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

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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.


Fish With Transparent Head, “Barrel” Eyes

24 February, 2009

That’s not a drawing. That’s the real photo.

barreleye1




















“The beady bits on the front of the Pacific barreleye fish in this picture released February 23, 2009, aren’t eyes but smell organs. The grayish, barrel-like eyes are beneath the green domes, which may filter light. In this picture the eyes are pointing upward—the better to see prey above in the darkness of the barreleye’s deep-sea home. Since the eyes are upright tubes, “it just looked like [they only] looked straight up,” MBARI marine technician Kim Reisenbichler said. But by watching live fish from a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and by bringing a barrelfish to an aquarium for study, the scientists discovered that the eyes can pivot, like a birdwatcher pointing binoculars.”
Read more at National Geographic.


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.”

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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.