RT @matthewjlutz@twitter.com

After a long wait, I'm excited to share new research on ants, infrastructure, and resilience 🐜 Our @PNASNews@twitter.com paper shows army ants self-assemble into “scaffolds” that keep others from falling – an adaptive collective response emerging from individual sensing and decisions (1/7)

🐦🔗: twitter.com/matthewjlutz/statu

“Many scientists overlook this crucial detail when reading PNAS.” In "Misinformation in and about science" Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom compare mechanisms that help spread misinformation in the media to those in the literature.

A common misconception is that #Python is slow and cannot be fixed.

In this new #Nature #Astronomy article we reassert Python can be performant via awareness of and use of efficient compilers. Read more here:


Make the message clear! Biology suffers from proliferation and overuse of not universally understood concepts.
📄 Martínez & Mammola (2021) Specialized terminology reduces the number of citations of scientific papers. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 288:20202581 dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.2

Parasites are going extinct. Here's why we need to save them

Nearly half of all known animals on Earth are parasites, Wood says, and according to one study, a tenth of them may already be doomed to extinction in the next 50 years due to climate change, loss of their hosts, and deliberate attempts at eradication.


#ClimateCrisis #Biodiversity #Extinction

Marine species are shifting their distribution out of the , towards cooler latitudes.
📄 Chaudhary et al (2021) Global warming is causing a more pronounced dip in marine species richness around the equator. PNAS 118 dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.201509

Dream in Octopus? exhibits active states with colour changes and rapid eye-movements which may indicate . Don't miss the nice videos of sleeping octopuses.
📄 Medeiros et al (2021) Cyclic alternation of quiet and active sleep states in the octopus. iScience dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2021

Science is not always theory driven. Purely descriptive studies can be fascinating too. Here is a collection of videos illustrating extremely rare behaviours in the including egg laying by the queen and brood care by workers. I have spent years working on bees, and I've never seen such a thorough work.
📄 Siefert et al (2021) Honey bee behaviours within the hive: Insights from long-term video analysis. PLoS ONE 16:e0247323 dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pon

The regulation of division of labour in social insects is poorly understood. One can still find, in many textbooks, old models about "age polyethism". Here is a nice experimental work in which the behaviour of workers were continuously tracked for 5 months. The transition between nurse to forager tasks is largely age independent.
📄 Richardson et al. (2021) Current Biology 0 dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.

When an species is so abundant that it alters geochemical processes. With more than 10.000 individuals per m² and more than 90% of the benthic biomass, dreissenid mussels sequester massive amounts of P, acting as a sink for phosphorus.
📄 Li et al. (2021) Benthic invaders control the phosphorus cycle in the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem. PNAS 118 dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.200822

📄 Hughes et al (2021) Teaching animal behavior online: A primer for the pandemic and beyond. Ethology 127:14–31 dx.doi.org/https://doi.org/10.

When scientists do their share: somewhat surreal picture from a 1929 experimental investigation of underwater and hearing by Karl von Frisch (better known for the prize for his work on honeybee waggle dance) and colleagues.
📄 Stetter (1929) Untersuchungen über den Gehörsinn der Fische, besonders von Phoxinds laevis L. und Amiurus nebulosus Raf. Zeitschrift für vergleichende Physiologie 9:339–477 dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00340160

Extreme self-decapitation in sea-slug: the head part is able to regenerate full body including functional heart and kidney in 20 days. It is a possible adaptive response to endoparasite infesting the body part.
📄 Mitoh & Yusa (2021) Extreme autotomy and whole-body regeneration in photosynthetic sea slugs. Current Biology 31:R233–R234 dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2021.

in the most endangered sea species: purge of deleterious in population size of fewer than 20.
📄 Gross (2021) Cetaceans balancing on the brink. Current Biology 31:R215–R218 dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2021.

Convergent : has independently evolved twice in bats.
📄 Nojiri et al (2021) Embryonic evidence uncovers convergent origins of laryngeal echolocation in bats. Current Biology dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.

Nice case of acoustic : male exploits female antipredator response to mobbing alarm calls to manipulate her and prevent her from prematurely ending sexual interactions.
📄 Dalziell et al (2021) Male lyrebirds create a complex acoustic illusion of a mobbing flock during courtship and copulation. Current Biology dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2021.

Vivid colors have evolved in many animal species as signal of quality to attract female partners. In sailfin tetra, conspicuous males are also under high risk of predation. In response, they rely on cautious strategies and better spatial cognition skills.
📄 Pinto et al (2021) Attractive males are cautious and better learners in the sailfin tetra. Animal Behaviour 172:103–111 dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2

Red squirrels may have found the fountain of youth: keeping the same neighbors over time.
📄 Chaine (2021) Social evolution: big benefits of BFFs. Current Biology 31:R72–R74 dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.

Contrary to popular belief, the has very limited influence on biology. Here is a nice counterexample. The growth rate of a reef species is affected by lunar cycles, possibly due to alteration of diel vertical migrations of its preys.
📄 Shima et al (2021) Lunar rhythms in growth of larval fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 288:20202609 dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.2

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