Life in marine driftwood: The case of driftwood specialist talitrids

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  • December 20, 2017
  • Driftwood in the sea – either floating or stranded on beaches – is a common feature particularly in temperate regions. Large quantities of driftwood, termed driftwood depositories, may collect at the mouth of small streams associated with marshes and have been present for some 120 millennia – since the origin of flowering plants. Once marine […]

    Trapped in a nuclear weapon bunker wood ants survive for years in Poland

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  • August 30, 2016
  • Having built their nest over the vertical ventilation pipe of an old nuclear weapon bunker in Poland, every year a large number of wood ants fall down the pipe to never return back to their colony. Curiously, although trapped in extremely severe conditions underground, the ants have already upped their numbers to these of big, […]

    New immigrant: Shiny Cowbirds noted from a recording altitude of 2,800 m in Ecuador

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  • May 5, 2016
  • Two juveniles of Shiny Cowbird, a parasitic bird that lays its eggs in the nests of other birds, were spotted in the Andean city of Quito, Ecuador, for the first time. This finding represents an altitudinal expansion of approximately 500 m. Breeding populations might have been prompted by forest fragmentation and/or climate change, suggest the […]

    Huge organs defy austerity for tiny cave snails in the subterranean realm

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  • December 8, 2015
  • While most of the knowledge about tiny snails comes from studying empty shells sifted out from piles of dust and sand, the present research is the first contemporary microscopic exploration of organs in cave snails tinier than 2 mm. The paper, published in the open-access journal Subterranean Biology, reveals that underneath the seemingly fragile shells […]

    Bush Blitz: The largest Australian nature discovery project finds 4 new bee species

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  • September 17, 2015
  • Four new native bee species were recognised as part of the largest Australian nature discovery project, called ‘Bush Blitz‘. The South Australian bee specialists used molecular and morphological evidence to prove them as new. Three of the species had narrow heads and long mouth parts – adaptations to foraging on flowers of emu-bushes, which have […]