows that victims of cheating compare their own payoffs with those of partners when making punishment decisions. "Punishment is a costly behaviour which is often aimed at individuals that cheat during social interactions," said Dr Nichola...

2012-07-05 00:40:55

University of Adelaide researchers have discovered that recent climate change is causing leaves of some Australian plants to narrow in size. The study, which is the first of its kind in the world, highlights that plant species are already responding to changes in climate. The results are published online today in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters. Researchers analysed leaves from herbarium specimens of Narrow-leaf Hopbush (Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustissima) dating from the...

Prey Distribution, Not Biomass, Key To Marine Food Chain
2012-05-03 03:30:03

A new study has found that each step of the marine food chain is clearly controlled by the trophic level below it — and the driving factor influencing that relationship is not the abundance of prey, but how that prey is distributed. The importance of the spatial pattern of resources — sometimes called “patchiness” — is gaining new appreciation from ecologists, who are finding the overall abundance of food less important than its density and ease of access to...

Younger Birds Get No Respect
2012-02-09 04:01:34

When mature male white-crowned sparrows duel to win a mate or a nesting territory, a young bird just doesn't get much respect. Researchers found that older male white-crowned sparrows don't put much of a fight when they hear a young male singing in their territory — probably because the older bird doesn't consider the young rival much of a threat. But a male sparrow will act much more aggressively if it hears a bird of the same age singing in a territory it claims as its own....

Male Spiders Eavesdrop To One-Up Their Rivals
2012-01-04 11:18:01

[ Watch the Video ] Just published this month, new research shows how spiders eavesdrop on other males and copy their courtship signals as a likely means of stealing their mate. Researchers have made a new discovery into the complex world of spiders that reflects what some might perceive as similar behavior in human society. As male wolf spiders go searching for a mate, it appears they eavesdrop, match and even try to outdo the mating dances of their successful rivals, a behavior seen...

Starving Orangutans Could Help Understanding Of Obesity And Eating Disorders
2011-12-14 05:39:58

Rutgers University evolutionary anthropologist leads 5-year study Rutgers Evolutionary Anthropologist Erin Vogel thinks new research published Dec. 12 in Biology Letters, a Journal of the Royal Society, examining how endangered Indonesian orangutans — considered a close relative to humans -- survive during times of extreme food scarcity might help scientists better understand eating disorders and obesity in humans. "There is such a large obesity epidemic today and yet we don't...

New Model Accurately Describes Migratory Animals’ Extinction Risk
2011-11-17 04:14:41

Predicting the risk of extinction is a complicated task, especially for species that migrate between breeding and wintering sites. Researchers at the University of Georgia and Tulane University have developed a mathematical model that may make such predictions more accurate. Their work appears in the early online edition of the Royal Society journal Biology Letters. "The concern is that for a lot of species, we don't know very much about their wintering grounds," said Richard Hall,...

Springy Tendons Key To Frogs' Amazing Leaps
2011-11-17 04:08:54

The secret to frogs´ superlative jumping lies in their tendons. Researchers at Brown University, filming frogs jumping at 500 frames per second with special X-ray technology, show that the frog's tendon stretches as it readies its leap and then recoils, much like a spring, when the frog jumps. The finding could explain how other animals are exceptional leapers. Results appear in Biology Letters. Some species of frogs and many other animals are able to jump far beyond what appear to be...


Latest Biology Letters Reference Libraries

Biology Letters
2012-05-08 15:31:23

Biology Letters is a peer-reviewed scientific journal split off from the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences in 2005 after having been published as a supplement. It was originally published quarterly, but switched to bimonthly in 2007. As of May 2012, the editor-in-chief is Brian Charlesworth. Biology Letters publishes short articles from all across biology. All content is assigned to one of the following categories: Animal behavior, Biomechanics, Community ecology,...

Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society
2012-05-01 10:12:50

The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society is a scientific journal published by the Royal Society of London. Established in 1665, it is the first journal in the world exclusively devoted to science. It has remained in continuous publication since its inception, making it the world’s longest-running scientific journal. The use of the word “philosophical” in the title derives from the phrase “natural philosophy,” which was the equivalent of what is now generically called...

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