News Roundup: Stories of Interest You May Have Missed

Doom of Dinosaurs Was a Boon to Snakes, Researchers Say

Researchers now believe that the cataclysmic event that doomed the dinosaurs led to a burst of evolution for snakes. It has long been believed that birds and mammals were among the creatures to have benefitted from the end of the dinosaurs. But according to new research snakes quickly moved from eating mostly insects to consuming larger prey and grew as the prey did.

Research Says Fear of Spiders and Snakes is Inborn and Not Learned

Researchers also now believe that fear of spiders and snakes is inborn and not learned. Infants as young as six months show stress reactions when shown pictures of spiders and snakes but not of flowers and birds, the research shows.

Wild Chimpanzees Now Suffering From Leprosy, Researchers Discover

Leprosy has suddenly appeared in wild chimpanzees in Guinea-Bissau and the Ivory Coast and researchers are worried. Leprosy is an infectious disease that has been common in people causing lesions, nodules, respiratory problems and other health issues. It can now be treated with antibiotics.

The appearance in chimpanzees is both puzzling and disturbing. Although leprosy has been seen in other mammals before, this is the first time in wild chimps. Researchers are at a loss to explain the appearance, but human contact is one strong possibility. Treating the chimpanzees raises ethical and other issues researchers are wrestling with. It is also raising questions about the prevalence of the disease and its ability to spread.,new%20study%2C%20in%20findings%20that%20have%20stunned%20experts.

Scientists See Unprovoked Attacks by Chimpanzees on Gorillas

Scientists have recently observed unprovoked attacks by chimpanzees on gorillas, the first time this has been observed. Scientists observing chimpanzees witnessed two attacks on small groups of gorillas by chimpanzees. The attacks left two juvenile gorillas dead;,to%20a%20study%20Monday%20in%20the%20journal%20Nature.

Published by ursusrising

long time writer and editor living in Los Angeles

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