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 […]

    Artificial neural networks could power up curation of natural history collections

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  • November 2, 2017
  • Deep learning techniques manage to differentiate between similar plant families with up to 99 percent accuracy, Smithsonian researchers reveal Millions, if not billions, of specimens reside in the world’s natural history collections, but most of these have not been carefully studied, or even looked at, in decades. While containing critical data for many scientific endeavors, […]

    Fishy “juveniles” from the Caribbean to be recognized as a new species, the Hourglass basslet

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  • December 7, 2016
  • Living in deep reefs in the Atlantic Ocean, the banded basslet, a small and colorful species with a wide range of distribution, has long been thought to undergo significant changes during its growth into an adult. Suspiciously, the juveniles appeared much more heavily banded. Recently, however, American scientists figured out that the ‘juveniles’ were in […]

    Scorpionfish too deep for SCUBA divers caught by submersible turns out to be a new species

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  • July 22, 2016
  • Smithsonian Institution’s DROP project describes a tenth new fish species near the Caribbean island of Curaçao Discovered by scientists using the manned submersible Curasub in the deep-reef waters of the Caribbean island of Curaçao, a new scorpionfish species is the latest one captured with the help of the sub’s two robotic arms. Found by Dr. […]

    More assassins on the radar: As many as 24 new species of assassin bugs described

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  • July 11, 2016
  • As many as 24 assassin bugs new to science were discovered and described by Dr. Guanyang Zhang and his colleagues. In their article, published in the open access Biodiversity Data Journal, they describe the new insects along with treating another 47 assassin bugs in the same genus. To do this, the scientists examined more than 10,000 […]

    The Godzilla goby is the latest new species discovered by the Smithsonian DROP project

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  • June 8, 2016
  • As part of the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP), initiated by the Smithsonian Institution, a new goby fish species was discovered in the southern Caribbean. Living at depths greater than conventional SCUBA divers can access, yet too shallow to be of interest for deep-diving submersibles, the fish will now be known under the common name […]

    1,541 snout moth species and counting in the United States and Canada

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  • January 20, 2016
  • The present snout moth list contains a ten-percent increase in the number of species since 1983. For the last thirty-three years snout moth specialists in the United States and Canada have been describing species new to science and recording species new to these two countries. Scientists have also published studies resulting in major changes to […]