The extinction of large herbivores such as mammoths could explain massive prehistoric changes in vegetation and landscape structure, with major implications for our understanding of present-day ecosystems. Modern and paleo-ecologists joined forces in an international study led by the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW). The results are being published online by PNAS this week.
British enthusiasm for feeding birds may have caused UK great tits to have evolved longer beaks than their European counterparts, according to new research. The findings, published in Science, identify for the first time the genetic differences between UK and Dutch great tits which researchers were then able to link to longer beaks.
The reproductive tracts of males and females contain whole communities of micro-organisms. These microbes can have considerable impact on (animal) fertility and reproduction, as shown by Melissah Rowe from the NIOO-KNAW.
This past weekend, thousands of people took part in the first nationwide 'citizen science' ditch survey in the Netherlands. The most counted water animals was the backswimmer (a.k.a. water boatsmen).