Current Natural history News and Events

Current Natural history News and Events, Natural history News Articles.
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Siberian primrose has not had time to adapt to climate change
Global warming already affects Siberian primrose, a plant species that is threatened in Finland and Norway. According to a recently completed study, individuals of Siberian primrose originating in the Finnish coast on the Bothnian Bay currently fare better in northern Norway than in their home area. The results indicate that the species may not be able to adapt to quickly progressing climate change, which could potentially lead to its extinction. (2020-11-23)

Enriching research in ecology and evolution through nine 'flavors' of history
In a recent article in The Quarterly Review of Biology, ''Beyond Equilibria: The Neglected Role of History in Ecology and Evolution,'' author Hamish G. Spencer argues for a revitalized view of history. This historical view is a response to current research in the field of ecology and evolution, which is dominated by an ahistorical view of dynamic systems. (2020-11-23)

Predicting preterm births
Researchers studied how family history can predict preterm birth. (2020-11-19)

Research on environmental history: 330-year-old poplar tree tells of its life
Similar to genetic mutations, epigenetic changes, i.e. gene modifications that do not occur on the primary DNA sequence, sometimes arise accidentally in plants and can be transmitted across generations. Using trees as a model, researchers have now shown for the first time that these so-called epimutations accumulate continuously throughout plant development, and that they can be employed as a molecular clock to estimate the age of a tree. (2020-11-18)

New analysis refutes claim that dinosaurs were in decline before asteroid hit
New research suggests that dinosaurs were not in decline before the asteroid hit. The study contradicts previous theories and concludes that had the impact not occurred dinosaurs might have continued to be the dominant group of land animals. (2020-11-17)

SwRI scientists expand space instrument's capabilities
A new study by Southwest Research Institute scientists describes how they have ex-panded the capabilities of the prototype spaceflight instrument Chemistry Organic and Dating Experiment (CODEX), designed for field-based dating of extraterrestrial materi-als. CODEX now uses two different dating approaches based on rubidium-strontium and lead-lead geochronology methods. The instrument uses laser ablation resonance ionization mass spectrometry (LARIMS) to obtain dates using these methods. (2020-11-16)

Tiny cave snail with muffin-top waistline rolls out of the dark in Laos
Recent cave exploration has turned up a tiny, top-heavy snail that glistens under the light of the microscope lens. Only 1.80 mm tall, this transparent snail bulges at the middle, giving a natural appearance to the ''muffin-top'' waistline. The paper, authored by Adrienne Jochum and co-authors from France and Switzerland, and published in the open-access journal Subterranean Biology, reveals new biodiversity from the seldom explored caves of central Laos. (2020-11-16)

Researchers quantify carbon changes in Sierra Nevada meadow soils
Meadows in the Sierra Nevada mountains are critical components of watersheds. In addition to supplying water to over 25 million people in California and Nevada, meadows contain large quantities of carbon belowground. While it has been known for some time that meadows have large quantities of soil carbon, whether meadow soils are gaining or losing carbon has remained unclear. (2020-11-16)

Henderson island fossils reveal new Polynesian sandpiper species
Fossil bones collected in the early 1990s on Henderson Island, part of the Pitcairn Group, have revealed a new species of Polynesian sandpiper. The Henderson Sandpiper, a small wading bird that has been extinct for centuries, is formally named Prosobonia sauli after Cook Islands-based ornithologist and conservationist Edward K Saul. (2020-11-16)

New bird genomes give insight into evolution of genomic diversity
The Bird 10,000 Genome Project (B10K), an initiative to sequence the genomes of all living bird species, announces the completion of its second milestone--the release of genomes representing 92% of all bird families. (2020-11-12)

Scientists release genomes of birds representing nearly all avian families
In the Nov. 11, 2020 issue of the journal Nature, scientists report on the genomes of 363 species of birds, including 267 that have been sequenced for the first time. The studied species--from widespread, economically important birds such as the chicken to the lesser known birds--represent more than 92% of the world's avian families. The data from the study will advance research on the evolution of birds and the conservation of threatened bird species. (2020-11-11)

Researchers discover the secret of how moss spreads
University of Copenhagen researchers have discovered how mosses became one of our planet's most widely distributed plants -- global wind systems transport them along Earth's latitudes, to rooftops, sidewalks and lawns worldwide, and as far away as Antarctica. This new knowledge can provide us with a better understanding of how other small organisms are spread, including airborne bacteria and organisms that produce airborne spores. (2020-11-10)

Dietary overlap of birds, bats and dragonflies disadvantageous in insect decline
According to a new Finnish study, different groups of insectivores compete for the same type of food. Researchers of the University of Turku, Finland, and the Finnish Museum of Natural History made a discovery by comparing birds, bats and dragonflies that forage in the same area in Southwest Finland. These very distantly related predators consumed the same insect groups. The results shed new light on the decline in insect populations. (2020-11-10)

Study identifies new "hidden" gene in COVID-19 virus
Researchers have discovered a new ''hidden'' gene in SARS-CoV-2--the virus that causes COVID-19--that may have contributed to its unique biology and pandemic potential. In a virus that only has about 15 genes in total, knowing more about this and other overlapping genes--or ''genes within genes''--could have a significant impact on how we combat the virus. (2020-11-10)

New primate species discovered in Myanmar
100 year-old London museum sample gave decisive hints. (2020-11-10)

How ancient dust from the sea floor helps to explain climate history
Iron-containing dust can fuel ocean productivity. Researchers now show that dust travelled a long way in the South Pacific Region during the last Ice Age. Based on analyses of sediment cores they identified the area that is now north-west Argentina as primary source of dust. The results help explain glacial cooling and climate history. (2020-11-09)

The first duckbill dinosaur fossil from Africa hints at how dinosaurs once crossed oceans
The first fossils of a duckbilled dinosaur have been discovered in Africa, suggesting dinosaurs crossed hundreds of kilometres of open water to get there. (2020-11-05)

Tel Aviv University says 'environmentally-friendly' tableware harms marine animals
A new Tel Aviv University study compares the effects of two types of disposable dishes on the marine environment -- regular plastic disposable dishes and more expensive bioplastic disposable dishes certified by various international organizations -- and determines that the bioplastic dishes had a similar effect on marine animals as regular plastic dishes. (2020-11-04)

New mineral discovered in moon meteorite
The high-pressure mineral Donwilhelmsite, recently discovered in the lunar meteorite Oued Awlitis 001 from Apollo missions, is important for understanding the inner structure of the earth. (2020-11-03)

Artificial night lighting has widespread impacts on nature
Artificial night-time lighting has a diverse range of effects across the natural world and should be limited where possible, researchers say. (2020-11-02)

Fossils reveal mammals mingled in age of dinosaurs
A cluster of ancient mammal fossils discovered in western Montana reveal that mammals were social earlier than previously believed, a new study finds. (2020-11-02)

New ancient genomes reveal a complex common history of dogs and humans
Newly sequenced whole genomes of ancient dogs reveal a complicated genetic legacy that reflects a long, shared history with humans spanning more than 11,000 years into the past. (2020-10-29)

Newly discovered gene may give 'sea pickles' their glow
A new study describes a bioluminescent gene that could be the reason that so-called 'sea pickles,' or pyrosomes, an underwater free-floating colony of thousands of tiny animals, reverberate in blue-green light. If confirmed, the finding would be the first bioluminescent gene identified from a chordate--the group that includes all vertebrates as well as a couple types of invertebrates: sea squirts (including pyrosomes) and lancelets. (2020-10-20)

New evidence found of the ritual significance of a classic Maya sweat bath in Guatemala
An unusual offering in an abandoned and unique-looking Maya sweat bath revealed new evidence of the role it played in the community (2020-10-19)

Watching nature on TV can boost wellbeing, finds new study
Watching high quality nature programmes on TV can uplift people's moods, reduce negative emotions, and help alleviate the kind of boredom associated with being isolated indoors. (2020-10-13)

Mass loss driven shape evolution model unveils formation of flattened 'snowman' (486958) Arrokoth
An international research team led by Assoc. Prof. ZHAO Yuhui from the Purple Mountain Observatory has built and applied a mass-loss-driven shape evolution model (MONET) and suggested that the current flattened shape of Arrokoth could be of evolutionary origin due to volatile outgassing in a timescale of about 1-100 Myr, which provides a natural explanation for the flattening shape of the body. (2020-10-12)

A timeline on the evolution of reptiles
A statistical analysis of that vast database is helping scientists better understand the evolution of these cold-blooded vertebrates by contradicting a widely held theory that major transitions in evolution always happened in big, quick (geologically speaking) bursts, triggered by major environmental shifts. (2020-10-06)

UM researchers help study largest estimated Greenland ice loss
University of Montana researchers have contributed to a study forecasting significant ice loss in Greenland. According to the study just published in the journal Nature, Greenland will lose more ice this century than in the past 12,000 years if greenhouse gas emissions are not curbed. (2020-10-06)

Seeking ancient rainforests through modern mammal diets
Closed-canopy rainforests are a vital part of Earth's modern ecosystems, but tropical plants don't preserve well in the fossil record so it is difficult to tell how long these habitats have existed and where rainforests might have once grown. Instead, scientists look to the diets of extinct animals, which lock evidence of the vegetation they ate into their teeth. A new study finds that the paradigm used to identify closed-canopy rainforests needs to be reassessed. (2020-10-05)

The testimony of trees: How volcanic eruptions shaped 2000 years of world history
Researchers have shown that over the past two thousand years, volcanoes have played a larger role in natural temperature variability than previously thought, and their climatic effects may have contributed to past societal and economic change. (2020-09-28)

Natural capital a missing piece in climate policy
Clean air, clean water and a functioning ecosystem are considered priceless. Yet accounting for the economic value of nature has large implications for climate policy, a UC Davis study shows. (2020-09-28)

Halt post-disturbance logging in forests
Please do not disturb: After forest fires, bark beetle infestations and other damage, the affected forests should not be cleared. (2020-09-23)

Study shows the major impact of diabetes on the risk of falls
New research presented at this year's annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), held online this year (21-25 September), shows that having type 1 diabetes (T1D) is associated with a 33% increase in the risk of falls compared with the general population, while having type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with a 19% increased risk of falls. (2020-09-20)

Neil deGrasse Tyson speaks out on space, politics, and science outreach
The BioScience Talks podcast features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences. (2020-09-18)

Invasive shrimp-sucking parasite continues northward Pacific expansion
Researchers have identified an invasive blood-sucking parasite on mud shrimp in the waters of British Columbia's Calvert Island. The discovery represents the northern-most record of the parasite on the West Coast and is likely an indication of its ability to spread without human transport. (2020-09-17)

Sleep apnea linked with higher spine fracture risk among women
Emerging evidence suggests that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may negatively affect bone health. Results from a new study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research now indicate that women with history of OSA may face a higher risk of spine, or vertebral, fractures. (2020-09-10)

Older and richer: Old grasslands show high biodiversity and conservation value
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba and Kobe University have found that the long-term, sustained existence of grasslands can increase plant diversity, and can act as an indicator for grasslands of high conservation importance. Old grasslands showed a higher plant diversity than forests and new grasslands, and acted as refuges for native and endangered grassland-dependent plant species. The plant community of old grasslands was shown to be unique, indicating that they are of high conservation priority. (2020-09-10)

The surprising rhythms of Leopards: Females are early birds, males are nocturnal
After 10 months of camera surveillance in the Tanzanian rainforest, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have become the first to conclude that female and male leopards are active at very different times of the day. The discovery contradicts previous assumptions and could be used to help protect the endangered feline, whose populations have dwindled by 85 percent over the past century. (2020-09-10)

66 million years of Earth's climate uncovered from ocean sediments
Changes in the Earth's climate over the last 66 million years have been revealed in unprecedented detail by a team involving UCL researchers, highlighting four distinctive climatic states and the natural million- and thousand-year variability that Earth's climate has experienced. (2020-09-10)

Humans, not climate, have driven rapidly rising mammal extinction rate
Human impact can explain ninety-six percent of all mammal species extinctions of the last hundred thousand years, according to a new study published in the scientific journal Science Advances. (2020-09-09)

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