Iridescent beetles, jet-propelled nautiluses and “walking cactus”

The secret to the Japanese jewel beetle’s shine is layers of chitin, threats to the ancient nautilus, a “walking cactus” provides a link between worm and insect, researchers propose drying out Australia’s cane toads, macaques display awareness of their own uncertainty and Florida’s alligator mating season is close at hand. Here is research in ecology and beyond from the last week in February. Iridescent beetle: A study recently...

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From the Community: fish-mimicking octopuses, aquanauts and the evolution of ecology

An octopus that mimics toxic sea creatures, a plant’s chemical SOS when attacked by caterpillars, the genetic differences between ant social castes, unusually high records of jellyfish swarms this summer and Simon Levin discusses the evolution of ecology and where it is headed next. Here are stories in ecology wrapping up the month of August. Fish-mimicking octopus: According to Jess McNally of Wired Science, “the Indonesian...

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Scientists look to tobacco leaves for biofuel

This post was contributed by Piper Corp, ESA Science Policy Analyst In a recent Plant Biotechnology Journal paper, scientists at Thomas Jefferson University’s Biotechnology Foundation Laboratories say that genetically modified tobacco “has the potential to produce more energy per hectare than any other non-food crop.” Tobacco Field in Pinar del Rio, Cuba Photo Credit: Henryk Kotowski Biofuel oil is typically pressed...

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