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Climate-related changes in flower diversity have resulted in a decrease in the length of alpine bumble bees' tongues, a new paper in Science says, leaving these insects poorly suited to feed from and pollinate the deep flowers they were adapted to previously.

The results highlight how certain mutually beneficial ecological partnerships can be lost due to shifts in climate. Many co-evolved species have precisely matched traits; for example, long-tongued bumble bees are well adapted for obtaining nectar from deep flowers with long corolla tubes. Recent studies suggest long-tongued bumble bees are declining in number.

Teeth and seashells are among the stronger, more durable things in nature. The secret of these materials lies in their unique fine structure: they are composed of different layers in which numerous micro-platelets are joined together, aligned in identical orientation in each layer.

A proof-of-concept study finds that it is possible to identify an individual's ancestral background based on his or her fingerprint characteristics - a discovery with significant applications for law enforcement and anthropological research.

"This is the first study to look at this issue at this level of detail, and the findings are extremely promising," says Ann Ross, a professor of anthropology at North Carolina State University and senior author of a paper describing the work. "But more work needs to be done. We need to look at a much larger sample size and evaluate individuals from more diverse ancestral backgrounds."

Researchers from the University of Exeter believe they have solved one of the biggest puzzles in climate science. The new study, published in Nature Geoscience, explains the synchrony observed during glacial periods when low temperatures in the Southern Ocean correspond with low levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).

The interdisciplinary study, carried out in collaboration with the University of Tasmania, demonstrates how a reconfiguration of ocean circulation can result in more carbon being stored in the deep ocean that previously thought.