News tagged with current biology

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Dogs hear our words and how we say them

When people hear another person talking to them, they respond not only to what is being said—those consonants and vowels strung together into words and sentences—but also to other features of that speech—the ...

Nov 26, 2014
4.3 / 5 (26) 6

A whale with a distinctly human-like voice

For the first time, researchers have been able to show by acoustic analysis that whales—or at least one very special white whale—can imitate the voices of humans. That's a surprise, because whales typically ...

Oct 22, 2012
4.6 / 5 (27) 13 | with audio podcast

Sawfishes sure can wield a saw (w/ video)

Sawfishes wouldn't be sawfishes if they didn't come equipped with long toothy snouts—their saws. Now, researchers reporting in the March 6 issue of Current Biology, have figured out what they use those saws for, and it ...

Mar 05, 2012
4.5 / 5 (15) 9 | with audio podcast

Wolves howl because they care

When a member of the wolf pack leaves the group, the howling by those left behind isn't a reflection of stress but of the quality of their relationships. So say researchers based on a study of nine wolves ...

Aug 22, 2013
4.3 / 5 (21) 13 | with audio podcast

For fish, fear smells like sugar

When one fish gets injured, the rest of the school takes off in fear, tipped off by a mysterious substance known as "Schreckstoff" (meaning "scary stuff" in German). Now, researchers reporting online on February 23 in the ...

Feb 23, 2012
4.8 / 5 (4) 0 | with audio podcast

World's rarest whale seen for the first time

A whale that is almost unknown to science has been seen for the first time after two individuals—a mother and her male calf—were stranded and died on a New Zealand beach. A report in the November 6th ...

Nov 05, 2012
4.7 / 5 (15) 10 | with audio podcast

How birds lost their penises

In animals that reproduce by internal fertilization, as humans do, you'd think a penis would be an organ you couldn't really do without, evolutionarily speaking. Surprisingly, though, most birds do exactly ...

Jun 06, 2013
4.5 / 5 (6) 0 | with audio podcast