Sir Charles Lyell’s historical fossils kept at London’s Natural History Museum accessible online

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  • February 21, 2019
  • More than 1,700 animal and plant specimens from the collection of eminent British geologist Sir Charles Lyell – known as the pioneer of modern geology – were organised, digitised and made openly accessible via the NHM Data Portal in a pilot project, led by Dr Consuelo Sendino, curator at the Department of Earth Sciences (Natural […]

    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, […]

    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. […]

    The first cave-dwelling centipede from southern China

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  • November 13, 2018
  • Chinese scientists recorded the first cave-dwelling centipede known so far from southern China. To the amazement of the team, the specimens collected during a survey in the Gaofeng village, Guizhou Province, did not only represent a species that had been successfully hiding away from biologists in the subterranean darkness, but it also turned out to […]

    Newly discovered moth named Icarus sports a flame-shaped mark and prefers high elevations

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  • October 9, 2018
  • The paper describing the new species is part of a special issue dedicated to macro moths of the New World published in the open-access journal ZooKeys Newly-recognized species of owlet moth recently discovered to inhabit high-elevation mountains in western North America was named after the Greek mythological character Icarus. From now on, scientists will be […]

    In a hole in a tunicate there lived a hobbit: New shrimp species named after Bilbo Baggins

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  • June 7, 2018
  • Two new species of tiny symbiotic shrimps are described, illustrated and named by biology student at Leiden University Werner de Gier as part of his bachelor’s research project, supervised by Dr. Charles H. J. M. Fransen, shrimp researcher of Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Leiden, the Netherlands). Inspired by the extremely hairy feet of one of the species, the authors […]

    What is a species? British bird expert develops a math formula to solve the problem

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  • May 10, 2018
  • Nature is replete with examples of identifiable populations known from different continents, mountain ranges, islands or lowland regions. While, traditionally, many of these have been treated as subspecies of widely-ranging species, recent studies relying on molecular biology have shown that many former “subspecies” have in fact been isolated for millions of years, which is long […]

    Dispatch from the field II: Students describe an elusive spider while stationed in Borneo

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  • April 3, 2018
  • A mystery has long shrouded the orb-weaving spider genus Opadometa, where males and females belonging to one and the same species look nothing alike. Furthermore, the males appear to be so elusive that scientists still doubt whether both sexes are correctly linked to each other even in the best-known species. Such is the case for Opadometa sarawakensis – […]

    Two new species of stone centipedes found hiding in larch forests in China

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  • March 8, 2018
  • Scientists described two species of previously unknown stone centipedes from China. Now housed at the Hengshui University, China, where all members of the team work, the studied specimens were all collected in the leaf litter or under rocks in larch forests. Having conducted their research across China, researchers Dr Sujian Pei, Yanmin Lu, Haipeng Liu, Dr […]

    Spider eat spider: Scientists discover 18 new spider-hunting pelican spiders in Madagascar

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  • January 11, 2018
  • In 1854, a curious-looking spider was found preserved in 50 million-year-old amber. With an elongated neck-like structure and long mouthparts that protruded from the “head” like an angled beak, the arachnid bore a striking resemblance to a tiny pelican. A few decades later when living pelican spiders were discovered in Madagascar, arachnologists learned that their […]