During mating rituals, animals usually communicate through touch, sight, smell, or hearing. Some species communicate in unconventional ways, relying on vibrational and electric signals rather than the more common sensory approaches. These unique signals are often invisible to other animals that do not possess the organs needed to perceive them. Continue reading
All spiders are predators, but most of them are small and have rudimentary defences against larger animals that in turn prey on them. Spiders have thus evolved a range of predatory behaviours that, at the same time, allow them to evade the threat of predation – and some of the most effective strategies involve deceiving ants.
The 2014 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine was awarded to three neuroscientists for their pioneering work on the brain’s “inner GPS system”. Over the course of four decades, they revealed that a small part in the brain called the hippocampus stores a map of animals’ surroundings and helps them navigate.
“When I was young, my dad and his best friend went fishing in a very remote part of the NZ bush. They got lost and somehow crashed into a tree. The story was often recollected and retold at gatherings of family and friends. I always thought I remembered the crash so clearly as I was in the car at the time, belted in the back seat.. It was a scary but exhilarating experience for a child. However, I was told as a young adult that [I was] never there.” Continue reading
Metamorphosis has fascinated biologists for years. A butterfly may look drastically different from its former worm-like caterpillar self, but we now know that its appearance and memories are tremendously influenced by caterpillar experiences.
Life as a worker ant is hard enough as it is. But carpenter ants foraging for food in the rainforest must deal with an additional threat: a parasitic fungus that takes over their body and controls their every move. Continue reading
According to the ever-changing dietary guidelines of the campaign against obesity, fat is back in, but sugar is now out. Does the science behind this shift have any merit?
Brain computer interfaces have sparked tremendous interest in the field of neuroscience: we are at a stage where monkeys can control robots and people can answer emails simply with their thoughts. But revolutionary systems like these are criticised for their seeming lack of ethical consideration. Are these criticisms entirely justified?
It’s clear that more studies are needed to determine how modern technologies are affecting our brains. But what sort of research questions should we be asking?
The next revolutionary gaming app? Maybe someday. But to the emerald wasp, this grisly battle is a routine part of its everyday life.