First tarantula to live in bamboo stalks found in Thailand

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  • January 14, 2022
  • A new genus of tarantula was discovered inside a bamboo culm from Mae Tho, Tak province, in Thailand. This is the first genus of tarantula that shows the surprising specialization of living in bamboo stalks. The bamboo culm tarantula Taksinus bambus was found in Thailand by JoCho Sippawat, a wildlife YouTuber from Thailand, who collaborated with arachnologists Dr. Narin Chomphuphuang and Mr. Chaowalit Songsangchote. The new genus and species are described in the journal ZooKeys.

    Standardised expert system method for Navarre grasslands classification based on diagnostic species

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  • December 7, 2021
  • Guest blog post by Itziar García-Mijangos Grasslands represent some of the largest and most diverse biomes of the world, yet they remain undervalued and under-researched. Extending in all continents except Antarctica, they host thousands of habitat specialist endemic species, support agricultural production, people’s livelihoods based on traditional and indigenous lifestyles, and several other ecosystem services […]

    Two new pit vipers discovered from Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

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  • October 7, 2021
  • Two new species of venomous snakes were just added to Asia’s fauna – the Nujiang pit viper (Gloydius lipipengi) from Zayu, Tibet, and the Glacier pit viper (G. swild) found west of the Nujiang River and Heishui, Sichuan, east of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Our team of researchers from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Bangor University published the discovery in the open-access journal ZooKeys. In this study, we performed a new molecular phylogenetic analysis of the Asian pit vipers.

    The first Field Identification Guide of Seychelles’ deeper reefscapes

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  • September 28, 2021
  • The deep ocean is the last frontier on our planet. It is home to creatures beyond our imagination and filled to the brim with life. Coastal communities have known the value of a healthy ocean for centuries, yet much of its life remains unknown, sitting beyond the reach of most research programs due to the hostility of its depth and vastness. With current research and monitoring activities in the region mostly focussing on shallow reefs, our Field Identification Guide, published in the peer-reviewed, open-access Biodiversity Data Journal, aims to showcase the benthic organisms that inhabit the Seychelles’ deeper reefscapes. The research cruise that gathered the imagery data used to create the guide, Nekton’s “First Descent: Seychelles Expedition”, was the first of its kind to systematically survey deeper reefs in Seychelles waters, bringing to light previously little-known ecosystems and their inhabitants.

    Learning more about vampire fish: first report of candiru attached to an Amazonian thorny catfish

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  • September 10, 2021
  • For the first time, scientists report a vampire fish attached to the body of an Amazonian thorny catfish. Very unusually, the candirus were attached close to the lateral bone plates, rather than the gills, where they are normally found. Since the hosts were not badly harmed, and the candirus apparently derived no food benefit, scientists believe this association is commensalistic rather than parasitic. The research is published in the open-access journal Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria.

    The mini grasshoppers that outlived dinosaurs: the fascinating world of Tetrigidae

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  • September 8, 2021
  • Have you ever seen a one-centimetre-long jumping critter in a leaflitter or close to a pond or a stream and thought that it is some juvenile insect? What you saw was probably an adult pygmy grasshopper, member of the family Tetrigidae. There are more than 2000 described species of those minute jumping insects, and this peculiar family has been around for more than 230 million years, meaninng that pygmies said both ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ to dinosaurs. And yet, we know more about dinosaurs than we do about pygmy grasshoppers.

    Guest blog post: New tardigrade species honours Eurovision Song Contest winner

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  • May 31, 2021
  • Alexander Rybak. Photo by NRK P3 under a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.

    guest blog post by Matteo Vecchi One of the main threats to biodiversity conservation is not recognizing the uniqueness of species – without a formal name, a species cannot be protected properly. Tardigrades – microorganisms also known as water bears or moss piglets – are no exception. When we were faced with two new species, […]

    To combat global change, scientists must prioritize community partnerships

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  • May 20, 2021
  • Guest blog post by Kennedy “Ned” Rubert-Nason, Caitlin Mandeville and Kirsten Schwarz Global change is an immediate, accelerating threat to humanity, and its impacts are perpetuated by human activities. Changes such as climate warming, landscape alteration, pollution, resource extraction and depletion, extreme events, biodiversity loss, and spreading of invasive species including diseases, threaten the natural […]

    Curvature values, a new aspect in the morphology of grapevine seeds

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  • May 12, 2021
  • Guest blog post by Dr Emilio Cervantes Grape seeds have a characteristic oval or pear-like shape. It has been long recognised that this form is variable, and that, in general, wild-type seeds are smaller and more rounded, while the seeds of cultivated varieties tend to be more elongated in one side, or pear-shaped. Recently, seeds […]

    Why we shouldn’t blame women for gender disparity in science: Perspectives of women in zoology

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  • March 25, 2021
  • A Brazilian network of female zoologists aims to oppose gender disparity in science Guest blog post by Veronica Slobodian Scientists are part of a rather sexist society and, therefore, ruled by a rather sexist social conduct. Nevertheless, women scientists attempt to thrive despite all setbacks provided by structural sexism (both explicit and implicit).  Sadly, female […]