Credit: Alexey Protasov / Adobe Stock
  • Charles Darwin speculated that wingless insects thrived on windy islands because they weren't blown off the land.
  • While the reasoning was slightly faulty, researchers have now proved Darwin's 165-year-old "wind hypothesis."
  • This finding is yet another example of how environments shape the animals that inhabit them.
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Mosquitoes' taste for blood is finally explained

Mosquitoes can taste your blood using unique sensory abilities. Can we use that to keep them off us?

Credit: MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP/ Getty Images
  • A recent study demonstrates that mosquito brains react to the taste of human blood in strange ways.
  • Some neurons only activated when presented with all four flavor elements. This is thought to be a unique adaptation.
  • The findings may lead to novel ways to prevent mosquito bites.
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Spiders lace webs in toxins to paralyze prey

Just what every arachnophobe needed to hear.

Luciano Marra from São Paulo, Brasil - Aranha de Teia (Nephila clavipes), CC BY-SA 2.0
  • A new study suggests some spiders might lace their webs with neurotoxins similar to the ones in their venom.
  • The toxins were shown to be effective at paralyzing insects injected with them.
  • Previous studies showed that other spiders lace their webs with chemicals that repel large insects.
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Weird science shows unseemly way beetles escape after being eaten

Certain water beetles can escape from frogs after being consumed.

  • A Japanese scientist shows that some beetles can wiggle out of frog's butts after being eaten whole.
  • The research suggests the beetle can get out in as little as 7 minutes.
  • Most of the beetles swallowed in the experiment survived with no complications after being excreted.
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Rutgers-led research finds bee decline threatens crop yields

Declining bee populations could lead to increased food insecurity and economic losses in the billions.

(Photo: Sarah Dickinson)
  • Species richness among wild bees and other pollinators has been declining for 50 years.
  • A new study found crops like apples, cherries, and blueberries to be pollination limited, meaning less pollination reduces crop yields.
  • Conservation efforts will need to be made to stave off future losses and potential food insecurity.
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