World's most endangered cat: Amur leopardFollowing the April 18 announcement that only 25 to 34 of the Amur or Far Eastern leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) remain in the wild, World Wildlife Fund says the number must now be revised because a female Amur leopard was killed.
Anonymous tips led officers of two leopard anti-poaching squads to the body of the leopardess on April 20 about two miles from Bamburovo village within the watershed of Alimovka River on the territory of........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/23/2007 9:58:45 PM)
Lemmings And Global WarmingContrary to popular belief, lemmings do not commit mass suicide by leaping off of cliffs into the sea. In fact, they are quite fond of staying alive. A bigger threat to the rodents is climate change, which could deprive them of the snow they need for homes and lock up their food in ice, as per the Wildlife Conservation Society, which is launching a study to examine how these tiny but important players in the ecological health of the far North........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/21/2007 8:25:16 AM)
Not Your Average Easter BunnyHippity, hoppity.....click! One of the world's rarest rabbits hopped in front of a camera trap planted by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) scientists in an Indonesian rain forest. The photos, taken in Bukit Barisan National Park, are only the third images of the Sumatran striped rabbit ever recorded; the rabbit was last photographed there in 2000.
Before the first photo was taken in 1998, the foot-long Sumatran striped rabbit had not been........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/21/2007 7:34:46 AM)
Bison CalfSpringtime means the coming of new life for most animals. From the moment of birth, life for animals in Wind Cave National Park is a constant fight for survival. Fortunately, animals are born with certain protective mechanisms.
This May 50 to 60 bison calves will be born to Wind Cave's herd of about 350 bison. Most cows give birth to one calf each year. Two or three days after the birth the seventy pound, red-coated youngsters........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/19/2007 8:12:45 PM)
New Genus Of Frogmouth Bird In Solomon IslandsYour bird field guide may be out of date now that University of Florida researchers discovered a new genus of frogmouth bird on a South Pacific island.
New genera of living birds are rare discoveries - fewer than one per year is announced globally. David Steadman and Andrew Kratter, ornithologists at the Florida Museum of Natural History, turned up the surprising new discovery on a collecting expedition in the Solomon Islands. Theirs is the........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/19/2007 7:31:29 PM)
Why some aphids can't stand the heatFor pea aphids, the ability to go forth and multiply can depend on a single gene, as per new research.
An overheated aphid with a mutation in that gene can't reproduce.
The gene isn't even in the insect -- it's in tiny symbiotic bacteria housed inside special cells inside the aphid.
"It's the first time a mutation in a symbiont has been shown to have a huge impact on host ecology," said Nancy A. Moran, Regents' Professor of ecology and........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/19/2007 7:26:29 PM)
The cost of long tonguesOrchid bees use their extraordinarily long tongues to drink nectar from the deep, tropical flowers only they can access. Scientists have long suspected that this kind of exclusive access came with a mechanical cost. As per common sense and a classic law of fluid mechanics, it's just plain hard to suck thick, viscous nectars up through a long straw. Now, Brendan Borrell at the University of California, Berkeley has confirmed this prediction for........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/17/2007 4:57:23 AM)
Ebola outbreaks killing thousands of gorillasWhy have large outbreaks of Ebola virus killed tens of thousands of gorillas and chimpanzees over the last decade? Observations reported in the recent issue of The American Naturalist provide new clues, suggesting that outbreaks may be amplified by Ebola transmission between ape social groups. The study provides hope that newly developed vaccines could control the devastating impact of Ebola on wild apes.
Direct encounters between gorilla or........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/17/2007 4:53:32 AM)
Ancient T. rex and mastodon protein discoveredScientists have confirmed the existence of protein in soft tissue recovered from the fossil bones of a 68 million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex (T. rex) and a half-million-year-old mastodon.
Their results may change the way people think about fossil preservation and present a new method for studying diseases in which identification of proteins is important, such as cancer.
When an animal dies, protein immediately begins to degrade and, in........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 4/12/2007 6:37:40 PM)
Nongreen Plants On Other PlanetsNASA researchers believe they have found a way to predict the color of plants on planets in other solar systems.
Green, yellow or even red-dominant plants may live on extra-solar planets, as per researchers whose two scientific papers appear in the recent issue of the journal, Astrobiology. The researchers studied light absorbed and reflected by organisms on Earth, and determined that if astronomers were to look at the light given off by........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 4/11/2007 9:19:47 PM)
Katmai National Park & PreserveKatmai National Monument was created in 1918 to preserve the famed Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a spectacular forty square mile, 100 to 700 foot deep ash flow deposited by Novarupta Volcano. A National Park & Preserve since 1980, today Katmai is still famous for volcanoes, but also for brown bears, pristine waterways with abundant fish, remote wilderness, and a rugged coastline. Get on the Bus!A 4-wheel drive bus provides........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/6/2007 6:51:07 PM)
Pima Pineapple Cactus to Remain in Endangered Species ListA review of the status of the Pima pineapple cactus reit requires a return on the federal endangered species list, as decided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
This means that new developments are needed that will save open space for it in the fast-growing Tucson suburbs. The Pima pineapple cactus is far more common compared to what was previously estimated, and it should be lumped with other more common pineapple cacti varieties, as........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 4/3/2007 9:43:53 PM)
Right angles are all wrong for tree frog adhesionTree frogs have the unique ability to stick to smooth surfaces even when they are tilted well beyond the vertical - some small tree frogs can even adhere when completely upside down. On the other hand when walking or jumping they can detach their toe pads easily. Scientists from the University of Glasgow will present insights into how this fascinating ability is controlled at the Society for Experimental Biologys Annual Meeting in Glasgow, UK.........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/1/2007 9:07:23 PM)
The Majestic Elephants of Southern Africa Face Mass CullingZimbabwe plans to kill thousands of elephants in its forests to control the growing population of these majestic animals.
Parks and Wildlife Authority of Zimbabwe has said that the number of elephants in the country has crossed 100,000, way above the 45,000 limit the country can sustain
The animals have often sauntered through villages, trampling crops and destroying property
The wildlife authority spokesperson Edward Mbewe says We........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 3/28/2007 8:11:59 PM)
Man's earliest direct ancestorsModern man"s earliest known close ancestor was significantly more apelike than previously believed, a New York University College of Dentistry professor has found.
A computer-generated reconstruction by Dr. Timothy Bromage, a paleoanthropologist and Adjunct Professor of Biomaterials and of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology, shows a 1.9 million-year-old skull belonging to Homo rudolfensis, the earliest member of the human genus, with a........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 3/25/2007 9:12:15 PM)
Watch Out When They Get Near WineLadybugs may look pretty but they also have a dark side. In some places, the polka-dotted insects have become a nuisance by invading homes and crops, including some vineyards. To make matters worse, the bugs produce a foul-smelling liquid that, besides irritating homeowners, can be inadvertently processed along with grapes and taint the aroma and flavor of wine.
Now, chemists at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, say they have identified........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 3/25/2007 8:24:55 PM)
Biologists Solve Vitamin PuzzleSolving a mystery that has puzzled researchers for decades, MIT and Harvard scientists have discovered the final piece of the synthesis pathway of vitamin B12--the only vitamin synthesized exclusively by microorganisms.
B12, the most chemically complex of all vitamins, is essential for human health. Four Nobel Prizes have been awarded for research correlation to B12, but one fragment of the molecule remained an enigma--until now.
The........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 3/22/2007 10:22:19 PM)
Ponderosa PineThe ponderosa pine is the most widely distributed species of its genus in North America. It is generally found in a sub-humid area deficient in summer rainfall. The tree reproduces through seeds produced in cones, which require 2 years to mature.
The Black Hills forest is dominated by the ponderosa pine tree. Where conditions permit, other trees such as the birch, white spruce, quaking aspen, and elm also grow.
Wind Cave National Park can........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 3/21/2007 8:27:56 PM)
Coyote - Canis latransThere are several predators in the Park, including bobcats, eagles, badgers, and cougars, but the coyotes are the most easily seen.
Most research has shown that coyotes commonly feed on small mammals and birds. They do not feed heavily on livestock or larger ungulates, like elk, deer, or bison unless the animal is already dead or dying.
Little is known about the predatory behavior of wild coyotes, but a sudden hop or pounce is most often........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 3/21/2007 8:23:26 PM)
Global Map of Plant BiodiversityBiologists at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Bonn in Gera number of have produced a global map of estimated plant species richness. Covering several hundred thousand species, the researchers say their global map is the most extensive map of the distribution of biodiversity on Earth to date.
The map, which accompanies a study published in this week's early online issue of the journal Proceedings of the National........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 3/20/2007 10:05:46 PM)
Residual Oil is Still Affecting WildlifeNearly four decades after a fuel oil spill polluted the beaches of Cape Cod, scientists have found the first compelling evidence for lingering, chronic biological effects on a marsh that otherwise appears to have recovered.
Through a series of field observations and laboratory experiments with salt marsh fiddler crabs (Uca pugnax), doctoral student Jennifer Culbertson and his colleagues observed that burrowing behavior, escape response,........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/23/2007 5:32:51 PM)
Monkeys' ability to reflect on their thoughtsNew research from Columbia's Primate Cognition Laboratory has demonstrated for the first time that monkeys could acquire meta-cognitive skills: the ability to reflect about their thoughts and to assess their performance.
The study was a collaborative effort between Herbert Terrace, Columbia professor of psychology & psychiatry, and director of its Primate Cognition Laboratory, and two graduate students, Lisa Son now professor of psychology........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/21/2007 8:40:24 AM)
Tracking Six-Week-Old Tiger CubsResearchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and their Russian colleagues from the Sikhote-Alin Reserve have fitted three six-week-old Siberian tiger cubs with tiny radio collars (below). They are the youngest wild tigers ever to be tracked by scientists. The collars--made of expandable elastic and designed to fall off the cubs as they grow--weigh just over five ounces and would fit well on a large housecat. Radiotracking has given........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/21/2007 7:13:31 AM)
Uganda's mountain gorillasThe most recent census of mountain gorillas in Ugandas Bwindi Impenetrable National Parkone of only two places in the world where the rare gorillas existhas observed that the population has increased by 6 percent since the last census in 2002, as per the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Max Planck Institute of Anthropology and other groups that participated in the effort.
This is great news for all of the........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/21/2007 6:58:33 AM)
New Deep-Sea Hydrothermal VentsA new "black smoker"--an undersea mineral chimney emitting hot springs of iron-darkened water--has been discovered at 8,500-foot depths by an expedition funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to explore the Pacific Ocean floor off Costa Rica.
Researchers from Duke University, the Universities of New Hampshire and South Carolina, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts have named their discovery the Medusa........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/19/2007 7:49:27 PM)
Tulipa 'Ile de France'A change of plans on the weekend yielded an opportunity to attend the 24th Annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival near the Mount Vernon / Burlington area of Washington. Fortune favoured me for once, and I toured while the flowers were at their peak. Tulipa 'Ile de France' was one of about four dozen cultivars of tulips that could be seen in the fields, bordered by hundreds of people. Though I didn't photograph during my preferred times of the day........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 4/17/2007 10:45:20 PM)
Unraveling Intricate Animal PatternsThere is a scene in the animated blockbuster "Finding Nemo" when a school of fish makes a rapid string of complicated patternsan arrow, a portrait of young Nemo and other intricate designs. While the detailed shapes might be a bit outlandish for fish to form, the premise isnt far off. But how does a school of fish or a flock of birds know how to move from one configuration to another and then reorganize as a unit, without knowing what the........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/17/2007 5:01:01 AM)
Medicinal Leeches Belong To Three SpeciesGenetic research has revealed that commercially available medicinal leeches used around the world in biomedical research and postoperative care have been misclassified for centuries. Until now, the leeches were assumed to be the species Hirudo medicinalis, but new research reveals they are actually a closely related but genetically distinct species, Hirudo verbana.
The study also shows that wild European medicinal leeches are at least three........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/12/2007 6:41:02 PM)
Solanum quitoenseAndreas of Bogotá, Colombia, aka Quimbaya@Flickr, is the photographer of today's images (original 1 | original 2 | BPotD Flickr Group Pool). Thank you once again, Andreas
Andreas shares his observations along with his photographs: “Very aromatic fruit; the pulp is used to prepare a delicious juice. In Colombia it is known as ‘lulo’, in Ecuador as ‘naranjilla’.”
Learning or knowing that the........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 4/11/2007 9:55:21 PM)
Coral Reef Tells The History Of Soil ErosionCoral reefs, like tree rings, are natural archives of climate change. But oceanic corals also provide a faithful account of how people make use of land through history, says Robert B. Dunbar of Stanford University.
As per a research findings reported in the Feb. 22 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, Dunbar and colleagues used coral samples from the Indian Ocean to create a 300-year record of soil erosion in Kenya, the longest land-use........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 4/10/2007 5:56:24 PM)
Glacier Bay National Park & PreserveThe marine wilderness of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve includes tidewater glaciers, snow-capped mountain ranges, ocean coastlines, deep fjords, and freshwater rivers and lakes. This diverse land and seascape hosts a mosaic of plant communities and a variety of marine and terrestrial wildlife and presents many opportunities for adventuring and learning about this unique and powerful place. Dynamic ChangeGlacier Bay's story is one........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/6/2007 6:50:06 PM)
Panda Poop to Produce Fine Quality Paper!Its really nice to watch those gentle giant pandas in a reserve. But, from the environmental point of view, keeping the reserve out of their poop is not that easy. Researchers at a southern Chinas giant panda reserve have comebetter solution to this recycle the poop!
Taking inspiration form paper made from elephant dung, the researchers planned to recycle the surplus of the fiber-rich panda excrement into high quality paper. They think........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/3/2007 9:44:52 PM)
Picky-eater Flies Losing Smell GenesA UC Davis researcher is hot on the scent of some lost fruit fly genes. As per population biology graduate student Carolyn McBride, the specialist fruit fly Drosophila sechellia is losing genes for smell and taste receptors 10 times faster than its generalist relative Drosophila simulans. The findings could help scientists understand how some insect pests adapt to feeding on a particular plant.
Genes are lost when mutations destroy their........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 4/2/2007 9:54:13 PM)
New science of metagenomicsThe emerging field of metagenomics, where the DNA of entire communities of microbes is studied simultaneously, presents the greatest opportunity -- perhaps since the invention of the microscope -- to revolutionize understanding of the microbial world, says a new report from the National Research Council. The report calls for a new Global Metagenomics Initiative to drive advances in the field in the same way that the Human Genome Project........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 3/27/2007 7:01:54 PM)
Metabolic Strategy Of Stressed CellInvestigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have mapped out a number of of the dynamic genetic and biochemical changes that make up a cell's response to a shortage of a molecule called Coenzyme A (CoA), a key player in metabolism. The results provide the most detailed look ever obtained of the complex metabolic changes in a cell triggered by a potentially fatal stress.
Metabolism is the sum of all biochemical reactions involved in........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 3/25/2007 9:31:24 PM)
Excess nutrients or water limit biodiversityToo much of a good thing (nutrients or water) actually decreases the diversity of species in an ecosystem while it increases the productivity of a few species, as per a grassland experiment conducted by University of Minnesota researchers.
The reduction in species diversity occurs because increasing the amounts of limiting resources, such as nitrogen and water, makes an ecosystem more homogeneous and consequently reduces the number of........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 3/25/2007 6:58:16 PM)
Decline In Alaska's Sea Lion PopulationA new study out of Alaska points out the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems, and the need for increased research and stronger science based management to address future concerns.
Studies by a team of scientists at the North Pacific Universities Marine Mammal Research Consortium http://www.marinemammal.org/ revealed that a sudden ocean climate change 30 years ago changed todays Alaska marine ecosystems, and may be a leading factor........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 3/22/2007 10:29:10 PM)
Tracing the Origins of Marine CreaturesTracing the origins of marine animals can be extremely difficult, particularly in the free-flowing, soup-like conditions of the ocean, but obtaining this information is vital not only for understanding these organisms but for managing and conserving them as well. Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have developed a novel approach for tracing the life roots of marine larvae, some of the most difficult organisms to........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 3/21/2007 10:09:38 PM)
Bison to Roam Colorado After a Break of More Than a CenturyThe North American bison, Bison bison, is one of the largest wild cattle in the world. The species disappeared from the wild in the eighteenth century after extensive hunting for its meat and skin. The bison were once a key part of North Americas short-grass prairie ecosystem, and was a symbol of the wild west. The nNorth American bison, estimated their numbers at sixty million at the times the first Europeans arrived in the new world
Bison........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 3/21/2007 8:15:38 PM)
150 Million Year-old Arboreal Lizard Glided on Wing-like MembraneYet another new fossil discovered, revealed some new facts of ancienew fossil of an ancient arboreal lizard reveals that they used to coast through the air with the help of a wing-like membrane, which they used to stretch across their elongated ribs
The gliding membrane — called a patagium, could be stretched across eight elongated dorsal ribs! If expanded fully, the layer of stretchy skin would have spanned about 4.5 inches across
........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 3/20/2007 5:11:25 AM)