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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
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...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
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,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Boar Mothers Control the Size of Their Piglets
30 July 2013 7:15 pm
Variety may be the spice of life, but when it comes to wild boar piglets, variety may be the key to life itself. In the forest of Châteauvillain-Arc-en-Barrois in northeastern France, more than a thousand wild boars (Sus scrofa scrofa) snuffle through the woods, gobbling up acorns, beechnuts, and other food. When resources are scarce, mothers birth about five piglets, all the same size, which fight it out over the most productive teats. Not everyone thrives. You might guess that mothers would make fatter piglets in good food years, but they don't. Instead, they produce litters with a mix of sizes, researchers report online today in Biology Letters. The team thinks that the females do this to quash sibling rivalry. Big piglets can take the most productive teats while little ones get by at the ones that give less milk. And everyone has a better shot at survival.