What is the advantage of being right/left-handed? How does that change if you’re a predator attacking with a group? And how can a fish have handedness in the first place? Relax. All will be answered.
Today’s paper is:
Kurvers, R. H. J. M., S. Krause, P. E. Viblanc, J. E. Herbert-Read, P. Zaslansky, P. Domenici, S. Marras, J. F. Steffensen, M. B. S. Svendsen, A. D. M. Wilson, P. Couillaud, K. M. Boswell, and J. Krause 2016. The Evolution of Lateralization in Group Hunting SailfishCurrent Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.12.044
Feathers are made darker by melanin, which is known to bind heavy metals. In this study, researchers test the idea that darker birds might be protected from things like lead by the ability to store that crap in their feathers.
Whiskers are specialized hairs that are especially sensitive to touch. Your cat uses them to know when it’s walking along a wall in the dark. So why would a swimming seal need them? Oh, wouldn’t you like to know! Have a listen. I guarantee the seals will impress you.
This bat has adhesive organs on its wrists and ankles that it uses to hold on to the smooth surfaces of leaves. It can even hang upside down from a horizontal pane of glass! But that’s not what makes it Madagascar’s most mysterious microbat. Have a listen.
If you ask a large group of people a question, to which only some of them know the right answer, how can you use their responses to find the truth? A new paper in Nature describes a method that the authors show works really well.