Wild Things: Yeti Crabs, Guppies and Ravens
Tree killers and the first beds ever round up this month in wildlife news
- By T.A. Frail, Laura Helmuth, Joseph Stromberg, Erin Wayman And Sarah Zielinski
- Smithsonian magazine, February 2012
(Biosphoto / Michel Gunther)
Chemistry: Females emit pheromones when they are receptive to mating.
Coercion: Male guppies breed ceaselessly, even harassing nonreceptive females.
Camouflage: But females have a way to rebuff unwanted advances, according to a new study: hang out with females that are ready to mate. Receptive females’ pheromones drew males’ attention away from nonreceptive females that wanted none of it. “I would expect that this strategy would be seen in other species,” says Safi Darden of the University of Exeter in Britain, “where females face similar amounts of unwanted sexual attention from males.”
“The roles of hydraulic and carbon stress in a widespread climate-induced forest die-off,” William R. L. Anderegg et al., PNAS, December 13, 2011
“Dancing for Food in the Deep Sea: Bacterial Farming by a New Species of Yeti Crab,” Andrew R. Thurber et al., PLoS ONE, November 30, 2011
“The use of referential gestures in ravens (Corvus corax) in the wild,” Simone Pika and Thomas Bugnyar, Nature Communications, November 29, 2011
“Middle Stone Age Bedding Construction and Settlement Patterns at Sibudu, South Africa,” Lyn Wadley et al., Science, December 9, 2011
“Social preferences based on sexual attractiveness: a female strategy to reduce male sexual attention,” Josefine B. Brask et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B, December 7, 2011