Birds who flock together become firm friends

It is often said that birds of a feather flock together.

In fact, birds who flock together become firm friends and even set up home near each other.

A study of great tits found that when the birds settle down to breed in the spring, they chose sites near the flockmates they spent the most time with over the winter.

Researcher Josh Firth said studied great tits that live in woods.

The birds wore ankle tags that provide information on which feeding boxes they visit.

Great white sharks and tuna share genetics that makes them super predators

Despite evolving separately for 400 million years, some sharks and tuna share genetic traits linked to higher metabolism and quick swimming behaviour.

Tuna fish and the lamnid group of sharks, which includes great white sharks, share some similar traits that help make them super predators, including their style of swimming and their ability to stay warm.

Why fish talk: Clownfish communication establishes status in social groups

Clownfish produce sounds to establish and defend their breeding status in social groups, but not to attract mates, according to research by Orphal Colleye and colleagues.

Previous studies showed that clownfish live in unique social groups, where the largest fish develops as a female, the second-largest is male, and the rest of the group remains gender neutral. If the largest fish dies, the rest of the group moves up a rank to replace the female and male.

Small oxygen jump in atmosphere helped enable animals take first breaths

If oxygen was a driver of the early evolution of animals, only a slight bump in oxygen levels facilitated it, according to a multi-institutional research.

The discovery, calls into question the long held theory that a dramatic change in oxygen levels might have been responsible for the appearance of complicated life forms like whales, sharks, and squids evolving from less complicated life forms, such as microorganisms, algae, and sponges.

Reef fish see colors that humans cannot

Researchers have established that reef fish see colours that humans cannot.

A team from Professor Justin Marshall's Sensory Neurobiology Lab ran a series of behavioral experiments with trigger fish, in a bid to decode how they see the world.

Professor Marshall said previous studies had looked into how goldfish saw colour, but this was the first study into how reef fish discriminate colours.

"Coral reefs are the most colourful environments in the world, and it's now become clear that reef fish see colours we can't," Professor Marshall said.

"Some reef fish, such as the anemonefish 'Nemo' and other damselfish can see the UV wavelengths we protect ourselves from.

"Triggerfish, on the other hand, see more or less the same colour range we do but their colour discriminations are different.