Leaf-like Sea Slug Can Photosynthesize!

25 January, 2010

A green sea slug found off North America’s east coast not only looks like a leaf, but can also make food out of sunlight, just like a plant.

via CBC News – Technology & Science – Leaf-like sea slug feeds on light.


New ‘strawberry’ crab species found off Taiwan

5 January, 2010

(AP) — A marine biologist says he has discovered a new crab species off the coast of southern Taiwan that looks like a strawberry with small white bumps on its red shell.

Follow the link for the rest of the article:

New ‘strawberry’ crab species found off Taiwan.

Thank you to Crumpled-Wings for yet another great find!


5,600 deep ocean species recorded for the first time

22 November, 2009

Quoted  from the AP article Thousands of strange creatures found deep in ocean, by Cain Burdeau

Nov. 22, 2009

A report released Sunday recorded 17,650 species living below 656 feet, the point where sunlight ceases. The findings were the latest update on a 10-year census of marine life.

“Parts of the deep sea that we assumed were homogenous are actually quite complex,” said Robert S. Carney, an oceanographer at Louisiana State University and a lead researcher on the deep seas.

Thousands of marine species eke out an existence in the ocean’s pitch-black depths by feeding on the snowlike decaying matter that cascades down — even sunken whale bones. Oil and methane also are an energy source for the bottom-dwellers, the report said.

The researchers have found about 5,600 new species on top of the 230,000 known. They hope to add several thousand more by October 2010, when the census will be done.

The scientists say they could announce that a million or more species remain unknown. On land, biologists have catalogued about 1.5 million plants and animals.
….

More than 40 new species of coral were documented on deep-sea mountains, along with cities of brittlestars and anemone gardens. Nearly 500 new species ranging from single-celled creatures to large squid were charted in the abyssal plains and basins.

Also of importance were the 170 new species that get their energy from chemicals spewing from ocean-bottom vents and seeps. Among them was a family of “yeti crabs,” which have silky, hairlike filaments on the legs.

Article


40+ Species Discovered in Crater of Volcano

14 September, 2009

Image Gallery

A team of scientists from Britain, the United States and Papua New Guinea found more than 40 previously unidentified species when they climbed into the kilometre-deep crater of Mount Bosavi and explored a pristine jungle habitat teeming with life that has evolved in isolation since the volcano last erupted 200,000 years ago. In a remarkably rich haul from just five weeks of exploration, the biologists discovered 16 frogs which have never before been recorded by science, at least three new fish, a new bat and a giant rat, which may turn out to be the biggest in the world.

Full article.


Rat-eating plant discovered in Philippines – Telegraph

17 August, 2009

The plant is among the largest of all pitchers and is believed to be the largest meat-eating shrub, dissolving rats with acid-like enzymes.

The team of botanists, led by British experts Stewart McPherson and Alastair Robinson, found the plant on Mount Victoria in the Philippines.

[...]

They decided to name the plant Nepenthes attenboroughii, after the wildlife broadcaster Sir David.

Find the entire article at Telegraph.co.uk.

(Thanks to Crumpled-Wings for the heads-up on this most excellent discovery!)

New monkey discovered in Brazilian Amazon

9 July, 2009

Photo

RI O DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Researchers have discovered a new sub-species of monkey in a remote part of the Amazon rain forest, a U.S.-based wildlife conservation group said on Tuesday.

The newly found monkey was first spotted by scientists in

2007 in the Brazilian state of Amazonas and is related to the saddleback tamarin monkeys, known for their distinctively marked backs, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said.

The small monkey, which is mostly gray and brown and weighs 213 grams (0.47 pound), has been named the Mura’s saddleback tamarin after the Mura Indian tribe of the Purus and Madeira river basins where the new sub-species was found.

[Read the full article at Reuters.com]


Fossil Ida: extraordinary find is ‘missing link’ in human evolution

19 May, 2009

NOTICE:
Comments  based on religious doctrine or aimed at ‘debunking’ science

will NOT be posted.  

Scientists have discovered an exquisitely preserved ancient primate fossil that they believe forms a crucial “missing link” between our own evolutionary branch of life and the rest of the animal kingdom.

The 47m-year-old primate – named Ida – has been hailed as the fossil equivalent of a “Rosetta Stone” for understanding the critical early stages of primate evolution.

The top-level international research team, who have studied her in secret for the past two years, believe she is the most complete and best preserved primate fossil ever uncovered. The skeleton is 95% complete and thanks to the unique location where she died, it is possible to see individual hairs covering her body and even the make-up of her final meal – a last vegetarian snack.

via Fossil Ida: extraordinary find is ‘missing link’ human evolution | Science | guardian.co.uk.


One-Organism Ecosystem Discovered in African Gold Mine | Wired Science

13 May, 2009

In the hot, dark water of a South African mine, scientists have found the world’s loneliest species.

Everywhere else biologists have studied life on our planet, they’ve found communities of life, but today, biologists announced they have discovered an ecosystem that contains just a single species of bacteria.

In all other known ecosystems, the key functions of life — harvesting energy and elements like carbon and nitrogen from the environment — have been shared among different species. But in the water of the Mponeng gold mine, two miles under the earth’s surface, Desulforudis audaxviator carries out all of those functions by itself. In short, it’s the tidiest package of life found yet.

via One-Organism Ecosystem Discovered in African Gold Mine | Wired Science.


New Species of Leopard

12 May, 2009

ScienceDaily (Mar. 15, 2007) — Scientists have discovered that the clouded leopard found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra is an entirely new species of cat. The secretive rainforest animal was originally thought to be the same species as the one found in mainland Southeast Asia.

via New Species Declared: Clouded Leopard On Borneo And Sumatra.


Hobbits ‘are a separate species’

6 May, 2009

Scientists have found more evidence that the Indonesian “Hobbit” skeletons belong to a new species of human – and not modern pygmies.
via BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | Hobbits ‘are a separate species’.


Primordial Life Forms found in Great Lakes

5 May, 2009

Scientists studying submerged sinkholes in the Great Lakes off the coast of northern Michigan have stumbled onto something they never expected to find: life forms akin to those found in some of Earth’s most extreme environments.

Read the article at Physorg.com


1,068 Species Discovered in South East Asia!

1 April, 2009

The incredibly pink Dragon Millipede is able to shoot cyanide.

millipede

It’s one of over a thousand species found in the Greater Mekong in the past 10 years- that’s an average of 2 new species found per week for 10 years!

Find more info at WWF online!


New Species of Flying Lemur (er– that is: Colugo!)

1 April, 2009
Excerpt from original article posted at mongabay.com
November 10, 2008

–”Comparing the DNA of colugos across southeast Asia, an international team of researchers has found that Sunda colugo – one of two known species of colugo (the other is the Philippine colugo) – is actually made up of at least three species, which date back millions of years.

“We were guessing that we might find that there were different species of Sunda colugo-although we were not sure,” said Jan Janecka of Texas A&M University. “But what really surprised us was how old the speciation events were. Some went back four to five million years.”lemurfly

The researchers speculate that the species tally is likely to rise as more research is done.  Janecka says that that colugos’ high degree of speciation may be explained by their mode of locomotion – gliding between tall rainforest trees.  Colugos are virtually incapable of crossing large open ground and populations would be been isolated and fragmented by the changes in sea levels and forest communities across their range over the past 10 million years.

The findings are likely to have conservation implications in a landscape that is rapidly being destroyed by loggers and industrial agriculture developers.”
[Read the entire article at mongabay.com]

Find additional articles and more photos at:

LiveScience.com

ScienceDaily.com


The “Doo-doo Balls” are Alive!!

28 March, 2009
Image Credit: Duke University

Image Credit: Duke University

ScienceDaily (Dec. 4, 2008) — A submarine expedition that went looking for visually flashy sea creatures instead found a drab, mud-covered blob that may turn out to be truly spectacular indeed.

The grape-like animal, tentatively named the Bahamian Gromia, is actually a single-celled organism, fully one inch long. But what makes it really fantastic is that it moves — very slowly — by rolling itself along the ocean floor.”

This is a major discovery in paleontology as well as marine biology!

Read the full article at ScienceDaily.com.


Pink Iguana Discovered in Galapagos

27 February, 2009

(From original article by Lisa Lombardi)
January 5th, 2009

One-hundred fifty years after Charles Darwin published On The Origin of Species—the book that laid out his theory of natural selection as a means of evolution—scientists are hailing the evolutionary significance of a creature that Darwin missed during his time in the Galápagos Islands: the pink iguana.
An article published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences outlines the importance of the rare “rosada iguana,” a type of land iguana that is only found on the island of Volcan Wolf in the Galápagos. This rosy-colored reptile with distinctive black striping was first spotted in 1986 when a couple of park rangers stumbled upon it, but its discovery barely made a splash in the science pond and no publication has “officially” noted its existence.

Read the full original article at ScienCentral.


Scientists Discover New Forest with Undiscovered Species on Google Earth

23 February, 2009

Conservationists have found a host of new species after discovering uncharted new territory on the internet map Google Earth.
googleforest

Excerpt from original article by Louise Gray,
Environment Correspondent

“The mountainous area of northern Mozambique in southern Africa had been overlooked by science due to inhospitable terrain and decades of civil war in the country.

However, while scrolling around on Google Earth, an internet map that allows the viewer to look at satellite images of anywhere on the globe, scientists discovered an unexpected patch of green.

A British-led expedition was sent to see what was on the ground and found 7,000 hectares of forest, rich in biodiversity, known as Mount Mabu.

In just three weeks, scientists led by a team from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew found hundreds of different plant species, birds, butterflies, monkeys and a new species of giant snake.

The samples which the team took are now back in Britain for analysis.

So far three new butterflies and one new species of snake have been discovered but it is believed there are at least two more new species of plants and perhaps more new insects to discover. …”

Read the entire article  (and find more pics!) at the Telegraph.co.uk.

View many many more shots of the forest and animals at the Telegraph’s slideshow.


15 New Species Found in Tanzania

6 February, 2009
From BBC News:

“As well as their distinctive markings and colourings, the researchers say Nectophrynoides are also unique because females give birth to offspring rather than lay eggs.”

.

.

.

.

Find pictures of more of the new species at BBC News online.


10 New Species Found in Colombia

6 February, 2009

Excerpt from CNN.com:

“A recent scientific expedition in Colombia’s mountainous Darien region has unearthed 10 new species of amphibians, an environmental organization said.

Scientists with Conservation International on Monday announced the discovery of 10 new species in what’s being referred to as a safe haven for frogs located in the west of the country on the border with Panama….”

Read the original article on CNN.


HUNDREDS of New Species Found off Tasmania

25 November, 2008

From National Geographic.com:

7_australianewspecies_461
“A new species of Plesionika shrimp probably won’t be thrown on the barbie anytime soon. That’s because it was found living at depths of 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) off the coast of Tasmania, researchers announced in October 2008.

An Australian survey team found the shrimp–along with hundreds of new species of corals, starfish, sponges, shrimps, and crabs–within a network of marine reserves.

The latest discovery “shows us there’s so much out there that we don’t know” said Justin Marshall, a marine scientist at the University of Queensland who was not part of the survey team. “We may be destroying habitat before we even know what’s there, so we need to describe it before it’s gone.”

—Photograph courtesy CSIRO

For more images, and to read the rest of the information available, visit National Geographic.


New dolphin species

23 November, 2008

From NewScientist.com:

11:19 21 November 2008 by Emma Young

A new, third species of bottlenose dolphin has been discovered in the waters off southern Australia. It is only the second new dolphin to be discovered in 50 years.

Luciana Möller of the Marine Mammal Research Group at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and her colleagues were studying populations of what they thought were Indo-Pacific and common bottlenoses in southern waters.

DNA analysis, though, revealed that most the animals living close to the shores of the states of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania were in fact a new species, belonging to a new genus. “They look very like the Indo-Pacific species, but genetically they’re very different,” says Möller.

The team has called the new species the Southern Australian bottlenose. It is awaiting a scientific name after a formal description.


Newly Discovered Moth is a Sculptor!

23 November, 2008

Researchers have discovered a new species of Bagworm Moth that wraps its eggs individually in “beautiful cases” fashioned from its golden abdominal hairs, according to a new paper published in the Annals of the Entomology Society of America. The behavior is unique among insects.

“We were mystified when we found a bizarre bag-like structure, about 12 mm long, studded with fragments of other insects, and containing a live insect larva,” said Diomedes Quintero, a professor of biology at the University of Panama who collected the larvae.


Smithsonian scientists discover new bird species

15 August, 2008

Public release date: 15-Aug-2008
Contact: John Gibbons
Smithsonian

Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution have discovered a new species of bird in Gabon, Africa, that was, until now, unknown to the scientific community. Their findings were published in the international science journal Zootaxa today, Aug. 15.

The newly found olive-backed forest robin (Stiphrornis pyrrholaemus) was named by the scientists for its distinctive olive back and rump. Adult birds measure 4.5 inches in length and average 18 grams in weight. Males exhibit a fiery orange throat and breast, yellow belly, olive back and black feathers on the head. Females are similar, but less vibrant. Both sexes have a distinctive white dot on their face in front of each eye.

PLEASE read the entire article at EurekAlert!


World’s Smallest Snake Found in Barbados!

11 August, 2008

Excerpt from BBC News:

By Jennifer Carpenter
Science reporter, BBC News

The world’s smallest snake, averaging just 10cm (4 inches) and as thin as a spaghetti noodle, has been discovered on the Caribbean island of Barbados.

The snake, found beneath a rock in a tiny fragment of threatened forest, is thought to be at the very limit of how small a snake can evolve to be.

Females produce only a single, massive egg – and the young hatch at half of their adult body weight.

This new discovery is described in the journal Zootaxa.

The snake – named Leptotyphlops carlae – is the smallest of the 3,100 known snake species and was uncovered by Dr Blair Hedges, a biologist from Penn State University, US.

Read the full article at BBC News online.

Thanks again to the Amateur Naturalist for the tip. :)


Several New Species Found in Guyana

11 August, 2008

Ok, all- this is a big one. I’m posting the heads up (kindly forwarded to me by the Amateur Naturalist),  and will post more specifics if and when they come available:

from BBC News online:

An expedition to the rainforests of Guyana has discovered species new to science.

A team of researchers and wildlife film-makers spent six weeks searching the pristine forest as part of a BBC documentary.

The group believes it has revealed two fish species, one frog species and a number of bat flies that have not been described previously.

The finds are detailed in the BBC series Lost Land of the Jaguar.

The three-part documentary includes footage of the elusive South American cat.

Dr George McGavin (BBC)

Dr George McGavin was astonished at the variety of life on show

“In a short time, we caught hundreds of species, 10% of which may be new to science. It was unreal, unbelievable,” exclaimed Dr George McGavin, a zoologist and one of the four presenters of the documentary.

He added: “Catching is the easy bit, the hard bit is going back to the lab and examining the species, comparing them to collections and books – seeing if they are new to science. One hour in the field can equal hundreds of hours in the lab.”


New Monkey Species Found

26 May, 2008
Excerpt from original article by
Dave Hansford
for National Geographic News
February 4, 2008

A previously unknown species of uakari monkey was found during recent hunting trips in the Amazon, a New Zealand primatologist has announced.

Jean-Phillipe Boubli of the University of Auckland found the animal after following native Yanomamo Indians on their hunts along the Rio Aracá, a tributary of the Rio Negro in Brazil.
[...]

“I searched for that monkey for at least five years. The reason I couldn’t find it was because the place where they were was sort of unexpected.”
[...]
Boubli named the new monkey Cacajao ayresii after Brazilian biologist José Márcio Ayres.

Excerpt from the New Zealand Herald:

In 2003, Dr Boubli described a new species of bearded saki monkey (Chiropotes israelita), and he has said the Pantepui region of the Amazon basin on the Brazil-Venezuela border also contains new species of spider monkey, squirrel monkey and capuchin monkey.

“Finding a relatively large monkey as a new species these days is pretty cool,” Dr Boubli told National Geographic magazine. “It shows how little we really know about the biodiversity of the Amazon.”

Follow links above to original sources.

Find more (excellent) information at ScienceAlert.com


Frog Without Lungs Found in Indonesia

10 April, 2008
Exerpt from original article by:
MICHAEL CASEY, AP Environmental Writer
Thursday, April 10, 2008
(04-10) 05:43 PDT BANGKOK, Thailand (AP)

A frog has been found in a remote part of Indonesia that has no lungs and breathes through its skin, a discovery that researchers said Thursday could provide insight into what drives evolution in certain species.
[...]
“These are about the most ancient and bizarre frogs you can get on the planet,” Bickford said of the brown amphibian with bulging eyes and a tendency to flatten itself as it glides across the water.

“They are like a squished version of Jabba the Hutt,” he said, referring to the character from Star Wars. “They are flat and have eyes that float above the water. They have skin flaps coming off their arms and legs.”

Along with the lungless frog, Bickford said his team discovered two new lizard species and four other species of frogs during their two-month trip.

Read full article at The San Francisco Chronicle online.


New Shrew! er… “Sengi”

27 February, 2008
shrew.jpgFrom BBC news:

Despite its name, the creature, along with the 15 other known species of elephant shrew, is not actually related to shrews.

Dr Rathbun told the BBC News website: “Elephant shrews are only found in Africa. They were originally described as shrews because they superficially resembled shrews in Europe and in America.”

In fact, the creature is more closely related to a group of African mammals, which includes elephants, sea cows, aardvarks and hyraxes, having shared a common ancestor with them about 100 million years ago.

“This is why they are also known as sengis,” explained Dr Rathbun.

shrew1.jpgFrom Yahoo news:

The newcomer, dubbed Rhynchocyon udzungwensis, stands head and shoulders above his cousins, weighing in at a massive 700 grammes (1.5 pounds), about 25 percent larger than any other known sengi.

He was identified by scientists Galen Rathbun of the California Academy of Sciences and Francesco Rovero of the Museum of Natural Sciences in Trento, Italy.

Their discovery is published in the February issue of the British-based Journal of Zoology.

shrew2.jpg

“This is one of the most exciting discoveries of my career,” Rathbun, a 30-year veteran of sengi-watching, said in a press release.

“It is the first new species of giant elephant-shrew to be discovered in more than 126 years. From the moment I first lifted one of the animals into our photography tent, I knew it must be a new species — not just because of its distinct colouring, but because it was so heavy!”

Find the full BBC article here.

Read the rest of the Yahoo article here.

(thank you for reminding me, Ashley. I’ve been busy lately, and hadn’t gotten around to posting this one.)

update:

the Smithsonian recently had an elephant shrew birth!

(tho not of this new species, it has great footage of elephant shrews on the move!)



Parasite Turns Ant into Bird Bait

18 January, 2008
From an original article
posted at Physorg.com

ant.jpg
“When the ant Cephalotes atratus is infected with a parasitic nematode, its normally black abdomen turns red, resembling the many red berries in the tropical forest canopy. According to researchers, this is a strategy concocted by nematodes to entice birds to eat the normally unpalatable ant and spread the parasite in their droppings. (Steve Yanoviak/University of Arkansas)

Read the full article at Physorg.com


A Rodent as Big as a Bull?!

17 January, 2008
The Associated Press
Wednesday, January 16, 2008;
4:29 PM LONDON

giantrodent.jpg

– Eeek! Imagine a rodent that weighed a ton and was as big as a bull. Uruguayan scientists say they have uncovered fossil evidence of the biggest species of rodent ever found, one that scurried across wooded areas of South America about 4 million years ago, when the continent was not connected to North America.
A herbivore, the beast may have been a contemporary, and possibly prey, of saber-toothed cats _ a prehistoric version of Tom and Jerry.

For those afraid of rodents, forget hopping on a chair. Its huge skull, more than 20 inches long, suggested a beast more than eight feet long and weighing between 1,700 and 3,000 pounds….

Read the full article at the Washington Post online.


New Pig Species Found in Disappearing Forest

17 November, 2007

pig.jpg

(AP) — A Dutch scientist thinks he has discovered a new species of wild pig nearly twice the size of other pigs in Brazil’s Amazon region.
At four feet long and 90 pounds, the pig is the latest in a string of new species that Marc van Roosmalen reported to have found since 1996. His findings were published in the Oct. 29 edition of the German scientific journal Bonner Zoologische Beitrage.

Van Roosmalen, said his discovery of the peccary – a kind of wild pig he dubbed Pecari maximus – points out the need to protect the region as a habitat for wild species.

He said he made his discovery by accident in 2000, while searching for a new monkey species.

[...]

The region where Roosmalen discovered the new peccary and other species – mostly primates – lies along a logging frontier around Nova Aripuana, where the number of sawmills has grown from two in 2002 to 14 today.

[...]

DNA analysis showed the animal diverged from the most closely related species, Pecari tajacu, or collared peccary, about 1 million to 1.2 million years ago, Van Roosmalen said.

Find the full article at Physorg.com


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