Earth

Known for exceptional mimicry, stick insects have evolved a range of egg-laying techniques to maximize egg survival while maintaining their disguise - including dropping eggs to the ground, skewering them on leaves, and even enlisting ants for egg dispersal. Scientists have now combined knowledge on these varied techniques with DNA analysis to create the best map of stick-insect evolution to date. Contrary to previous evolutionary theories based on anatomical similarities, the new analysis finds the first stick insects flicked or dropped their eggs while hiding in the foliage.

For decades, ecologists have differed over a longstanding mystery: Will a longer, climate-induced growing season ultimately help coniferous forests to grow or hurt them? A new University of Colorado Boulder study may help researchers find a more definitive answer.

Early Jurassic predatory dinosaurs are very rare, and mostly small in size. Saltriovenator zanellai, a new genus and species described in the peer-reviewed journal PeerJ - the Journal of Life and Environmental Sciences by Italian paleontologists, is the oldest known ceratosaurian, and the world's largest (one ton) predatory dinosaur from the Lower Jurassic (Sinemurian, ~198 Mya).

A University of Wyoming researcher and his team have discovered that separating male and female mice, over time, changes the way they smell.

The study investigates how the olfactory sensory receptors in mice change as a function of exposure to odors emitted from members of the opposite sex, says Stephen Santoro, an assistant professor in the Department of Zoology and Physiology.

Claims of a 'pause' in observed global temperature warming are comprehensively disproved in a pair of new studies published today.

An international team of climate researchers reviewed existing data and studies and reanalysed them. They concluded there has never been a statistically significant 'pause' in global warming. This conclusion holds whether considering the `pause' as a change in the rate of warming in observations or as a mismatch in rate between observations and expectations from climate models.

Thanks to photos and films featuring clouds of stunning orange and black monarch butterflies flying across North America, many people today are familiar with how monarchs migrate. The migration patterns of other insects, however, remain more mysterious, for both the public and scientists alike. A new paper in Biology Letters describes a dragonfly's full life cycle for the first time, in compelling detail.

The reality of ongoing climate warming might seem plainly obvious today, after the four warmest years on record and a summer of weather extremes in the whole northern hemisphere. A few years back however, some media and some experts were entangled in debates about an alleged pause in global warming - even though there never has been statistical evidence of any "hiatus", as new research now confirms.

Every year trillions of animals migrate for thousands of kilometres between their summer and winter areas. Among them are several species of bats whose journeys in the dark of the night unfold largely unnoticed by humans and have only partially been investigated by science. A reconstruction of individual migration patterns of the common noctule (Nyctalus noctula) in Central Europe has now revealed that travelling distances vary largely among individuals, yet overall females cover longer distances than males.

Wild animals are increasingly exploited for entertainment and photo opportunities. A new study highlights that tourists in Morocco object to the use of barbary macaques as photo props, raising concerns about the animal's welfare and risk to human health. The findings are presented today at the British Ecological Society annual conference in Birmingham.

To counteract the damage hurricanes have caused to their canopies, trees appear to adjust key characteristics of their newly grown leaves, according to a year-long field study presented at the British Ecological Society's annual conference today.

When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last year, the worst natural disaster on record to affect the U.S. territory, it stripped numerous trees bare of their leaves and consequently disrupted their ability to absorb the light needed for growth and survival.