Plants and Animals

Salamanders In All-Female Populations Regrow Their Tails Faster

Photo credit: Kevin Fitzsimons

Some Ambystoma salamander populations are all female, and they reproduce by cloning themselves, though they do mix it up by stealing sperm they find on leaves and twigs left behind by males of other species. Like salamanders who reproduce sexually, these females are also excellent at regenerating various body parts. However, according to new findings published in the Journal of Zoology last week, these all-female salamanders regrow their tails faster. 

Editor's Blog

How Realistic Is It To Ask Someone To “Cry A River”?

Cry me a river
Photo credit: Weeping may not be the best way to fill a river after all. Amanda Carden/Shutterstock

Things are getting pretty emotional in the English city of Leicester at the moment, where the local soccer team has just pulled off what many are describing as the most unlikely sporting fairytale of all time by winning the Premier League – despite starting the season as 5,000-to-one outsiders.

Environment

Ocean Acidification Conference Hears The Bad News

Photo credit: Coral bleaching is predominantly caused by high temperatures, but it is ocean acidification that most impedes recovery. Ethan Daniels/Shutterstock

The Fourth International Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World is underway in Hobart, Australia. While the venue is at the opposite end of Australia from the Great Barrier Reef, the event occurred in the shadow of the largest example we have witnessed of the consequences of unrestrained carbon emissions on a marine environment. Unfortunately, as talk after talk emphasized, this is just a foretaste of what is to come.

Space

A Rare Transit Of Mercury Will Take Place This Monday - Here's How To Watch It Live

Photo credit: Transit of Mercury on November 8, 2006 from the Solar Observatory SOHO. NASA

On Monday, May 9, Mercury will slowly make its way across the Sun’s disk. The transit of Mercury is a rare event, as we've discussed before, with only about a dozen occurring every century. This one will be visible in full from the easternmost side of the Americas, western Europe, and north-west Africa. It lasts several hours, so people from Bangladesh to California will be able to catch at least part of this astronomical event.

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