Beetles' wing-cases (elytra) are one of the most important adaptation achievements of this group of insects, which ensured its enormous evolutionary success. A research team including a Polish scientist published an extensive analysis of the evolution, modification and various functions of these structures in Biology Letters.
The corpus luteum plays an important role in early pregnancy through the production of progesterone, an essential hormone needed for the proper development of pregnancy. Scientists from the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn discovered that this gland also secretes a protein called prokineticin 1, which increases lifespan and stimulates the functions of the corpus luteum.
Pro-social behaviour is determined by sex, scientists from the Maj Institute of Pharmacology PAS found during their research on mice. In nature, these animals exhibit a number of social behaviours: they maintain a hierarchy, females nest together, and males display territoriality and aggression.
Albino individuals occur in populations of various animal species, but in the case of shrews they are extremely rare. One of these specimens arrived a few days ago at the Mammal Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Białowieża. This is the first such unique specimen in Poland and the third in the world, the institute's representatives emphasise in a press release.
Researchers from the Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences have proven that breeding small brachycephalic (shorter-nosed) dogs took place already in ancient Rome. Research on a 2,000 years old dog skull indicates that the dog resembled a French bulldog.
The analysis of the content of 10 different organic compounds belonging to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in soils taken from protected areas (landscape parks in the Małopolska region) revealed that in a quarter of the tested samples the permissible levels were exceeded, causing a risk of particular importance for the protection of the soil surface.