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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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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.
See more ScienceShots.