Biology & Evolution News

Survivability of animal species depends on the number of offspring, TAU researchers say

Researchers from Tel Aviv University (TAU) participated in a new international study proposing an amendment to the widely accepted theory on the extinction of animal species, moving the focus from the animal’s body size to its reproductive capacity. The researchers found gaps and incompatibilities between mammals and amphibians in the relation between body size and… Read More

Bats “know” the speed of sound from birth, TAU researchers say

A new Tel Aviv University study has revealed for the first time that bats “know” the speed of sound from birth. Unlike humans, who map the world in units of distance, bats map the world in units of time, the researchers say. The research was led by Professor Yossi Yovel, head of the Sagol School… Read More

Fireflies may have a “musical armor” against bats

A new Tel Aviv University study reveals a possible defense mechanism developed by fireflies for protection against bats that might prey on them. According to the study, fireflies produce strong ultrasonic sounds — soundwaves that the human ear, and more importantly the fireflies themselves, cannot detect. The researchers hypothesize that these sounds are meant for… Read More

Why do bats fly into walls?

Bats excel in acoustic perception and detect objects as tiny as mosquitoes using sound waves. Echolocation permits them to calculate the three-dimensional location of both small and large objects, perceiving their shape, size and texture. To this end, a bat’s brain processes various acoustic dimensions from the echoes returning from the object such as frequency,… Read More

TAU professor named one of the first winners of the Schmidt Science Polymath Award

Professor Oded Rechavi of the Neurobiology Department at the George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences and the Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University has been awarded one of the first two Schmidt Futures Polymath Awards, a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt for researchers exhibiting rare interdisciplinarity. Professor Rechavi will… Read More

MRI scans of the brains of 130 mammals, including humans, indicate equal connectivity

Researchers at Tel Aviv University, led by Prof. Yaniv Assaf of the School of Neurobiology, Biochemistry and Biophysics and the Sagol School of Neuroscience and Prof. Yossi Yovel of the School of Zoology, the Sagol School of Neuroscience, and the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, conducted a first-of-its-kind study designed to investigate brain connectivity in… Read More

Human activity threatens 50 billion years of vertebrate evolutionary history

A new study maps for the first time the evolutionary history of the world’s terrestrial vertebrates: amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles. It explores how areas with large concentrations of evolutionarily distinct species are being impacted by our ever-increasing “human footprint.” Research for the study was led by Dr. Rikki Gumbs of the EDGE of Existence… Read More