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Latest Phyla Stories

Saving Endangered Birds By Giving Them Treated Cotton For Nests
2014-05-06 03:06:47

University of Utah When University of Utah biologists set out cotton balls treated with a mild pesticide, wild finches in the Galapagos Islands used the cotton to help build their nests, killing parasitic fly maggots to protect baby birds. The researchers say the self-fumigation method may help endangered birds and even some mammals. "We are trying to help birds help themselves," says biology professor Dale Clayton, senior author of a study outlining the new technique. The findings were...

Leaf Chewing Links Insect Diversity In Tropical Forests
2014-05-05 03:53:42

By A'ndrea Elyse Messer, Penn State Observations of insects and their feeding marks on leaves in modern forests confirm indications from fossil leaf deposits that the diversity of chewing damage relates directly to diversity of the insect population that created it, according to an international team of researchers. "The direct link between richness of leaf-chewing insects and their feeding damage across host plants in two tropical forests validates the underlying assumptions of many...

2014-05-01 16:23:14

Use these five steps if you suspect a termite attack INDIANAPOLIS, May 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Your first reaction to seeing flying termites in your home could be panic. If you've had a previous termite infestation, you probably just feel angry. Either way, hungry termites mean business and your home is on the menu. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20140430/82668 "After the cold winter we've had, you may be surprised to know that termites are swarming right now," says Ty Ferraro, Dow...

Bigger Not Always Better Says New Research On Beetles
2014-04-30 13:34:02

University of Exeter Researchers at the University of Exeter have found that the probability of a burying beetle winning fights, for the small animal carcasses it needs, depends on a combination of early life experiences and the competition it faces as an adult. These beetles use small dead animals, such as mice and songbirds, to provide food for their young and competition for a carcass can be fierce. Previous work has found that success in such contests depends on how good your...

2014-04-30 10:33:54

Sponges are usually considered to be the oldest living animals, having evolved before all other groups. The simplicity of their body structure and tissue organization has for many years made them candidates for the ancestral group of animals, and they have long been regarded as our best illustration of what the earliest animals would have looked like. This has been supported by genetic analyses, which suggest that sponges branched from other animals a very long time ago, deep in the...

Some Wasps Developed Bigger Eyes To See Social Cues Better
2014-04-30 03:57:42

Robert Sanders, University of California - Berkeley Social communication drove evolution of larger facets in acute zone of compound eye Some wasps have developed bigger eyes, and thus better vision, to read the social cues written on the faces of their sister wasps, according to a new University of California, Berkeley, study. "The Big Bad Wolf had it right," said lead author Michael Sheehan, a UC Berkeley postdoctoral fellow. "When Little Red Riding Hood said, 'Goodness, what big...

2014-04-30 08:32:18

Survey Shows Dog Owners Overwhelmingly Want to Protect Their Pets From Nasty, Dangerous Bites of Pesky Ticks, Fleas and Mosquitoes LENEXA, Kan., April 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- No one wants to get bitten by ticks, fleas and mosquitoes. Pet owners also want the same protection for their beloved dogs, according to a recent survey of more than 2,700 dog owners. And, fortunately, dog owners can find prevention and protection from bug bites for their furry friends....

2014-04-29 23:21:29

Online Pet Supply retailer Vet Supply Source has reduced its prices on pet medicines and supplies on every product they sell. Wixom, MI (PRWEB) April 29, 2014 Online Pet Supply retailer Vet Supply Source has reduced its prices on pet medicines and supplies on every product they sell. The company is a leading vendor of popular pet products such as Heartgard and Frontline flea and tick products, diabetic supplies, vitamins, and other medications for cats, dogs, horses and other animals. Vet...

2014-04-29 16:23:04

WASHINGTON, April 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The first-ever Congressional subcommittee hearing on pollinator health, held today, failed to include a robust science-based discussion about the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides on bees. Pesticide manufacturer Bayer (DE:BAYN) testified at the hearing for the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture. But the panel included no independent scientists on the leading edge of...

Scientists Test Praying Mantis Vision Using Tiny 3D Glasses
2014-04-28 13:21:53

[ Watch the Video: Computation of 3D Vision In Praying Mantises ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Our ability to see in three dimensions is based on disparities in our eyes between the locations of an object’s image. Researchers at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom are working to understand if this same mechanism is taking place inside praying mantises – the only invertebrate known to see in 3D. “Despite their minute brains, mantises are...


Latest Phyla Reference Libraries

Baboon Spider, Pterinochilus murinus
2014-08-29 11:57:31

The Baboon Spider (Pterinochilus murinus), an old-world tarantula, was initially described in 1897 by Reginald Innes Pocock. This species is found on the African continent, in Angola, as well as central, eastern, and southern Africa. Among those who keep tarantulas as pets, Pterinochilus murinus is known as “OBT”, which means Orange Baboon Tarantula or Orange Bitey Thing, and also as the Pterror, a pun on its Latin genus classification: Pterinochilus. These nicknames are in reference...

Skeleton Tarantula, Ephebopus murinus
2014-08-29 11:32:08

The Skeleton Tarantula (Ephebopus murinus) is a species of spider belonging to the Theraphosidae family, a sub-family of Aviculariinae. This New World species is native to several South American countries. Its common name comes from the skeleton-like markings on its legs. The generic name, Ephebopus comes from the Greek meaning “youthful” plus “foot”, and the specific name, murinus is from the Latin meaning “mouse-colored”. The adult E. murinus normally grows to a leg span of...

Leaf Insects, Phylliidae
2014-08-05 10:01:39

Phylliidae is a family of insects most commonly known as leaf insects or walking leaves, which can be found in Southeast Asia and South Asia to Australia. Although it is classified as a family, there is no general agreement on its classification, as many suggest that the family is actually a large taxon that should contain separate families of leaf insects. It is thought that this family has changed little over long periods of time, due to fossil evidence found of a forty-seven million year...

Cobweb Spider, Theridiidae
2014-06-23 08:44:11

Theridiidae is a family that contains over 2,200 species of cobweb spiders, also known as tangle-web spiders or comb-footed spiders, which can be found throughout the world. This species received its common names from its tendency to build three dimensional, sticky webs and from the comb of serrated bristles on the fourth leg. It is thought that this family is the only to hold a high diversity of web types, including gumfooted webs, which are highly similar to those produced by spiders in the...

Funnel Weavers, Agelenidae
2014-06-19 13:16:37

Agelenidae is a family that holds about 1,200 recognized species of funnel weaver spiders that occur throughout the world. These spiders build funnel shaped webs that trap prey in their complicated patterns, but they should not be confused with other families of spiders that build funnel webs like funnel-web spiders or funnel-web tarantulas. Funnel weavers can reach an average body length between .1 inches in the smallest species and .7 inches, although the largest species can reach total...

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Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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