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Department of Zoology

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Updated: 21 min 43 sec ago

Economic benefits of protecting 30% of the planet outweigh the costs at least 5-to-1

Fri, 10/07/2020 - 09:05

In the most comprehensive report to date on the economic implications of protecting nature, over 100 economists and scientists find that the global economy would benefit from the establishment of far more protected areas on land and at sea than exist today. The report considers various scenarios of protecting at least 30%...

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Stick like a limpet? It's all in the mucus

Sun, 21/06/2020 - 09:32

Limpets are renowned for their powerful attachments to rocks on wave-swept seashores: previous studies showed large limpets can withstand more than 80 kg of force. Unlike barnacles and mussels, limpets do not stick permanently to rocks; instead, they switch from strong attachment to free locomotion depending on the tide...

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Rapid and finely-tuned evolutionary change in wild burying beetles

Thu, 28/05/2020 - 16:18

A new paper published in Evolution Letters shows how quickly animals can adapt to new environments, and how well they can fine-tune their adaptations to match local conditions. Until about 4000 years ago, England was covered in ancient forest – ‘the Wild Wood’, as Oliver Rackham called it. In the Iron Age deforestation...

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Invasive species in the Galápagos

Thu, 21/05/2020 - 09:19

Two species introduced to the Galápagos, the cat (brought to the islands decades ago) and the smooth-billed ani (a more recent arrival) have been studied by PhD student Sophia Cooke . The results of both these studies have just been published: Cooke, S.C ., Anchundia, D., Caton, E. et al. Endemic species predation by the...

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Praying Mantids can adjust the timing of their strikes on prey

Wed, 13/05/2020 - 15:09

praying_mantid_strike.gif Most predators must be flexible to capture prey trying to evade them, but ambush predators are often thought to have a stereotyped behaviour. One such predator is the praying mantid who ambush their prey with raptorial strikes, often snatching them from mid-air. In a new paper published today in...

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The Persistence of Polymorphisms across Species Radiations

Tue, 12/05/2020 - 11:26

In a recent paper published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Dr Gabriel Jamie and Dr Joana Meier explore the phenomenon that the same polymorphisms often recur in many members of a species radiation (e.g. colour/pattern morphs, heterostyly, mating types, shell chirality). This phenomenon is puzzling because speciation...

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A review of northern Mozambique’s Afromontane birdlife

Mon, 20/04/2020 - 11:57

The birdlife of northern Mozambique is very poorly known. Much of the area was inaccessible during the country’s civil war, before which few expeditions studying the region’s avifauna had been undertaken. In recent years, however, northern Mozambique’s mountains, a series of isolated granitic inselbergs, have received...

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