Department of
Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior

Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior News

Left eye? Right eye? American robins have preference when looking at decoy eggs

Just as humans are usually left- or right-handed, other species sometimes prefer one appendage, or eye, over the other. A new study reveals that American robins that preferentially use one eye significantly more than the other when looking at their own clutch of eggs are also more likely to detect, and reject, a foreign egg placed in their nest by another bird species – or by a devious scientist.

Illinois Units, Foundation Fund Purchase of Animal MRI at Beckman Institute

A Bruker 9.4 Tesla preclinical animal MRI system will be sited at the Beckman Institute. The addition of the system to the institute’s Biomedical Imaging Center will aid in research in many areas, including brain development and function, and cellular mechanisms in cancer. The installation project will begin this fall and is expected to take a year.

Taking bird research to new heights

Mark Hauber broadens our understanding of the avian world

Team measures puncture performance of viper fangs

Like other vipers, puff adder skulls have hinged jaws that deploy the fangs when the animal opens its mouth to strike.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Playing a parasite for science

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