Dolphins at sunset along the Indian River Lagoon (Photo courtesy of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Florida Atlantic University) Animals Biology Oceanography 

Dolphins and Their Social Networks

By Kate S. They don’t have Twitter accounts, but dolphins are able to form highly complex and dynamic networks of friends, according to a recent study by scientists at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) at Florida Atlantic University. Indian River Lagoon Dolphins Dolphins are known for being highly social animals, so the research team took a closer look at the interactions between bottlenose dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon and discovered how they mingle and with whom they spend their time. The Indian River Lagoon is a narrow 156-mile long…

Read More
Male panther chameleon (Furcifer pardalis) photographed in Madagascar (© Michel Milinkovitch) Animals Biology 

Chameleons’ Color Change Secret Revealed

Chameleons are known for the remarkable ability to perform complex and rapid color changes during social interactions. Now, a team of scientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, has unveiled exactly how chameleons change their colors. According to the research team’s findings, chameleons can adjust a system of nanocrystals in their skin cells, called iridophores. Better yet, chameleons have two layers of these iridophores, and the second layer reflects infrared light. These two layers can be controlled independently of each other, enabling chameleons to put on their colorful displays.…

Read More
Chamois Goat Juvenile (Tom Mason) Animals Biology 

Goats in the Italian Alps Are Shrinking

Alpine goats appear to be shrinking in size, according to new research from Durham University. The researchers studied the body size of Alpine Chamois, a species of mountain goat, over the past 30 years. To their surprise, they discovered that young Chamois now weigh about 25 percent less than animals of the same age in the 1980s. That’s a big change in a short period of time. (Similarly, moose in Michigan have been physical shrunk by 16 percent over 40 years.) When the team investigated long-term records of Chamois body weights…

Read More