19 May, 2009
Comments based on religious doctrine or aimed at ‘debunking’ science
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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.
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.
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.
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’.
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 April, 2009
The incredibly pink Dragon Millipede is able to shoot cyanide.
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!
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.”
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]
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