Dusky sharks do not live in the Pacific waters near the Republic of Kiribati. Neither do spottail sharks, nor the aptly named bignose sharks. But they used to live there at one point in the past -- right by the Gilbert Islands, according to anthropological evidence. Ancient shark-tooth weapons can serve as a record of past biodiversity, according to new ecological research.
In further proof that we never know just how much we don't know, a paper published in Nature suggests that biologists in the UK have discovered an entirely new and unique branch in the tree of life. A group of mysterious microscopic organisms related to fungus are actually so different that they make up their own kind of fungal group.
During the siege of Leningrad, 12 scientists starved to death rather than eat the grains stored at Pavlosk Agricultural Station, the world’s first seed bank. According to an AP story, their efforts to save the seeds for future generations may now be in vain after a Russian court approved plans to raze the station’s fields of plants so a developer can build luxury homes.
Australia has hosted a wide range of weird creatures, from rabid wombats to Yahoo Serious. And now, the Australian government wants to see what other interesting critters are hiding out on that island. To that end, they are funding a series of expeditions to the outback that the Environment Minister has labeled "Bush Blitz".
Publishing in the journal Nature, a group of 29 scientists have established a comparative scale for rating the immediate threat posed by nine environmental hazards--everything from climate change to ocean acidification. And while our warming climate gets most of the attention, more immediate problems may be brewing in our intensifying lack of biodiversity and out-of-whack nitrogen cycle.
By Amber SassePosted 04.22.2009 at 11:25 am 2 Comments
Yep, that’s right. Mickey proves Kermit wrong in the whole “it’s not easy being green” arena with the release of Disneynature’s first film, Earth. Opening today in theaters, the movie follows three animal “families” on a journey for survival across our planet.
There may be a lot more biological diversity on Earth than meets the eye.
By Dawn StoverPosted 12.18.2001 at 9:01 pm 1 Comment
Now that scientists can analyze the DNA of any species, they are discovering that many animals that look indistinguishable are actually quite different at the genetic level-different enough to be classified as separate species. That means there may be a lot more biological diversity on Earth than meets the eye.
For example, biologists at the University of California, Berkeley, recently reported the discovery of a new species of Mexican salamander, Lineatriton, that looks identical to another species living several hundred miles away. Only DNA testing can tell them apart.