Field research in Turkmenistan’s highest mountain reveals high biological diversity

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  • July 16, 2019
  • New open-access book presents a comprehensive report on the remarkable ecosystems of the Koytendag nature reserve Situated in the extreme south-east of Turkmenistan: on the border with Uzbekistan and close to the border with Afghanistan, Koytendag presents one of the most distinct landscapes in Central Asia. Reaching elevations of up to 3,137 m, this is […]



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    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. […]

    Towards untangling the ‘antennal grabbing’ phenomenon in mating cuckoo bees

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  • August 27, 2018
  • Scientists report this behavior for the first time in the genus Nomada, following both lab and field observations in Germany One can seldom spot a cuckoo bee, whose peculiar kleptoparasitic behaviour includes laying eggs in the nests of a certain host bee species, let alone a couple mating. Nevertheless, German scientists – Dr. Matthias Schindler, University […]

    Integration of Freshwater Biodiversity Information for Decision-Making in Rwanda

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  • June 8, 2018
  • The establishment and implementation of a long-term strategy for freshwater biodiversity data mobilisation, sharing, processing and reporting in Rwanda is to support environment monitoring and the implementation of Rwanda’s National Biodiversity Strategy (NBSAP). In addition, it is to also help us understand how economic transformation and environmental change is affecting freshwater biodiversity and its resulting […]

    Five new blanket-hermit crab species described 130 years later from the Pacific

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  • April 24, 2018
  • Since 1888, a lone crab species living in an extraordinary symbiosis has been considered to be one of its kind At the turn of the twentieth century, two independent marine scientists – JR Henderson in 1888, and A Alcock in 1899, described two unusual blanket-hermit crabs from the Indo-West Pacific. Unlike other hermit crabs, these […]

    New ant species from Borneo explodes to defend its colony

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  • April 19, 2018
  • Amongst the countless fascinating plants and animals inhabiting the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia, there are the spectacular “exploding ants”, a group of arboreal, canopy dwelling ants nicknamed for their unique defensive behaviour. When threatened by other insects, minor workers can actively rupture their body wall. Apart from leading to the ants’ imminent death, the […]

    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 […]

    How bears bulk up ahead of the summer: A study into the Asiatic black bear’s spring diet

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  • May 5, 2017
  • Much like gym enthusiasts, every year Asiatic black bears seem to be on the lookout for protein-rich food ahead of the summer, so that they can bulk up on lean muscle mass in place of the fat tissue formed last year prior to hibernation. This was concluded in a study by Dr. Shino Furusaka, Tokyo […]

    Bee species with little known nesting-behavior observed to use plastic instead of leaves

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  • March 1, 2017
  • Little is known about the nesting activities of some lineages of megachiline bees. Dr. Sarah Gess, affiliated with both Albany Museum and Rhodes University, South Africa, and Peter Roosenschoon, Conservation Officer at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, United Arab Emirates, made use of their earlier observations gathered during a survey on flower visitation in the […]

    Exceptional reproductive biology in extremely restricted critically endangered Nimba toad

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  • February 6, 2017
  • The critically endangered Nimba toad is long known for its exceptional reproductive biology. The females of this unique species give live birth to fully developed juveniles, having for nine months continuously provided nutrition to the foetuses in the womb (matrotrophy). While live birth (viviparity) among frogs and toads is rather an exception than a common […]