Demystifying Polar Gigantism: The Oxygen-Temperature Hypothesis

By Wang Jia Hua Gigantism is a natural phenomenon which has long fascinated biologists, but its underlying mechanisms remain contentious and elusive. Examples of gigantism include insular gigantism and abyssal gigantism, in which certain island dwelling or deep-sea dwelling species are considerably greater in size than their mainland or shallow-water counterparts, respectively. Indeed, gigantism isContinue reading “Demystifying Polar Gigantism: The Oxygen-Temperature Hypothesis”

Wait but most of our ancestors are left-handed?

By Haoyu Li For many years, scientists have always believed that right-handedness is more likely to be a phenomenon unique to humans (Balter, 2009). Humans’ preference for the right hand began millions of years ago: In a study published on Evolutionary Anthropology, Lozano et al (2017) analyzed the fossil of Homo habilis and found thatContinue reading “Wait but most of our ancestors are left-handed?”

Why do so many animals choose to live in social groups?

By Jemima Frame There are a huge number of animal species that choose to live in social groups, despite the negative consequences that this brings to the individuals, especially lower ranking ones. So why do so many animals choose to do this? While there are most definitely benefits that come with living in a group,Continue reading “Why do so many animals choose to live in social groups?”

How Shrimp deal with Microplastic – And the Threat it poses to Humanity

By Justin Bauer The use of durable plastic products has led to plastic items disintegrating into numerous small microplastics in the ocean. This poses a great threat to marine biota. Microplastic particles could damage digestive organs (Sonakowska, 2016) or accumulate and clog organs (Murray, 2011). Increased mortality rates due to microplastic ingestion have been observedContinue reading “How Shrimp deal with Microplastic – And the Threat it poses to Humanity”

Natal homing: the animals that always find their way back home

By Rachel Chan  Natal homing is a process whereby animals return to their birthplace to reproduce, despite dispersing long distances away in their adult lives (Lohmann, Putman & Catherine, 2008). The long journey can prove to be beneficial, as their natal region provides a suitable and safe breeding ground. This is common in marine animalsContinue reading “Natal homing: the animals that always find their way back home”

NO BUT WE SHOULD ACTUALLY “SAVE THE TURTLES”

By Ser, Jooyoung There are only 7 species of sea turtle on our planet and unfortunately, 6 of them are endangered on the IUCN Red list. Regrettably, the cause of the decrease in sea turtle population size cannot be separated from anthropogenic activity. About 400 years ago, there were 39 million sea turtles roaming ourContinue reading “NO BUT WE SHOULD ACTUALLY “SAVE THE TURTLES””

The dorsal-ventral axis and why some organisms are upside-down

By Heiloi Yip Developmental biologists have long since been investigating how bilaterian organisms are able to generate complex three-dimensional shapes from a small sphere of cells that some call the embryo. Clearly, a massive amount of coordination is required between each cell to generate such shapes. For example, the cells need to know where theyContinue reading “The dorsal-ventral axis and why some organisms are upside-down”

A fossilized fish reveals new insight into the evolution of bones

By Heiloi Yip There is no doubt that the evolution of rigid bones and endoskeleton were critical to the evolution of humans and other animals, tracing all the way back to the first time the tetrapods emerged onto land. It has been traditionally believed that calcified bones were a unique trait to the Osteichthyes, aContinue reading “A fossilized fish reveals new insight into the evolution of bones”

The Greatest Threat to Wild Bees

By Justin Bauer Insect pollinators maintain natural terrestrial ecosystems and are vital to agricultural ecosystems. Data suggests that while no shortage of insect pollinators has been reported yet, dependence on insects as pollinators has grown immensely (Aizen, 2008). Amongst these pollinators, bees are at the forefront. The Western Honey Bee (A. Mellifera) for example, isContinue reading “The Greatest Threat to Wild Bees”