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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
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The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
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ScienceShot: Cane Toad Carnage
30 August 2011 7:01 pm
The biggest danger for a cane toad (Rhinella marina) egg isn't a predator of a different species; it's a cane toad tadpole. The tadpoles not only seek out and eat eggs, they also release chemicals into the water that stunt the growth of developing cane toad embryos, new research reveals. It's all part of an intense competition for resources. To study this phenomenon, scientists kept cane toad eggs with tadpoles in tanks and separated them with a mesh divider. When the eggs hatched, the new tadpoles were 11% shorter and 45% lighter than their siblings that developed in eggs that were kept alone. Additionally, the survival rate of the tadpole-exposed eggs was 40% lower, the team reports today in Biology Letters. The researchers haven't isolated the chemical responsible for dwarfing and killing the cane toads, but that's their next step. Such a compound could help control populations of cane toads in Australia, where they are considered an invasive species and threaten the diversity of native reptiles.
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