Category: Life

A reeking, parasitic plant lost its body and much of its genetic blueprint

The genome of Sapria himalayana is rife with gene loss and theft

For most of their lives, plants in the Sapria genus are barely anything — thin ribbons of parasitic cells winding inside vines in Southeast Asian rainforests. They become visible only when they reproduce, bursting from their host as a dinner plate–sized flower that smells like rotting flesh.

Meatier meals and more playtime might reduce cats’ toll on wildlife

Simple steps to keep felines happy can also keep more wild birds and mammals alive

Surprisingly simple measures might keep domestic cats from killing a lot of wildlife.

Estimates vary, but it’s likely that billions of birds and mammals succumb each year to our outdoor-ranging feline friends (SN: 1/29/13). Calls to keep cats indoors are often contentious among cat owners, and cats can sometimes reject colorful collars or loud bells designed to make them more noticeable.

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