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Category Archives: Wildlife

Do Zebra stripes confuse biting flies?

Audio: Listen to this story on our podcast, Three Minute Egghead.    Zebra stripes have fascinated people for millennia, and there are a number of different theories to explain why these wild horses should be so brightly marked. A handful …
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West Coast Scientists Recommend Immediate Action Plan to Combat Ocean Acidification

By Kat Kerlin Global carbon dioxide emissions are triggering permanent changes to ocean chemistry along the West Coast. Failure to act on this fundamental change in seawater chemistry, known as ocean acidification, is expected to have devastating ecological consequences for …
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Not so sweet: Why Pollinators Forage on Toxic or Bitter Nectar

Audio: Listen to this story on our podcast, Three Minute Egghead.  By Kathy Keatley Garvey Nectar doesn’t always taste so sweet, but honeybees and other pollinators still feed on it. Now UC Davis community ecologist Rachel Vannette has discovered why …
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Over-evolved: Specialist jaw doomed Lake Victoria’s cichlid fish

By Betsy Towner Levine A UC Davis Evolution and Ecology team has discovered that cichlid fishes in Africa’s Lake Victoria have suffered a unique and unexpected effect of evolutionary adaptation: mass extinction. While a graduate student in Interim Dean Peter …
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Does hunting explain why zebras are not domesticated?

By Kathleen Holder Why do people ride horses but not their striped African cousins? A few zebras have accepted a rider or pulled a cart, but zebras have never been truly domesticated — and for good reason: They can be …
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Cold rush: Bird diversity higher in winter than summer in Central Valley

By Kat Kerlin During the warmer months, the air surrounding California’s rivers and streams is alive with the flapping of wings and chirping of birds. But once the buzz and breeding of spring and summer are over, these riparian areas …
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Changing ocean affecting salmon biodiversity and survival

What happens at the Equator, doesn’t stay at the Equator. El Niño-associated changes in the ocean may be putting the biodiversity of two Northern Pacific salmon species risk, according to a UC Davis study. Researchers tracked the survival of Chinook …
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Parenting style affects young voles’ brains

“Nature versus Nurture” is an old debate. How much behavior do you inherit from your parents, and how much from the environment where you grow up? A new study from the University of California, Davis shows that the amount of …
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Baboons don’t just follow the leader

By Jeffrey Day Baboons live in a strongly hierarchical society, but the big guys don’t make all the decisions. A new study from the University of California, Davis, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute reveals that animals living in complex, …
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Wild bees pollinate crops, but that’s not why they should be conserved

By Kathy Keatley Garvey Wild bee diversity is declining worldwide at unprecedented rates, and steps must be taken to conserve them — and not just those that are the main pollinators of agricultural crops, declare 58 bee researchers in a …
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