Baby marmosets learn to 'speak' just like humans

Baby marmosets learn to speak in a similar way to human infants, new research has found. According to Daily mail

A baby's babbles start to sound like speech more quickly if they get regular vocal feedback from adults.

And researchers have found the same type of feedback speeds up the vocal development of infant marmoset monkeys.

The study is the first assured evidence of 'call and response' learning in primates besides humans.

Even non-migratory birds use a magnetic compass

Not only migratory birds use a built-in magnetic compass to navigate correctly. A new study shows that non-migratory birds also are able to use a built-in compass to orient themselves using the Earth's magnetic field according to Science daily.

The researchers behind the current study have received help from a group of zebra finches to study the magnetic compass of what are known as resident birds, that is, species that do not migrate according to the season. Zebra finches are popular pet birds in many homes. Originally, they come from Indonesia and Australia where they search for food in a nomadic way.

Large volcanic eruption may have caused the first mass extinction

Researchers say they may have found the cause of the first mass extinction of life. According to Science daily

There have been five mass extinctions since the divergent evolution of early animals 600 -450 million years ago. The cause of the third and fourth was volcanic activity, while an asteroid impact led to the fifth. But triggers of the first and second mass extinctions had, until now, been unknown.

The first mass extinction occurred at the end of the Ordovician. This age is between the divergence of the Ordovician and land invasion of vascular land plant and animals. Animals in the Ordovician-Silurian comprised marine animals like corals, trilobites, sea scorpion, orthoceras, brachiopods, graptolite, crinoid and jawless fish. Approximately 80% of species disappeared at the end of the Ordovician.

How climate change could kill off reptiles

Global warming could threaten the survival of reptiles by reducing the number of bacteria living in their guts, researchers have found. According to Daily mail

They found that warming of 2-3°C (35-37°F) caused a 34 per cent loss of microorganism diversity in the guts of common lizards.

The researchers said that similar effect could be seen in other cold-blooded animals too, which depend on external sources of body heat.

Baby humpback whales 'whisper' to mums to avoid predators

The humpback whale is known for its loud haunting songs, which can be heard 20 miles away. According to BBC

However, new recordings show mothers and calves "whisper" to each other, seemingly to avoid attracting predators.

The quiet grunts and squeaks can be heard only at close range.

By calling softly to its mother, the calf is less likely be overheard and preyed on by killer whales, scientists believe.

Dr Simone Videsen is part of a team of scientists who tracked eight baby whales and two mothers to learn more about the first months of a humpback whales life.