The mysterious sexual life of the most primitive dragonfly

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The dragonfly considered the most primitive in the world lives in Australia and Tasmania, and was believed to be extinct four decades ago. But it is far from being so. A Spanish researcher has observed thousands of these insects in one of the few habitats in which it has been detected and it displays sexual behaviour that is unique, not only directed towards reproduction.

http://phys.org/

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Sharing biodiversity data: Best tools and practices via project EU BON

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Due to the exponential growth of biodiversity information in recent years, the questions of how to mobilize such vast amounts of data has become more tangible than ever. Best practices for data sharing, data publishing, and involvement of scientific and citizen communities in data generation are the main topic of a recent report by the EU FP7 project Building the European Biodiversity Observation Network (EU BON), published in the innovative Research Ideas & Outcomes (RIO) journal.

http://phys.org/

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Male fiddler crabs produce female-luring vibrations in their burrows

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The vibrations and pulses that male fiddler crabs produce when they are trying to lure females into their burrows to mate are surprisingly informative. These signals serve as a type of “Morse code” that the females decipher to learn more about the size and stamina of their suitors. This is according to a study by Japanese researchers Fumio Takeshita of Nagasaki University and Minoru Murai of the University of the Ryukyu, published in Springer’s journal The Science of Nature.

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New 'Einstein ring' is discovered

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The PhD student Margherita Bettinelli, of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of La Laguna (ULL), together with an international team of astrophysicists has recently discovered an unusual astronomical object: an Einstein ring. These phenomena, predicted by Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, are quite rare but scientifically interesting. The interest is sufficiently strong that this object has been given its own name: the “The Canarias Einstein ring”. The research was carried out by the Stellar Populations ...

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Statistics predict France and Germany as UEFA EURO favorites

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When Europe’s best national football teams kick off the UEFA EURO 2016 on June 10th, host France and World Cup Champion Germany will, mathematically speaking, also be the odds-on favorites as statisticians headed by Achim Zeileis from the University of Innsbruck show. By applying their statistical model based on bookmakers’ odds, the researchers previously correctly predicted the 2008 EURO final and Spain as the 2010 FIFA World Cup Champion and the 2012 EURO Champion.

http://phys.org/

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Stick insects produce bacterial enzymes themselves

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Many animals depend on their microbiome to digest their food. Symbiotic microorganisms produce enzymes their hosts cannot, and these work alone or together with the animals’ own enzymes to break down their food. Many plant-feeding insects need microbial enzymes, such as pectinases, that degrade plant cell walls; yet some insects have overcome this dependency in a surprising way. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, found that stick insects make microbial enzymes themselves. From an ...

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