Current Species News and Events

Current Species News and Events, Species News Articles.
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Understanding traditional Chinese medicine can help protect species
Demystifying traditional Chinese medicine for conservationists could be the key to better protecting endangered species like pangolins, tigers and rhino, according to University of Queensland-led researchers. UQ PhD candidate Hubert Cheung said efforts to shift entrenched values and beliefs about Chinese medicine are not achieving conservation gains in the short term. (2020-11-26)

German researchers compile world's largest inventory of known plant species
Researchers at Leipzig University and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) have compiled the world's most comprehensive list of known plant species. It contains 1,315,562 names of vascular plants, thus extending the number by some 70,000 - equivalent to about 20%. The researchers have also succeeded in clarifying 181,000 hitherto unclear species names. The data set has now been published in Scientific Data. This marks the culmination of ten years of intensive research work. (2020-11-26)

The invasive species that Europe needs to erradicate most urgently are identified
An international research team analyzed the risk impact and the effectiveness of possible erradication strategies for invasive species already in the region as well as those that have yet to arrive (2020-11-25)

The keys to the squirrel's evolutionary success in the face of climate change have been identified
Squirrels form a diverse family of rodents. Nearly 300 species have been described, and they occur in every land environment on the planet, from tropical forests to hot and cold deserts. But why are there so many species? A study led by researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid and the Institute of Geosciences (UCM-CSIC) has examined the characteristics of squirrel species that contribute to their evolutionary success in the face of global climate change. (2020-11-25)

A new species of rare phylum Loricifera discovered in the deep-sea surrounding Japan
The Loricifera is a microscopic, sediment-dwelling marine invertebrate, with a head covered in over 200 spines and an abdomen with a protective shell - known as a lorica. Since it was first discovered in 1983, just under 40 species have been written about. Now, that number is one more thanks to a group of scientists who reported on a new genus and species of Loricifera. (2020-11-24)

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)

Glyphosate may affect human gut microbiota
More than half of bacterial species in the core of the human gut microbiome are potentially sensitive to glyphosate, shows new research. Researchers from the University of Turku Finland, introduced the first bioinformatics resource to determine and test the potential sensitivity of organisms to glyphosate. (2020-11-20)

Rare species of small cats inadequately protected
The Indian subcontinent is a hotspot for wild felines. A new study headed by Uppsala University now shows that only 6-11 per cent of the areas where three rare cat species have their habitat are protected. Lack of knowledge about these species has been an obstacle to understanding their needs for reserves. The research is presented in the journal Scientific Reports. (2020-11-20)

Researchers create first map of bee species around the globe
There are over 20,000 species of bee, but accurate data about how these species are spread across the globe are sparse. However, researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on November 19 have created a map of bee diversity by combining the most complete global checklist of known bee species with the almost 6 million additional public records of where individual species have appeared around the world. (2020-11-19)

Climate warming increases infectious disease risk in cooler-climate species
Accelerated climate warming may increase the risk for infectious disease outbreaks in many species adapted to mild and cooler climates, whereas species from warmer climates could experience reductions in disease risk, reports a new study. (2020-11-19)

Review examines sexual aggression in mammals
A recent review of published studies in non-human mammals examines 'sexual disturbance,' or male behavior towards a female around mating that can be costly for the female -- for example, that might inflict physical harm or cause mother-offspring separation. The findings are published in Mammal Review. (2020-11-18)

Cichlid fishes from African Lake Tanganyika shed light on how organismal diversity arises
Lake Tanganyika in Africa is a true hotspot of organismal diversity. Approximately 240 species of cichlid fishes have evolved in this lake in less than 10 million years. A research team from the University of Basel has investigated this phenomenon of ''explosive speciation'' and provides new insights into the origins of biological diversity, as they report in the journal Nature. (2020-11-18)

Extremely rare parasitic crustacean discovered in museum shark collection
Scientists have discovered an extremely rare species of cymothoid from the mouth of a museum specimen of a deep-sea shark caught from the East China Sea, suggesting its wide distribution around the globe. (2020-11-17)

Study improves ability to predict how whales travel through their ocean habitat
Scientists at the New England Aquarium's Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life recently published a study that could help researchers learn where protections are needed the most for bowhead whales. (2020-11-17)

Abundance of prey species is key to bird diversity in cities
A team of scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) and the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) collaborated to analyse breeding bird data from the Senate of Berlin gathered by citizen scientists. They found that the abundance of invertebrates such as insects or spiders as prey is a key factor affecting bird diversity in the city. The more prey is available, the more diverse the urban bird communities are. (2020-11-17)

Migrating animals 'live fast and die young'
Animals that migrate 'live fast and die young', new research shows. (2020-11-17)

Study finds some sport fish are caught repeatedly - which may throw off population count
A new study reports that, for several species of oceanic sport fish, individual fish that are caught, released and recaught are more likely to be caught again than scientists anticipated. The findings raise some interesting questions for policy makers tasked with preserving sustainable fisheries. (2020-11-17)

Birds of a feather do flock together
Researchers explain how different species of the finch-like capuchino seedeaters quickly acquired distinct patterns of coloration over an evolutionary time scale. New gene patterns emerged from selective sweeps, a genetic process during which a naturally occurring variation becomes advantageous. (2020-11-17)

Genetic code evolution and Darwin's evolution theory should consider DNA an 'energy code'
Darwin's theory of evolution should be expanded to include consideration of a DNA stability ''energy code'' - so-called ''molecular Darwinism'' - to further account for the long-term survival of species' characteristics on Earth, according to Rutgers scientists. (2020-11-16)

The first detection of marine fish DNA in sediment sequences going back 300 years
Far too little is known about the long-term dynamics of the abundance of most macro-organism species. We used sedimentary DNA technology to quantify marine fish DNA abundance in sediment sequences spanning the last 300 years. This study first shows the existence of fish DNA in the sequences and proves that fish abundance can be tracked using sedimentary DNA, highlighting the utility of sedimentary DNA for researchers to acquire lengthy records of macro-organism species abundance. (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)

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)

What does the fox say to a puma?
The two predator species can successfully share a landscape and hunt for food over the same nighttime hours because they are, in essence, ordering from different menus. (2020-11-13)

240 mammals help us understand the human genome
A large international consortium led by scientists at Uppsala University and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has sequenced the genome of 130 mammals and analysed the data together with 110 existing genomes to allow scientist to identify which are the important positions in the DNA. This new information can help both research on disease mutations in humans and how best to preserve endangered species. The study is published in Nature. (2020-11-11)

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

Slow-living animal species could be disease 'reservoirs'
Animals that live slowly - breeding less rapidly and living longer - could be ''reservoirs'' of diseases that could jump to new species including humans, new research suggests. (2020-11-09)

Researchers identify new Rickettsia species in dogs
Researchers have identified a new species of Rickettsia bacteria that may cause significant disease in dogs and humans. This new yet unnamed species, initially identified in three dogs, is part of the spotted-fever group Rickettsia which includes Rickettsia rickettsii, the bacteria that cause Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF). (2020-11-09)

Climate change and food demand could shrink species' habitats by almost a quarter by 2100
Mammals, birds and amphibians worldwide have lost on average 18% of their natural habitat range as a result of changes in land use and climate change, a new study has found. In a worst-case scenario this loss could increase to 23% over the next 80 years. (2020-11-06)

Ecological "big-data" reveals insights into a changing arctic
The Arctic Animal Movement Archive (AAMA) - a new ecological dataset, which combines three decades of animal tracking studies from across the Arctic - provides a powerful new ecological tool to understand the rapidly changing region better. (2020-11-05)

Improving the Endangered Species Act requires more than rule reversal
Although species are disappearing at an alarming rate worldwide, the Trump administration recently finalized a series of substantial changes to the regulations that underpin the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), several of which effectively undermine species conservation. (2020-11-05)

A species identified in 2016 as an ancient form of chameleon was misidentified at that time, say researchers
A species identified in 2016 as an ancient form of chameleon was misidentified at that time, say researchers, many of whom were part of the original 2016 report. (2020-11-05)

Death from below: the first video of a parasitic wasp attacking caterpillar underwater
A previously unknown species of Japanese parasitic wasp was observed and filmed to dive underwater to parasitize moth caterpillars. This is the first known case of such behaviour for the subfamily Microgastrinae. The unique video is featured in the original description of the species, named Microgaster godzilla, because its emergence out of the water reminded the scientists of the Japanese iconic fictional monster Godzilla. The study was published in the open-access Journal of Hymenoptera Research. (2020-11-04)

From nitrate crisis to phosphate crisis?
The aim of the EU Nitrates Directive is to reduce nitrates leaking into the environment and to prevent pollution of water supplies. The widely accepted view is that this will help protect threatened plant species which can be damaged by high levels of nutrients like nitrates. However, an international team including the Universities of Göttingen, Utrecht and Zurich, has discovered that many threatened plant species will suffer because of this policy. Results appeared in Nature Ecology and Evolution. (2020-11-03)

Invisible fungi revealed by their genetic material
How can new life forms that we cannot see be discovered? Using a novel method based on looking for DNA in soil samples, researchers at Uppsala University have revealed the existence of two hitherto unknown, but very common fungus species. They are thought to perform a key function in the ecosystem, but their exact role remains to be clarified. The study is published in the journal IMA Fungus. (2020-11-03)

A new mathematical front to understand species coexistence
In an effort to understand how different species coexist, researchers develop a mathematical model that establishes interactions in co-colonization as the key. The study, published in the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, links epidemiology, ecology and evolution and models host colonization by different microbial species, providing fundamental advances for the analysis of species coexistence and the understanding of biodiversity. (2020-11-03)

Gentoo penguins are four species, not one, say scientists
First analysis combining genetic and physical differences of populations of gentoo penguins indicates they should be treated as four separate species. (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)

Ninety years of data shows global warming impacts on foundation of marine ecosystems
Phytoplankton are microscopic plants that underpin ocean productivity and provide 50% of the world's oxygen via photosynthesis. An investigation of a 90 year data set from a coastal station offshore from Sydney provides a unique opportunity to better predict the impact of global warming on future ocean phytoplankton communities, on biodiversity and ultimately fisheries production. (2020-11-01)

Radical changes in ecosystems
Earth and all the living organisms on it are constantly changing. But is there any way we can detect if these changes are occurring at an abnormal rate? An international team of researchers including scientists from FAU have developed a method of detecting such developments and tracking how new ecosystems are formed. (2020-10-30)

China's most important trees are hiding in plain sight
A research collaboration between Chinese and American scientists has synthesized long-term biodiversity data from 12 immense forest study plots spanning 1,500 miles, from China's far north to its southern tropics. Their results, published today in the journal Ecology, point to maple trees - long appreciated for their autumn foliage and the syrup that graces our tables - as potential foundation species in both China and North America. (2020-10-30)

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