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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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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.