First fluorescent frog found – Nature

Julián Faivovich and Carlos Taboada

Under normal light, the South American polka dot tree frog (Hypsiboas punctatus) sports a muted palette of greens, yellows and reds. But dim the lights and switch on ultraviolet illumination, and this little amphibian gives off a bright blue and green glow.

Read the full story in Nature.

The Vulturepocalpyse Is Coming, and It’s Bad News

Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Vultures are in trouble. Worldwide, 73 percent of vulture species are endangered or near threatened with extinction; only six of 22 species aren’t threatened. The problem is particularly bad in Africa and on the Indian subcontinent, where the birds are mostly killed by poisons and a veterinary anti-inflammatory drug used on livestock, finds a new study in the journal Biological Conservation by Evan Buechley and Çağan Şekercioğlu of the University of Utah.

The prospect of losing the unattractive, bald-headed carrion-eaters may not seem alarming for humans, but it is.

Read the full story in Mental Floss.

Why People Turn to Lemurs and Other Endangered Animals for Dinner in Madagascar – Smithsonian

Image credit: Thomas Marent/Minden Pictures/Corbis

Madagascar is home to many unique and threatened mammals, such as lemurs and small hedgehog-like creatures called tenrecs. Most people wouldn’t think of consuming one of these animals, but for many in Madagascar, bushmeat is on the menu. Scientists assumed that people turned to wild meat just to survive, but two new studies that examine the entire supply chain for this meat have found that consumption of wild mammals in Madagascar is common and far more open a practice than anyone had suspected.Read the full article in Smithsonian.

Worker Wasps Sneak Out to Lay Their Eggs in Neighboring Nests

Image credit: Thomas Hinsche/imageBROKER/Corbis

By cadging a free ride for their offspring, female workers may boost their chances of passing on their genes

Cooperative insects like bees and wasps all pitch in for the good of the hive, raising the queen’s offspring without a thought toward producing their own, right? Not so fast—in the common wasp, about one percent of workers defect from their own hives to lay eggs in a foreign one.

Read the full article in Smithsonian.

Baby giraffes steal milk, and adults let them do it

Image credit: Markéta Gloneková

Baby giraffes have got some cheek. They seem to use stealth to steal milk from giraffes that are not their mothers, at least in zoos.

About 40 per cent of their suckling is from non-mothers, which is the highest rate recorded in any non-domesticated mammal. This is unexpected since milk is costly to produce, so a mother is expected to save it for her own offspring. So what is going on?

Read the full article in New Scientist.

Bumblebees adapt to climate change by evolving shorter tongues

Photo by Christine Carson

Two alpine bumblebee species, formerly picky eaters, are expanding their palates – by shortening their tongues.

As the climate warms, their homes near the peaks of the Rocky Mountains have fewer flowers than before. At Pennsylvania Mountain in Colorado, for example, the number of flowers the bees feed on has dropped by 60 per cent since the 1970s.

Read the full article in New Scientist.