Bottlenose dolphins provide extended maternal care, which might play a role in the evolution of menopause (Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons/BrandonTrentler)

By Jacob Williamson-Rea

Our weekly round-up compiles stories and news, both from here at Penn and around the world, that highlight the intersection of animal, environmental, and human health.

Dolphins could unveil the origins of menopause
Science, July 17, 2018
Humans and three kinds of whales are the only species that experience menopause. Information about the origin of this biological process, however, might come from an unlikely source: the bottlenose dolphin, which doesn’t experience it but does provide extended maternal care.

Is what’s good for the lemurs also good for the locals?
NPR, July 11, 2018
As Madagascar’s population expands, so does the country’s need for farming land. But because several endangered species live in the forests there, the government limited clearing and logging, which led to new solutions—and new problems.

Killing rats could save coral reefs
BBC, July 12, 2018
Bird droppings directly benefit natural reefs, but tropical areas inhabited by invasive rats are seeing plummeting seabird populations, according to a new study published in Nature.

They’re out in the woods picking up ticks—on purpose
The Washington Post, July 15, 2018
Researchers and scientists have teamed up in Minnesota to collect ticks, hoping to identify both current and future threats posed to humans.

Late snowpack signals a lost summer for Greenland’s shorebirds
Scientific American, July 13, 2018
Greenland’s shorebirds rely on a brief window of Arctic summer, but that window began too late this year. Some climate models show such a phenomenon becoming common, which, according to experts, could alter bird populations.

Ten species of shark coming to the UK as waters warm
The Guardian, July 18, 2018
Climate change leads to shifting temperatures and subsequent changes in animal demographics. As seas around the United Kingdom get warmer, they’ll become home to several new shark species.