Current Species News and Events

Current Species News and Events, Species News Articles.
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New malaria mosquito is emerging in African cities
Larvae of a new malaria mosquito species are abundantly present in water containers in cities in Ethiopia. The mosquito, Anopheles stephensi, is the main malaria mosquito in India but only appeared on the African continent a few years ago. It has now been found in cities and towns in urban settings in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Djibouti. Malaria can become an increasing problem for urban areas in Ethiopia and elsewhere in Africa. (2021-01-27)

Southern Africa's most endangered shark just extended its range by 2,000 kilometers
A team of marine scientists led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has confirmed that southern Africa's most threatened endemic shark - the Critically Endangered shorttail nurse shark (Pseudoginglymostoma brevicaudatum) - has been found to occur in Mozambique; a finding that represents a range extension of more than 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles). (2021-01-26)

Scientists show impact of human activity on bird species
Scientists have shown where bird species would exist in the absence of human activity under research that could provide a new approach to setting conservation priorities. (2021-01-25)

A quarter of known bee species haven't appeared in public records since the 1990s
Researchers at the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) in Argentina have found that, since the 1990s, up to 25% of reported bee species are no longer being reported in global records, despite a large increase in the number of records available. While this does not mean that these species are all extinct, it might indicate that these species have become rare enough that no one is observing them in nature. The findings appear January 22 in the journal One Earth. (2021-01-22)

Fish sex organs boosted under high-CO2
Research from Australia has found that some species of fish will have higher reproductive capacity because of larger sex organs, under the more acidic oceans of the future. (2021-01-21)

Climate-related species extinction possibly mitigated by newly discovered effect
Changes in climate that occur over short periods of time influence biodiversity. For a realistic assessment of these effects, it is necessary to also consider previous temperature trends going far back into Earth's history. Researchers from the University of Bayreuth and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg show this in a paper for ''Nature Ecology and Evolution''. (2021-01-20)

Bonobos, chimpanzees, and oxytocin
Kyoto University researchers analyze the effects of the hormone oxytocin in our closest primate cousins, bonobos and chimpanzees by tracking their eye movement -- a important indicator of social interaction. Similar to other mammals, oxytocin increases eye contact in bonobos. However, the opposite effect is observed in chimpanzees. Therefore, oxytocin could play a modulating role in the social evolution of the two species. (2021-01-20)

Indigenous lands: A haven for wildlife
Indigenous peoples' lands may harbour a significant proportion of threatened and endangered species globally, according to University of Queensland-led research. (2021-01-20)

50 million-year-old fossil assassin bug has unusually well-preserved genitalia
The fossilized insect is tiny and its genital capsule, called a pygophore, is roughly the length of a grain of rice. It is remarkable, scientists say, because the bug's physical characteristics -- from the bold banding pattern on its legs to the internal features of its genitalia -- are clearly visible and well-preserved. Recovered from the Green River Formation in present-day Colorado, the fossil represents a new genus and species of predatory insects known as assassin bugs. (2021-01-19)

Of the honey bee dance
Honey bees are unique in that they not only alert their nestmates but have also evolved a symbolic communication in the form of a dance - a waggle dance. (2021-01-18)

Micro-climate moulds and reshapes northern insect communities, herbivory and predation
Climate and changes in it have direct impacts on species of plant and animals - but climate may also shape more complex biological systems like food webs. Now a research group from the University of Helsinki has investigated how micro-climate shapes each level of the ecosystem, from species' abundances in predator communities to parasitism rates in key herbivores, and ultimately to damage suffered by plants. The results reveal how climate change may drastically reshape northern ecosystems. (2021-01-14)

CCNY's David Lohman finds Asian butterfly mimics different species as defense mechanism
Many animal and insect species use Batesian mimicry - mimicking a poisonous species - as a defense against predators. The common palmfly, Elymnias hypermnestra (a species of satyrine butterfly), which is found throughout wide areas of tropical and subtropical Asia, adds a twist to this evolutionary strategy: the females evolved two distinct forms, either orange or dark brown, imitating two separate poisonous model species, Danaus or Euploea. (2021-01-14)

Behavioral traits converge for humans and animals sharing an environment
Humans, mammals and birds that live in a particular environment share a common set of behavioral traits, according to a new study, which identifies a local convergence of foraging, reproductive and social behaviors across species. (2021-01-14)

Bacteria carried by mosquitos may protect them against pesticides
Mosquitoes are transmitters of several diseases and pesticides are used to control their numbers in many countries. New study finds Wolbachia - a bacteria commonly found in insects - appears to protect them against these pesticides. (2021-01-13)

Asian butterfly mimics other species to defend against predators
Many animal and insect species use Batesian mimicry -- mimicking a poisonous species -- as a defense against predators. The common palmfly Elymnias hypermnestra -- a species of satyrine butterfly that is found throughout wide areas of tropical and subtropical Asia -- adds a twist to this evolutionary strategy. (2021-01-13)

Penned release of green geckos has potential to help preserve threatened native species
In a paper just published in the New Zealand Journal of Ecology, the Department of Zoology researchers outlined how they translocated 19 barking geckos to Mana Island, using the method of penned release - enclosing them in a 100m² pen for three months so they get used to the site and hopefully establish a breeding population. (2021-01-13)

Artificial intelligence puts focus on the life of insects
Scientists are combining artificial intelligence and advanced computer technology with biological know how to identify insects with supernatural speed. This opens up new possibilities for describing unknown species and for tracking the life of insects across space and time (2021-01-12)

Study finds future too warm for baby sharks
A new study conducted at the New England Aquarium finds that as climate change causes the ocean to warm, baby sharks are born smaller, exhausted, undernourished, and into environments that are already difficult for them to survive in. (2021-01-12)

DNA in water used to uncover genes of invasive fish
In a proof-of-principle study, Cornell researchers describe a new technique in which they analyzed environmental DNA - or eDNA - from water samples in Cayuga Lake to gather nuanced information about the presence of these invasive fish. (2021-01-12)

Researchers find nonnative species in Oahu play greater role in seed dispersal
Oahu's ecosystems have been so affected by species extinctions and invasions that most of the seeds dispersed on the island belong to nonnative plants, and most of them are dispersed by nonnative birds. (2021-01-11)

Native biodiversity collapse in the Eastern Mediterranean
An international team led by Paolo G. Albano from the Department of Palaeontology at the University of Vienna quantified a dramatic biodiversity collapse of up to 95 per cent of native species in the Eastern Mediterranean. The study is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. (2021-01-07)

Eurasian eagle owl diet reveals new records of threatened giant bush-crickets
Bird diets provide a real treasure for research into the distribution and conservation of their prey, conclude scientists after studying the Eurasian Eagle Owl in southeastern Bulgaria. In their paper, published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Travaux du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle ''Grigore Antipa'', they report the frequent presence of the threatened Big-Bellied Glandular Bush-Cricket, and conclude that studies on the Eurasian Eagle Owl could be used to identify biodiversity-rich areas in need of protection. (2021-01-05)

New bacterial culture methods could result in the discovery of new species
A new microbial study explored the bacterial diversity of the Tabernas Desert located in the south-eastern Spain. Using simple tweaks of the traditional bacterial culture methods, the researchers isolated more than 250 bacterial strains of which 80 could be possible new bacteria species. (2021-01-05)

New work provides insight into the relationship between complexity and diversity
Parts of the planet that are diverse biologically and culturally are even more diverse than you'd expect. A group of Santa Fe Institute collaborators developed a theory to show why richer environments are also more complex environments, where you tend to find more species and languages. (2021-01-05)

Risk of extinction cascades from freshwater mussels to a bitterling fish
Reproduction of native and invasive bitterling fishes and their hybridisation was studied in Japan. We collected mussels in which these bitterlings lay their eggs, kept them in aquaria, collected eggs/larvae ejected from mussels, and genotyped them. We found that hybrids occurred when local mussel density was low. The rapid decline of the host mussels and artificial introduction of an invasive congener interacted to cause the rapid decline of a native fish. (2021-01-04)

Pandas' popularity not protecting neighbors
Doubt is cast on the long-held hope that the conservation protections granted pandas and other adored threatened species extended to their wildlife neighbors, calling for broader conservation efforts. (2021-01-04)

Researchers regenerate deactivated catalyst in methanol-to-olefins process
Researchers from DICP regenerated deactivated catalyst in industrially important methanol-to-olefins (MTO) process by directly transforming the coke deposited on the zeolite catalyst to active intermediates rather than burning off to carbon oxide. (2021-01-04)

A single gene 'invented' haemoglobin several times
Thanks to the marine worm Platynereis dumerilii, an animal whose genes have evolved very slowly, scientists from CNRS, Université de Paris and Sorbonne Université, in association with others at the University of Saint Petersburg and the University of Rio de Janeiro, have shown that while haemoglobin appeared independently in several species, it actually descends from a single gene transmitted to all by their last common ancestor. These findings were published on 29 December 2020 in BMC Evolutionary Biology. (2020-12-29)

Survival of the thickest: Big brains make mammal populations less dense
Body size and diet are known to influence mammal abundance in different areas, but brain size had not been considered previously. This new study shows that larger brains correlate with lower population densities, likely because of the additional resources they require. (2020-12-23)

A new species of mammal may have been found in Africa's montane forests
A research team from the University of Helsinki has discovered a tree hyrax in the Taita Hills, Kenya, which may belong to a species previously unknown to science. (2020-12-22)

Climate warming linked to tree leaf unfolding and flowering growing apart
Climate warming is linked to a widening interval between leaf unfolding and flowering in European trees, with implications for tree fitness and the wider environment, according to new research published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Ecology. (2020-12-21)

Crikey! Massive prehistoric croc emerges from South East Queensland
A prehistoric croc measuring more than five meters long -- dubbed the 'swamp king' -- ruled south eastern Queensland waterways only a few million years ago. University of Queensland researchers identified the new species of prehistoric croc -- which they named Paludirex vincenti -- from fossils first unearthed in the 1980s. (2020-12-21)

Study examines attitudes toward non-native birds
A new study from scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology examines public attitudes toward non-native bird species and whether people are willing to manage them to protect native cavity-nesting birds, such as Eastern Bluebirds and the American Kestrel. The findings are published in the Journal of Environmental Management. (2020-12-21)

Invasive in the U.S., lifesaver Down Under
New research reveals monitor lizards should be regarded as ''ecosystem engineers'' as they provide food and shelter to other reptiles, insects and mammals, helping prevent extinction. (2020-12-21)

Genetic exchange discovered in anciently asexual rotifers
Skoltech's evolutionary biologists discovered recombination in bdelloid rotifers, microscopic freshwater invertebrates, which have long been regarded as 'an evolutionary scandal' due to their presumed ancient asexuality. The existence of such anciently asexual groups calls into question the hypothesis that sexual reproduction is indispensable for long-term evolutionary success of species. However, the recent study published in Nature Communications provides evidence of recombination and genetic exchange in bdelloids. (2020-12-18)

Plant diversity in Germany on the decline
In the last 60 years, plant diversity across Germany decreased by an average of 15 percent in over 70 percent of the more than 2000 species examined. This most comprehensive analysis of plant data from Germany ever conducted involved researchers from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), the universities of Jena, Halle and Rostock, the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) as well as the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN). (2020-12-16)

Fishing alters fish behaviour and features in exploited ecosystems
Not all specimens of the same species are the same: there is a marked variability within the same population and sometimes these morphological differences are translated into a different behaviour. (2020-12-16)

King of the Cave: New centipede on top of the food chain in the sulphurous-soaked Movile
A new species of endemic, troglobiont centipede was discovered by an international team of scientists in the Romanian cave Movile: a unique underground ecosystem, isolated several millions years ago during the Neogene, whose animal life only exists because of the chemosynthetic bacteria. As the largest Movile's inhabitant, the new species can easily be crowned as the 'king' of this 'hellish' ecosystem. Aptly named Cryptops speleorex, the cave-dweller is described in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal ZooKeys. (2020-12-16)

Biologists clarify how three species of cephalopods coexist in the Arctic
By analyzing the content of stable heavy isotopes of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) in the beaks, the researchers studied three closely related cephalopod species: the highly boreal Rossia megaptera, the wide-boreal-Arctic Rossia palpebrosa, and the Arctic endemic Rossia moelleri, which are sympatric in the Arctic. (2020-12-15)

Creating a ground plan for stonefly evolution
A team led by the University of Tsukuba microscopically examined the eggs of stoneflies to identify ground plan features and shed light on the evolutionary history of the order. By identifying ancestral and derived features, the researchers reconstructed the evolution of egg structures, and confirmed that establishing an embryonic ground plan can provide unique insights into the evolution of the group. (2020-12-15)

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