Stop and Smell the Flowers: Color-changing spiders blend in to avoid being eaten

Can you think of any animals that can change colors? I bet a spider didn’t come to mind! Believe it or not, crab spiders can change colors from white to yellow depending on the color of the flower they occupy. When an insect arrives at a spider-inhabited flower, the crab spiders use their long legs to grab their meal. Matching the color of their flower may allow crab spiders to hide from their prey and predators. Stop, smell the flowers, and see if you can spot some crab spiders!

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Large Carnivores on the Rise

Many large carnivores have been increasing in number along with people, which could lead to more conflicts between the carnivores and people. Wolves in particular are starting to make a comeback after their population sizes were reduced due to hunting and loss of prey. It is important to bring wolves back because they play an important role in maintaining the balance of an ecosystem by controlling the population size of their prey. Their reintroduction and increasing population sizes have led to research to figure out how wolves and people can live peacefully together.

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Warming oceans may affect the reproductive success of many fish species

Up to 60 percent of all fish species may eventually be forced to find new mating areas due to traditional areas becoming too warm for them. By studying fish species from all over the world, experts released a new report suggesting that many fish have a low tolerance for heat during mating. Water temperature may have a larger than previously acknowledged effect on fish reproduction success. If global warming continues, fish populations may not be as strong or as plentiful as they once were unless they find new mating locations.

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Good Vibrations: Katydids communicate when the wind is calm

Bzzzt! Our phones vibrate to let us know that someone has sent us a message and would like to communicate. Hundreds of thousands of species of animals, including katydids, use vibrations to communicate too. Male katydids vibrate their abdomens against plant branches to send information to other katydids, but these communications can be interrupted when wind vibrates plant branches at the same time. To avoid this disruption, katydids wait until the wind calms down to broadcast their signals. “Can you hear me now?”

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Why is it important to do research at seal rehabilitation centers?

For many animal lovers, working as a seal rehabilitator seems like a dream job. You spend all day taking care of baby seals and release them when they’re strong enough to live on their own. But have these types of rehabilitation centers done enough research on what makes a seal ready for release? Could the time spent in rehabilitation cause the seals future problems or make it harder for them to survive in the wild? If so, should we stop seal rehabilitation all together?

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Learning through Observing: Social learning occurs across vertebrate species

Social learning is widely thought to be something done only by species with social lives. However, recent research is showing that even more solitary species participate in social learning. A team of researchers from Australia tested the ability of a solitary shark species to learn through observing and mimicking members of their own species. They found that these particular sharks are capable of learning in this way, which contributes to our understanding of these animals’ lives and what we can do to conserve them.

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Benign Animal Bacteria Can Be a Potent Human Pathogen

Humans and animals have long shared the space, food, and resources in their shared ecosystems. They have also shared diseases. Recent research conducted through the One Health prism suggests that diseases previously not known to be zoonotic are finding animal hosts.

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