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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
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ScienceShot: Spotted Seals Have Amphibious Ears
27 February 2014 10:45 am
Whether by land or sea, spotted seals have excellent hearing, a new study finds. Scientists had suspected that seals use sound to hunt in dark Arctic waters. But spotted seals (Phoca largha) also spend time above the water, while giving birth or nursing their pups on ice floes. Researchers trained two orphaned spotted seal pups from Alaska—Amak and Tunu—to touch a target with their noses when they heard a tone. By testing a range of frequencies, they found that seals detect seven octaves of sound underwater. But they have surprisingly good hearing in the air as well, researchers reported online yesterday in The Journal of Experimental Biology. The seals hear four octaves, with sensitivity similar to land carnivores, such as cats. The research is the first step to understanding how human noise in the Arctic from commercial shipping and the use of seismic air guns for undersea oil exploration may be affecting the seals’ sensitive hearing.