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, […]

    What can we learn from vanishing wildlife species: the case of the Pyrenean Ibex

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  • April 6, 2021
  • The sad history of the Pyrenean Ibex (Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica) is a powerful example of species loss due to causes related to human activity. DNA analyses of Pyrenean Ibex found evidence that, after a demographic expansion about 20,000 years ago, its population went through a bottleneck caused by hunting, inbreeding and other factors, which ultimately caused its extinction. Their research is published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Zoosystematics and Evolution.

    Highlands of diversity: Another new chameleon from the Bale region, Ethiopia

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  • March 23, 2021
  • The Bale Mountains in south-central Ethiopia are considered to be one of the most unique centers of endemism, with an extraordinary number of plants and animals that can only be found there. Numerous species are already known from this Afromontane high-elevation plateau, making it a biodiversity hotspot, but ongoing research continues to reveal the presence […]

    Agents of food-borne zoonoses confirmed to parasitise newly-recorded in Thailand snails

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  • March 1, 2021
  • Parasitic flatworms known as agents of food-borne zoonoses were confirmed to use several species of thiarid snails, commonly found in freshwater and brackish environments in southeast Asia, as their first intermediate host. These parasites can cause severe ocular infections in humans who consume raw or improperly cooked fish that have fed on infected snails.

    Notice me! Neglected for over a century, Black sea spider crab re-described

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  • September 1, 2020
  • After the revision of available type specimens from all available collections in the Russian museums and the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt-on-Main, as well as newly collected material in the Black Sea and the North-East Atlantic, a research team of scientists, led by Dr Vassily Spiridonov from Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of Russian Academy of Sciences, re-described Macropodia czernjawskii and provided the new data on its records and updated its ecological characteristics.

    Shining like a diamond: a new species of diamond frog from northern Madagascar

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  • June 16, 2020
  • Despite the active ongoing taxonomic progress on the Madagascar frogs, the amphibian inventory of this hyper-diverse island is still very far from being complete. More new species are constantly being discovered, often within already well-studied areas. So, in one of the relatively well-studied parks in northern Madagascar, a new species of diamond frog, Rhombophryne ellae, was found in 2017. Now, the discovery is published in the open-access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution.

    A new character for Pokémon? Novel endemic dogfish shark species discovered from Japan

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  • June 11, 2020
  • A new endemic deep-water dogfish shark: Squalus shiraii, was discovered in the tropical waters of Southern Japan by an international team of scientists led by Dr. Sarah Viana from South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity. The finding brings the amount of spurdogs shark species inhabiting Japanese waters to six. The discovery is published in the open-access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution.

    Welcome to the House of Slytherin: Salazar’s pit viper, a new green pit viper from India

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  • April 21, 2020
  • Trimeresurus salazar sp. nov. paratype female BNHS 3555 in life

    During an expedition to Arunachal Pradesh in India, part of the Himalayan biodiversity hotspot, a new species of green pit viper Trimeresurus salazar with unique stripes and colouration patterns was discovered near Pakke Tiger Reserve. Scientists named the snake after J.K. Rowling’s fictional character, the Parselmouth wizard and the founder of one of the houses in the magical school Hogwarts, Salazar Slytherin. The discovery is published in the open-access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution.

    New species of stiletto snake capable of sideways strikes discovered in West Africa

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  • March 11, 2019
  • Following a series of recent surveys in north-western Liberia and south-eastern Guinea, an international team of researchers found three stiletto snakes which were later identified as a species previously unknown to science. The discovery, published in the open-access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution by the team of Dr Mark-Oliver Roedel from the Natural History Museum, Berlin, provides further evidence for the […]

    Life in the fast flow: Tadpoles of new species rely on ‘suction cups’ to keep up

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  • March 12, 2018
  • The frogs living in the rainforest of Sumatra also represent a new genus Indonesia, a megadiverse country spanning over 17,000 islands located between Australia and mainland Asia, is home to more than 16% of the world’s known amphibian and reptile species, with almost half of the amphibians found nowhere else in the world. Unsurprisingly, biodiversity […]