The evolution of gill covers in fish (and humans)

New research has uncovered the genetic origin of gill covers in fish, which occurred over 430 million years ago. It sheds light on one of the most important evolutionary developments for fish, as well as over vertebrates such as humans. If you ask a palaeontologist what the most important change in vertebrate evolution was, they … More The evolution of gill covers in fish (and humans)

Are bacteria responsible for the magnetic ‘sixth sense’ of marine animals?

A new paper has suggested that a symbiotic relationship with magnetotactic bacteria, capable of sensing the Earth’s magnetic field, may be behind the incredible navigational skills of marine animals including penguins, turtles and whales. So is this what is going on? Or is it too soon to tell? Since the invention and advancement of satellite … More Are bacteria responsible for the magnetic ‘sixth sense’ of marine animals?

Number of anemone arms depends on how much food they eat

A new study into the starlet sea anemone (Nematostella vectensis) has revealed the number of tentacle arms they can grow throughout their life is determined by how much food they eat, which opens up interesting questions about the genetics of developmental biology.   In almost all animal species in the natural kingdom, the number of … More Number of anemone arms depends on how much food they eat

Social lives of juvenile dolphins prepare them for adulthood

New research into the social lives of juvenile bottlenose dolphins has revealed choices involving friendships and activities can help prepare individuals for later life, especially with regards to their defined gender roles. Bottlenose dolphins are often regarded as one of the most intelligent and social animals behind humans, with fantastic problem solving abilities, large groups … More Social lives of juvenile dolphins prepare them for adulthood

The ultra-black fish that disappear in the deep

Researchers have recently discovered 16 species of ultra-black fish, who have evolved specialised pigmentation in their skin which absorbs over 99.9% of the light that hits them, making them practically invisible in the deep ocean. A new study by researchers from Duke University and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), has revealed 16 … More The ultra-black fish that disappear in the deep

Ancient ‘giant penguins’ discovered in the northern hemisphere

Recent discoveries across Japan, USA and Canada have uncovered the fossilized remains of massive ancient birds, very similar to the giant penguins that used to live in New Zealand. Research into these specimens has now also revealed why these massive seabirds began to swim instead of fly.  There are perhaps no group of animals that … More Ancient ‘giant penguins’ discovered in the northern hemisphere

Unholy matrimony: the nightmarish sex lives of anglerfish

Deep-sea anglerfish have one of the most bizarre and disturbing mating behaviours in the animal kingdom, known as sexual parasitism, where dwarf males bite into and then permanently fuse bodies with larger females. However as off-putting as this may sound, it is actually a remarkably effective strategy. Sexual reproduction is one of the most important … More Unholy matrimony: the nightmarish sex lives of anglerfish

Scientists finish first completely remote ocean expedition during lockdown

A team of researchers, in association with the Schmidt Ocean Institute, have completed an in depth 46-day scientific exploration of the Coral Sea Marine Park in Eastern Australia, all from the comfort of their own homes during the coronavirus lockdown. Over the past few months most of the world has stayed at home as we … More Scientists finish first completely remote ocean expedition during lockdown