Video Archive

  1. Rock-a-bye baby: Science to the rescue

    Infant crying and sleep problems are major sources of parental stress, but up until now there have been few things that parents could do. Here, RIKEN researchers propose an evidence-based, cost-free method to sooth crying babies and lay them down to sleep. Parenting needs science!

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  2. Emotional tears in dogs during reunion with owner

    Human sometimes show tearing in response to emotional arousal, but emotional-elicit tearing in animals has not been clearly demonstrated. Tear secretion increased significantly during reunions with the owner, and oxytocin, a social bonding hormone, administration increased tear secretion in dogs. Moreover, photos of a tearing dog attracted human caregiving behavior. This report shows that dogs secrete emotion-elicit tears, and these tears can facilitate human-dog emotional connections.

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  3. Snapping shrimp helmets protect against shock waves

    Snapping shrimp have helmet-like orbital hoods that protect their brains from the shock waves they produce with their snapping claws. Shock wave exposure slows shelter-seeking and causes loss of motor control in animals without orbital hoods. Orbital hoods protect snapping shrimp from blast-induced neurotrauma by dampening shock waves.

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  4. Stone tools improve diet quality in wild monkeys

    Tool use increased diet quality of wild bearded capuchin monkeys in two ways. First, it provided a more tightly balanced mix of macronutrients, rich in energy-providing fat and carbohydrate. Second, the macronutrient mix was more concentrated than on non-tooling days because it had less nutrient-diluting fiber. Reduced fiber not only increases the concentration of nutrients in the food, but also increases the efficiency with which they are absorbed from the gut.

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  5. Viral-induced flexible wood

    The paper describes how the symptoms of apple rubbery wood disease are induced by the virus. Symptoms arise by a decrease in lignin deposition in the fibers. This decrease is a result of the plant’s downregulation of a key step in the lignin biosynthesis pathway induced by small RNAs. This is remarkably similar to how genetic engineering has been used to alter the lignin biosynthesis pathway of trees in order to improve their properties for biofuels or the generation of novel materials.

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  6. No cranial absorption of shocks in woodpeckers

    High-speed video analyses and biomechanical models show that woodpeckers are adapted to minimize the absorption of shocks by their cranial skeleton. By functioning as a stiff hammer during pecking, woodpeckers optimize their pecking performance while their brains still do not experience impact decelerations that are likely to cause concussions.

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  7. A big, new species of flying reptile from Scotland

    Jagielska and coauthors present a new species of pterosaur from the Isle of Skye in Scotland: Dearc sgiathanach (“jark ski-an-ack”). The exquisitely preserved skeleton, with a wingspan of more than 2.5 m, is the largest of a middle Jurassic pterosaur, revealing that this lineage reached larger sizes earlier than once thought. Nonetheless, the skeleton is from a subadult individual, and it still had room to grow before its untimely death. Instead of a quiet prelude to their Cretaceous radiation, the Middle Jurassic was likely a key interval in pterosaur evolution.

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  8. Vast Antarctic icefish breeding colony discovered

    In February 2021, the research icebreaker RV Polarstern discovered the most extensive fish breeding colony discovered to date, at ~500 m depth below the Weddell Sea sea ice. The colony was found to cover at least 200 square kilometers of seafloor. 12,020 active nests were imaged within 2,145 images. Seal tracking data seem to indicate that Weddell Seals feed on these fish, diving to the depths of the nests repeatedly.

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  9. Majority concession toward a democratic consensus

    We study conflict resolution in emigrating ant colonies during binary nest selection. We find that individuals concede their potential benefit to promote social consensus. In particular, colonies resolve the conflict imposed by a persistent minority through “majority concession,” wherein a majority of ants that hold first-hand knowledge regarding the superior quality nest choose to reside in the inferior one.

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  10. Functional morphology of the dolphin clitoris

    Dolphins, like humans and other primates, have sex for non-conceptive reasons with partners of the same sex and the opposite sex. Researchers examined the morphology of the dolphin clitoris to determine if they share morphological features that would suggest functionality that may provide pleasure during these sexual encounters. They found evidence that dolphins have large erectile bodies that fill up with blood, large nerves with nerve bundles that end right under the skin, thinner skin on the clitoris body, and genital corpuscules known to be involved in the pleasure response. Examining the clitoris in non-human animals can give us insight into the evolution of sexual behaviors in nature.

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