NewsBits 04- Parasite conservation and humming-not-bird migration


E.O. Wilson has a new book out, and it’s really good. You should read it. As a matter of fact, you should read all of his books. In this particular one, he says that we should set aside half of the planet to conserve biodiversity. You can read a review here.

So, maybe wolves in Yellowstone haven’t yet shown to influence, or scare, the elk population the way they were supposed to. However, maybe there is still such a thing as a landscape of fear. Ed Yong delves into this issue in a recent article, which describes a study done with raccoons.

Have you ever wondered what giant ground sloth burrows look like? If you have, then you’re in luck. The folks from Twilight Beasts wrote about them here. No one is quite sure what these tunnels were used for. Maybe for hiding. Maybe for mating.

Do you see anything strange about this “hummingbird”?









The blind cavefish Cryptotora thamicola has been shown to climb waterfalls with a pelvic girdle similar to a salamander. You can see an interactive model of the pelvis here.

Here are some stunning camera trap images.

Tiny hominids, Homo floresiensis, vanished around 50,000 years ago. This is 40,000 years earlier than previously thought. Could it also mean that they disappeared because Homo sapiens appeared in the region during this same time? see the story here.

Carl Zimmer sits down with Job Dekker to discuss the shape of DNA. There are some really cool animations and applications in this video.

Birds have feathers, but there used to be other animals with feathers. Read about the evolutionary legacy of dinosaurs in today’s birds.

In his latest column, Carl Zimmer wonders if we shouldn’t let parasites and endangered animals continue to live together. He gives an interesting evolutionary perspective to conservation.



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