Department of
Animal Biology

Animal Biology News

Study of Arctic fishes reveals the birth of a gene – from ‘junk’

Animal biology professor Christina Cheng and her colleagues determined how the gene for an antifreeze protein in Arctic fish evolved from noncoding DNA.

Publication Date: 12 February 2019


Dracula ants possess fastest known animal appendage: the snap-jaw

The mandibles of the Dracula ant, Mystrium camillae, are the fastest known moving animal appendages, snapping shut at speeds of up to 90 meters per second.

Publication Date: 12 December 2018


Scientists study puncture performance of cactus spines

The spines of Cylindropuntia fulgida, also known as jumping cholla, have a reproductive role. They latch on to passersby and carry small chunks of cactus flesh to new locations.

Publication Date: 28 November 2018


Prof. Mark Hauber receives grant for international collaboration on invasive birds

Professor Mark Hauber receives a $270,000 grant to collaborate with Tel Aviv University researchers on how invasive birds succeed in new habitats.

Publication Date: 25 October 2018


Playing a parasite for science

Postdoctoral researcher Mikus Abolins-Abols peers into the nest of an American robin.

Publication Date: 28 August 2018


In darters, male competition drives evolution of flashy fins and bodies

A new study of orangethroat darters reveals that the males’ ability to recognize their own and other species drives the evolution of their bright display colors.

Publication Date: 27 August 2018


Pointy eggs more likely to stay put in birds’ cliffside nests

Pointiness pays off for the eggs of cliff-dwelling birds, a new study reveals.

Publication Date: 27 August 2018


In responding to predation risk, secondhand experience can be as good as new

A new animal biology study of stickleback fish by Illinois animal biologist Alison Bell (left) and former Illinois doctoral student Laura Stein (right) shows that individuals show the same molecular and developmental responses to their own versus their parent’s exposure to predators

Publication Date: 17 July 2018


Two Illinois faculty members elected AAAS Fellows

Animal biology professor Carla Caceres is a new Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Publication Date: 27 November 2017


Seeing the world like a fish

Animal biologist develops app to see fishing lures through the eyes of a bass

Publication Date: 17 November 2017