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Skin bacteria could save frogs from virus

Bacteria living on the skin of frogs could save them from a deadly virus, new research suggests.

Ranavirus kills large numbers of frogs and is one of many threats facing amphibians worldwide.

Scientists from the University of Exeter compared the bacteria living on frogs -- known as their "microbiome" -- from groups with varying history of ranavirus, according to Science Daily.

Pigeons flap faster to fly together

New research.l, led by Dr Lucy Taylor from the University of Oxford's Department of Zoology now reveals that homing pigeons fit in one extra wingbeat per second when flying in pairs compared to flying solo.

Birds that fly in 'V'-formations, such as geese, are able to conserve energy by flying in aerodynamically optimal positions. By contrast, in species that don't fly in formation, such as homing pigeons, the costs and benefits of flocking have been less well understood, according to Science Daily.

Coral bleaching causes a permanent change in fish life

Repeat coral bleaching caused by rising sea temperatures has resulted in lasting changes to fish communities, according to a new long-term study in the Seychelles.

Large predator fish such as snappers and very small fish such as damselfish dramatically reduced in number and were largely replaced by seaweed-loving fish like rabbitfish, according to Science Daily.

Researchers show clear evidence that coral bleaching back in 1998 has led to changes in biodiversity and permanent shifts in the range of fish species coexisting on coral reefs, which still remain in place today.

Do Plants Feel Pain?

Given that plants do not have pain receptors, nerves, or a brain, they do not feel pain as we members of the animal kingdom understand it. Uprooting a carrot or trimming a hedge is not a form of botanical torture, and you can bite into that apple without worry. However, it seems that many plants can perceive and communicate physical stimuli and damage in ways that are more sophisticated than previously thought.

Some plants have obvious sensory abilities, such as the Venus fly trap and its incredible traps that can close in about half a second.

Bermuda land snail: An animal 'back from the dead'

The greater Bermuda land snail was thought to have disappeared for many years until an empty shell turned up in the territory's capital city, Hamilton.

Live snails were then found among litter in a nearby alleyway.

Some were flown to Chester Zoo for a unique breeding programme.

More than 4,000 snails raised at the zoo have now been taken back to the island and released.

Many more captive snails will soon be returned to their homeland to help give the species a new lease of life.