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Latest Herbivore Stories

Leaf-mining Insects Completely Disappeared With The Dinosaurs
2014-07-28 03:16:19

By A'ndrea Eluse Messer, Penn State After the asteroid impact at the end of the Cretaceous period that triggered the dinosaurs' extinction and ushered in the Paleocene, leaf-mining insects in the western United States completely disappeared. Only a million years later, at Mexican Hat, in southeastern Montana, fossil leaves show diverse leaf-mining traces from new insects that were not present during the Cretaceous, according to paleontologists. "Our results indicate both that...

packrat
2014-07-22 03:30:57

University of Utah Woodrats lost their ability to eat toxic creosote bushes after antibiotics killed their gut microbes. Woodrats that never ate the plants were able to do so after receiving fecal transplants with microbes from creosote-eaters, University of Utah biologists found. The new study confirms what biologists long have suspected: bacteria in the gut – and not just liver enzymes – are “crucial in allowing herbivores to feed on toxic plants,” says biologist Kevin Kohl, a...

Crabs Found Guilty In Salt Marsh Die-Off
2014-04-29 04:55:39

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Some coastal salt marshes along the East Coast of the United States have been dying off over the past two decades and two new research papers point to overgrazing on marsh grasses by the Sesarma crab as a primary driver of the decline. In the first paper, published in the open access journal PLOS ONE, researchers from Brown University tested several hypotheses that might explain marsh die-off around Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay....

Eocasea martini
2014-04-17 08:58:57

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The fossil of a newly-discovered species called Eocasea martini is being described as a sort of missing link in the transition from carnivorous to herbivorous behavior in land animals. According to a report in the open access journal PLOS ONE, the fossil could eventually serve as evidence that caseids, the largest land animals around 300 million years ago, slowly evolved from being carnivores to subsisting on a diet solely of plants....

Attracting Or Repelling Insects Using Different Scents
2014-04-01 15:48:26

University of Zurich Flowering plants attract pollinating insects with scent from their flowers and bright colors. If they have become infested with herbivores like caterpillars, they attract beneficial insects like parasitic wasps with the help of scent signals from their leaves. The wasps then lay their eggs in the caterpillars and kill the parasites. Floral and foliar scents can, however, mutually reduce their attractiveness. That's why flowering plants face a dilemma: should they use...

Microcosm Of Biodiversity In New Plant Species
2014-02-10 10:21:53

Pensoft Publishers Biologists working in the Andes mountains of Ecuador have described a new plant species, a wild relative of black pepper, that is in itself a mini biodiversity hotspot. The new species, Piper kelleyi, is the sole home of an estimated 40-50 insect species, most of which are entirely dependent on this plant species for survival. This discovery is part of a larger project which focuses on the influence of plant-produced chemical compounds on biodiversity. The study was...

Extracting Plant DNA From Grasshopper Guts Improves Understanding Of Plant-insect Interactions
2014-02-06 14:12:58

[ Watch the Video: Demonstration of Grasshopper Dissection ] American Journal of Botany Grasshoppers may be small, but the damages they are causing to the US agriculture industry are anything but. Every year, they feed on crops and on rangelands needed for raising livestock, costing landowners millions of dollars. Although they pose a major threat, grasshopper populations play a positive role in cycling nutrients from decomposing plant matter back into the soil. A new method to...

Acacia Plants Protected Against Pathogens By Ants
2014-01-16 10:19:05

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology Researchers discover an additional level of this insect-plant symbiosis The biological term “symbiosis” refers to what economists and politicians usually call a win-win situation: a relationship between two partners which is beneficial to both. The mutualistic association between acacia plants and the ants that live on them is an excellent example: The plants provide food and accommodation in the form of food bodies and nectar as well as...

Smaller Islands Have Shorter Food Chains
2013-11-22 09:07:08

University of Helsinki That smaller islands will typically sustain fewer species than large ones is a widespread pattern in nature. Now a team of researchers shows that smaller area will mean not only fewer species, but also shorter food chains. This implies that plant and animal communities on small islands may work differently from those on large ones. Top predators the first to go Working across a set of 20 islands off the Finnish coast, a group of Finnish scientists found that a...

2013-11-19 23:33:35

The novel Natural Sciences Bibliographic Web Portal aims to provide comprehensive bibliographic information on the basic and applied life, earth and health sciences and has now published over 1 million references and 420 thousand tags. Scien.net has also included the new category Frugivorous, which contains scientific information on frugivores, which are animals that eat fruits, and on habitat which is the natural environment of a specific organism to get its food supplies and dietary...


Word of the Day
tessitura
  • The prevailing range of a vocal or instrumental part, within which most of the tones lie.
This word is Italian in origin and comes from the Latin 'textura,' web, structure.