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Latest Herbivore Stories

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2010-03-10 07:31:48

Mechanism for associational resistance confirms Nordic and Canadian folklore Scandinavian scientists have discovered that a species of tree defends itself from herbivore attack by using chemicals emitted by neighboring plants. The study, published March 9 in New Phytologist, reveals how a species of birch tree adsorbs chemical compounds from neighboring marsh tea plants, Rhondodendron tomentosum, in a unique 'defense by neighbor strategy.' The team from Finland, led by Prof. Jarmo Holopainen...

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2010-02-24 15:52:07

Scientists at UH publish breakthrough research on 163-year-old puzzle Thanks to a pair of University of Houston researchers who found a possible new solution to a 163-year-old puzzle, ecological factors can now be added to physiology to explain why animals grow bigger in the cold. Their results were published in the February issue of the American Naturalist, offering new insight to Bergmann's rule that animals grow larger at high, cold latitudes than their counterparts closer to the equator....

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2010-02-11 07:05:00

On Wednesday, Kenyan gamers started to round up thousands of zebras to move to a reserve where lions are attacking livestock due to a lack of prey. The nationwide operation is due to last until the end of the month in what will go down as one of Africa's biggest animal translocations so far.  The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) launched the operation in Soysambu conservancy. Rangers in helicopters started rounding up galloping zebras into a large V-shaped tarpaulin enclosure after...

2010-01-28 12:17:42

New solution to 163-year old puzzle? New research suggests that animals living at high latitudes grow better than their counterparts closer to the equator because higher-latitude vegetation is more nutritious. The study, published in the February issue of The American Naturalist, presents a novel explanation for Bergmann's Rule, the observation that animals tend to be bigger at higher latitudes. Ever since Christian Bergmann made his observation about latitude and size in 1847, scientists...

2009-12-01 14:19:18

Broadly speaking, ants have two different feeding strategies. A large proportion of all species are "carnivorous," meaning that they are generalist predators feeding on other small animals or scavenging on their remains. Some, however, are "herbivorous". This is not to say that they only eat plants; rather, the bulk of their diets consist of plant-derived matter. For example, some forage on sticky fluids produced by plants to attract ants, called extra-floral nectar; others feed on the...

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2009-11-20 08:31:39

Roughly 15,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, North America's vast assemblage of large animals "” including such iconic creatures as mammoths, mastodons, camels, horses, ground sloths and giant beavers "” began their precipitous slide to extinction. And when their populations crashed, emptying a land whose diversity of large animals equaled or surpassed Africa's wildlife-rich Serengeti plains then or now, an entirely novel ecosystem emerged as broadleaved trees once...

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2009-11-02 07:12:31

Moose eat plants; wolves kill moose. What difference does this classic predator-prey interaction make to biodiversity? A large and unexpected one, say wildlife biologists from Michigan Technological University. Joseph Bump, Rolf Peterson and John Vucetich report in the November 2009 issue of the journal Ecology that the carcasses of moose killed by wolves at Isle Royale National Park enrich the soil in "hot spots" of forest fertility around the kills, causing rapid microbial and fungal growth...

2009-08-04 09:51:37

Chemicals camouflage bugs, pitcher plant colors don't help attract prey, specialist caterpillars survive better than generalistsAnimals and plants communicate with one another in a variety of ways: behavior, body patterns, and even chemistry. In a series of talks at the Ecological Society of America's annual meeting, to be held August 3-7 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, ecologists explore the myriad adaptations for exchanging information among living things.Bugs pretending to be ants are...

2009-07-22 09:38:23

Many animal species such as snakes, insects and fish have evolved camouflage defenses to deter attack from their predators. However research published in New Phytologist has discovered that trees in New Zealand have evolved a similar defense to protect themselves from extinct giant birds, providing the first evidence of this strategy in plant life."Plants are attacked by a bewildering array of herbivores and in response they have evolved a variety of defenses to deter predators such as thorns...

2009-07-15 14:27:37

U.S. biologists say they've determined some sexually produced plants better withstand insect attacks than do asexually produced plants. North Carolina State University and Duke University researchers said the finding is an important step toward learning more about how plants have evolved defenses against insect herbivores. In the study, the researchers performed laboratory and field experiments on evening primrose (Onagraceae), a plant family that has 259 different species -- 85 percent of...