For the first time ever Chinese scientists have created genetically modified monkeys with a human gene for autism. The primates displayed asocial behavior, including becoming stressed when looked in the eye. Researchers from the Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai hope their findings help treat the disorder in humans.
A lost sloth recently found itself stranded in the middle of a busy road in Ecuador, unable to make it to the other side. Transport officials quickly came to the animal's rescue, and after being checked out by a veterinarian, the sloth has been returned to the wild.
A recent study of carnivorous animals foiund that those with large brains (relative to their body size) are better at solving problems than smaller-bodied individuals. Of the 140 animals tested, bears were the most successful at retrieving their favorite snacks from inside a secured metal box.
Not all lizards are able to change the color of their skin to blend in with their surroundings. Therefore Aegean wall lizards, for example, camouflage by choosing rocks that best match the color of their backs, thus ensuring they are able to remain hidden from avian predators.
Sea slugs have colorful patterns to ward off predators -- but when that doesn't work they defend themselves using toxic chemicals they gather from their environment.
Researchers found that prairie voles show empathy by grooming or consoling another individual that appears to be distressed. This could be a major breakthrough for better understanding of psychiatric disorders in humans, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia.
The Basking Shark Satellite Tagging Project opened up a new finding: The Sea of the Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland may be a hot spot for basking sharks feeding, breeding and migrating in the summer.
Humans, of course, do Zumba and Cross-Fit and many other things to stay fit. However, researchers investigating animals' active lifestyles are wondering whether they too work out to maintain perfect figures.
Snowshoe hares typically shed their brown summer coats to blend in with the snowy scenery of the winter. However, when there is no snow, these mismatched animals have no place to hide and increase their chances of being spotted by a predator.
In the face of a challenge, practice makes perfect for grey squirrels. Researchers from the University of Exeter found that squirrels were able to quickly learn which lever to either push or pull to release food from a closed box when they remained persistent.
A genus of tree hole breeding frogs was recently rediscovered in tropical forests of India. Researchers say these frogs – which were thought to be extinct – boast some interesting characteristics, such as living high off the ground and eating their own unfertilized eggs.
Most species avoid crowding but prairie voles seem to be the exception to the rule, say Duke University researchers who found that voles become less anxious and stressed when they have to share their personal space.
Previous studies suggest older parents give birth to offspring that, on average, live shorter lives. In a recent study of European shorebirds, researchers believe they have shed some new light on the matter.
Using camera traps, researchers have learned a little more about elusive bush dogs and their distribution across Panama. This could ultimately help conservationists protect these "near-threatened" animals.