Newly discovered turtle species is facing extinction

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  • February 13, 2019
  • For decades, it has been assumed that the Chinese Softshell Turtles from East Asia all belonged to one and the same species, Pelodiscus sinensis. Widely distributed all the way from the Russian Far East through the Korean Peninsula to China and Vietnam, the species was said to vary substantially in terms of its looks across localities. […]

    New tarantula species from Angola distinct with a one-of-a-kind ‘horn’ on its back

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  • February 12, 2019
  • A new to science species of tarantula with a peculiar horn-like protuberance sticking out of its back was recently identified from Angola, a largely underexplored country located at the intersection of several Afrotropical ecoregions. Collected as part of the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, which aims to uncover the undersampled biodiversity in the entire Okavango […]

    The Widow Next Door: Where is the globally invasive Noble False Widow settling next?

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  • Spiders are one of the most successful groups of ‘invaders’ on the planet. Out of over 47,000 species of spiders known today, there are some that tend to follow humans across the globe and settle in habitats far away from their native homelands. A particularly notorious example is the species Steatoda nobilis, the Noble False […]

    Ice Age survivors or stranded travellers? A new subterranean species discovered in Canada

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  • February 5, 2019
  • The discovery of a new to science species of rare and primitive arthropod from the depths of a cave that was covered by a thick ice sheet until recently is certain to raise questions. In their study, published in the open-access journal Subterranean Biology, entomologist Alberto Sendra and local caver Craig Wagnell describe a new species of cave-dwelling, […]

    Citizen scientists discover pinhead-sized beetle in Borneo

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  • January 31, 2019
  • The discovery is the latest in a series of newly described species collected as part of the Taxon Expeditions initiative aiming to bring biodiversity and taxonomy closer to the layperson How many citizen scientists does it take to discover a new species? A recent expedition to the Ulu Temburong forest in Borneo proved that you […]

    New family of fungi threatens a UNESCO-listed 8-century-old cathedral in Portugal

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  • January 28, 2019
  • To be listed as UNESCO World Heritage requires special care and protection of valuable cultural monuments and pieces of Art from threats such as biodeterioration caused by microcolonial black fungi. The culprits lodge their branch-like structures (hyphae) deep into the stone forming fissures and cracks and also produce polysaccharides that trigger corrosion. These fungi are well known […]

    Scientists forecast where is the highly invasive fall armyworm to strike next

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  • January 9, 2019
  • Staple and economically important crops throughout the world could be at serious risk if efficient measures are not taken soon Known to be feeding on many economically important crops cultured across the world, including maize, rice, sugarcane, sorghum, beet, tomato, potato, cotton and pasture grasses, the larvae of the native to the Americas fall armyworm […]

    The first case of a Portuguese beetle living exclusively in groundwater

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  • January 8, 2019
  • New to science, the species was named after Pluto, the ruler of the underworld in Greek mythology A diving beetle demonstrating various adaptations to the life underground, including depigmentation and evolutionary loss of eyes, was discovered at the bottom of a clay pound in the cave Soprador do Carvalho, Portugal. The species turned out to […]

    Extraordinary treefrog discovered in the Andes of Ecuador

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  • January 3, 2019
  • A new treefrog species was discovered during a two-week expedition to a remote tabletop mountain at Cordillera del Cóndor, a largely unexplored range in the eastern Andes. “To reach the tabletop, we walked two days along a steep terrain. Then, between sweat and exhaustion, we arrived to the tabletop where we found a dwarf forest. […]

    Scientists discover over 450 fossilised millipedes in 100-million-year-old amber

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  • December 19, 2018
  • Since the success of the Jurassic Park film series, it is widely known that insects from the Age of the Dinosaurs can be found exceptionally well preserved in amber, which is in fact fossilised tree resin. Especially diverse is the animal fauna preserved in Cretaceous amber from Myanmar (Burma). Over the last few years, the […]