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The wren’s song becomes more complex in the city
30 January 2017 10:06
Eva Rodríguez

The European wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) is a bird with a very characteristic song, with an intensity that does not tend to co-exist with low-frequency noise. However, researchers from the University of Salamanca explain in a study that their songs have become more complex in cities.

New wheat crops as an alternative to a gluten-free diet
12 December 2016 8:46

Wheat, one of the most widely consumed grains in the world, contains gluten, a mixture of proteins that can be toxic for people with coeliac disease. A new study that analysed the toxic components of these proteins in various varieties of wheat makes the first step forward towards developing wheat-based products that are safe for coeliacs.

Iguanas partner with the plants of the Galápagos Islands
30 November 2016 11:05

The isolation of ocean islands like the Galápagos prevents the arrival of large mammals, which disperse the seeds of many plants by ingesting them. In the absence of mammals, this function is filled by birds, tortoises, lizards and iguanas. To date, no investigation had been carried out into the role iguanas play with at least ten species of plants.

Frog and toad larvae become vegetarian when it is hot
2 November 2016 9:36

Climate change is currently one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, and one of the groups of animals most affected by the increase in temperature is amphibians. A team of scientists with Spanish participants studied how heat waves affect the dietary choices of three species of amphibian found on the Iberian Peninsula: the European tree frog, the Mediterranean tree frog and the Iberian painted frog.

Training farm-reared partridges to stop them being eaten is possible
31 October 2016 9:10

Farm-reared partridges are the object of a new study at the University of León, which has conducted an experiment to demonstrate whether it is possible to train these animals using adult ‘tutor’ birds to improve their survival in the wild. Their findings suggest that this system of learning is effective against their predators.

New nematode is hermaphrodite
One of the smallest known earthworms found in Jaén
11 October 2016 10:29

Around nine kilometres south of the city of Jaén, Spanish scientists have found a new species of nematode in the compost at a vegetable garden. The specimens found are extremely small, with adults measuring 0.2 mm in length. Moreover, there are no males among these roundworms, making the new nematodes a rare hermaphrodite species.

Catalan ports will be more vulnerable to rising sea levels
4 October 2016 10:52

Storms generate heavy swell, putting ports at risk; this problem is compounded by rising sea level caused by climate change. A team of scientists analysed the impact of this phenomenon in Catalonia, concluding that the number of ports affected will double by the year 2100.

Beaches in the northern part of Spain have higher concentrations of faecal bacteria
19 September 2016 9:37

An analysis of the water of Spain’s beaches has concluded that those located on the Atlantic Ocean and the Cantabrian Sea have the highest concentrations of E. coli and enterococci. Southern Mediterranean beaches, on the contrary, have levels below the national average. The province of Murcia is the coastal area with the lowest concentration of these microorganisms.

Study in Archaeological Sites in Galicia and Navarra
Peninsular cave bears were loyal to their homes
16 August 2016 9:00

The cave bear who once inhabited the Iberian peninsula up until 24,000 years ago used to return to the cave in which it was born to hibernate and raise its young. This habit played an important role in its extinction and furthermore explains why only one genetic lineage can be detected in each of the caves where remains have been found.

Vultures warn us of environmental contamination
8 August 2016 9:00

Researchers from several European centres have identified the main sources by which the griffon vulture is exposed to lead, mapping the spatio-temporal risk associated to the contaminant. These maps could be a useful tool in mitigating the effects of highly toxic contaminants.