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Articles on Biology

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Extremes of the colour gradient of the Eastern San Antonio frog (Hyla orientalis). On the left, a specimen captured in Chernobyl inside the high contamination zone; on the right, a specimen captured outside the Exclusion Zone. Germán Orizaola/Pablo Burraco

Chernobyl black frogs reveal evolution in action

Research on Chernobyl frogs has shown that the ionising radiation caused by the accident triggered a process of natural selection among these animals.
Astronomers think the most likely place to find life in the galaxy is on super-Earths, like Kepler-69c, seen in this artist’s rendering. NASA Ames/JPL-CalTech

Super-Earths are bigger, more common and more habitable than Earth itself – and astronomers are discovering more of the billions they think are out there

Newly discovered super-Earths add to the list of planets around other stars that offer the best chance of finding life. An astronomer explains what makes these super-Earths such excellent candidates.
Dogs use their tails to communicate. Eastimages/Moment via Getty Images

Why do animals have tails?

An anthropologist explains some of the many ways animals use their tails, from balancing as they walk to attracting a mate.
The round goby is an invasive fish that has become established in the St. Lawrence River over the past two decades, following its introduction into the Great Lakes. (Cristina Charette)

St. Lawrence River zones that are hostile to invasive species can be refuges for native fish

Wetlands can help limit the spread of the voracious round goby, an invasive species that has infiltrated the Great Lakes and has become widespread in the St. Lawrence River.
A great hammerhead shark’s two eyes can be 3 feet apart on opposite sides of its skull. Ken Kiefer 2/Image Source via Getty Images

Why do hammerhead sharks have hammer-shaped heads?

The first hammerhead shark was likely the result of a genetic deformity. A biologist explains how shark DNA reveals hammerheads’ history.
Introductory science classes typically require students to memorize facts, rather than teaching them the basis of scientific thinking. Maskot via Getty Images

Improving science literacy means changing science education

College science classes often fall short of helping students see connections across subjects. Can a new approach make a difference?
The sound of the marine environment has been underestimated, mainly because it is not audible to the human ear. (Shutterstock)

The ocean is not a quiet place

The ocean is often considered a silent universe. But many recent studies highlight the importance of the soundscape for many marine species, both large and small.
Decomposers at work: Shelf fungi feeding on a rotting log. Craig Joiner/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Beyond flora and fauna: Why it’s time to include fungi in global conservation goals

Fungi underpin life on Earth, but are far less well catalogued and understood than animals and plants. Three scientists call for including fungi in conservation strategies and environmental laws.
Changes in vegetation and temperature affect wildlife and humans, as well as the climate. Lisa Hupp/USFWS

Arctic greening won’t save the climate – here’s why

The growing season on the tundra is starting earlier as the planet warms, but the plants aren’t sequestering more carbon, a new study finds.

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