sex

Chimps and bonobos interbred and exchanged genes

Chimpanzees and their relatives bonobos are closer than we thought. Bonobos seem to have donated genes to chimps at least twice in the roughly two million years since they last shared an ancestor.

The two closely related apes have occasionally interbred in captivity, and bonobos are renowned for their free and easy sex life. But the finding that they interbred in the wild was unexpected. Read more in New Scientist.

Amorous insects predict the weather

Changes in atmospheric pressure reduce mating in beetles, moths and aphids.

People have long claimed that animals can predict the weather, for examply by curtailing their activity when rain threatens. Such theories have had little evidence to support them, but now, a team of scientists has found a concrete example: insects shy away from sex in response to the drop in atmospheric pressure that presages rain. Read more in Nature.