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Latest Physiological and Biochemical Zoology Stories

2012-06-13 14:44:59

Normally, male California mice are surprisingly doting fathers, but new research published in the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology suggests that high anxiety can turn these good dads bad. Unlike most rodents, male and female California mice pair up for life with males providing extensive parental care, helping deliver the pups, lick them clean, and keep them warm during their first few weeks of life. Experienced fathers are so paternal that they'll even take care of pups that...

2012-04-30 19:48:45

New research in the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology shows why bigger isn't always better when it comes to sprinting speed. "Typically, bigger animals tend to run faster than smaller animals, because they have longer legs," said Christofer J. Clemente of Harvard University, who led the research. "But this only works up to a point. The fastest land animal is neither the biggest nor the smallest, but something in between. Think about the size of an elephant, a mouse and a...

Lizard Moms May Prepare Their Babies For A Stressful World
2012-04-19 12:12:51

Stressed out lizard moms tend to give their developing embryos short shrift, but the hardship may ultimately be a good thing for the babies once they're born, according to a study published in the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. Stress changes the way animals allocate energy. During predator attacks or food shortages, hormones are released that help the body to access stored energy. But for pregnant females there's a potential trade-off. Stress hormones could rob precious...

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2011-02-08 08:00:00

Hibernating, it turns out, is much more complicated than one might think. Research published in the latest issue of the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology illustrates a complex series of changes that occur in grizzly bears' hearts as they hibernate. The changes guard against complications that could arise from greatly reduced activity. A grizzly hibernates five to six months of the year. During that time, its heart rate slows drastically from around 84 beats per minute when active...

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2009-04-21 10:30:00

Keeping warm isn't the only reason lizards and other cold-blooded critters bask in the sun. According to a study published in the May/June issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, chameleons alter their sunbathing behavior based on their need for vitamin D. "It's a longstanding assumption that thermoregulation is the only reason that lizards bask," says Kristopher Karsten, a biologist at Texas Christian University who led the study. "Our results suggest that in addition to...

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2009-01-23 09:37:50

Spitting cobras have an exceptional ability to spray venom into eyes of potential attackers. A new study published in Physiological and Biochemical Zoology reveals how these snakes maximize their chances of hitting the target. The name "spitting cobra" is a bit of a misnomer. Cobras don't actually "spit" venom, says the study's lead author Bruce Young, director of the Anatomical Laboratory in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Muscle contractions...

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2008-12-31 11:20:00

Researchers announced on Tuesday that sharks have surprisingly weak bites for their mass and can decimate their prey simply because of their strong teeth. Their investigations of their jaws indicate that lions or tigers are much stronger when it comes to jaw force, but sharks win frequently in the water due to their extensive jaw size. "Pound for pound, sharks don't bite all that hard," said Daniel Huber of the University of Tampa in Florida, leader of the investigation. Huber and his...

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2008-11-07 14:40:00

Sea snakes may slither in saltwater, but they sip the sweet stuff. So concludes a University of Florida zoologist in a paper appearing this month in the online edition of the November/December issue of the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. Harvey Lillywhite says it has been the "long-standing dogma" that the roughly 60 species of venomous sea snakes worldwide satisfy their drinking needs by drinking seawater, with internal salt glands filtering and excreting the salt. Experiments...

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2008-10-16 10:43:02

One species faces possible extinction this century As concerns about the effects of global warming continue to mount, a new study published in the December issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology finds that an increase in average temperature of only two degrees Celsius could have a devastating effect on populations of Australia's iconic kangaroos. "Our study provides evidence that climate change has the capacity to cause large-scale range contractions, and the possible extinction of...

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2008-04-01 13:20:00

Portable and accurate body composition measurements mean a longer life for rodents used in field and laboratory researchThe gathering of data for research involving an animal usually involves invasive procedures or death for the experimental animals. But critical data may now be collected through a nonlethal procedure, according to a new paper for the forthcoming issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. In the paper "Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorbtiometry (DXA) Can Accurately and...