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Eight-year research stretch yields treatise on tapeworms along with hundreds of new species

Tue, 21 Nov 17 00:13:30 -0800

A special publication titled



New discovery: Common jellyfish is actually two species

Tue, 21 Nov 17 00:03:20 -0800

UD professor and alum discover sea nettle jellyfish found in Rehoboth and Chesapeake Bay is actually two species.



Tiger bones? Lion bones? An almost extinct cycad? On-the-spot DNA checks at ports of entry

Mon, 20 Nov 17 00:00:50 -0800

Wildlife species are going extinct faster than humankind can reliably keep track of. Meanwhile, wildlife crime evolves quickly, with new tricks fueling a lucrative illegal global trade. As a result, customs and other port-of-entry officials confronted with unidentifiable bits of animals and plants need to make rapid decisions based on reliable information. LifeScanner LAB-IN-A-BOX, a portable DNA barcoding lab can serve as a new tool for rapid on-site species identification, adding to law enforcement's arsenal.



Ancient fish scales and vertebrate teeth share an embryonic origin

Mon, 20 Nov 17 00:00:40 -0800

Latest findings support the theory that teeth in the animal kingdom evolved from the jagged scales of ancient fish, the remnants of which can be seen today embedded in the skin of sharks and skate.



Twisted sex allows mirror-image snails to mate face-to-face, research finds

Mon, 20 Nov 17 00:03:40 -0800

A study led by the University of Nottingham has found that differently-coiled types of Japanese land snails should in fact be considered a single species, because -- against all odds - they are sometimes able to mate, a result which has implications for the classification of other snails.



The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

Fri, 17 Nov 17 00:04:20 -0800

Leipzig. Forests fulfil numerous important functions, and do so particularly well if they are rich in different species of trees. In addition, forest managers do not have to decide on the provision of solely one function, such as wood production or nature conservation: several services provided by forest ecosystems can be improved at the same time. These are the results of two studies led by scientists from Leipzig University and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), and published in Ecology Letters.



No more deer in the headlight: Study finds large mammals do use road crossing structures

Fri, 17 Nov 17 00:07:10 -0800

A pilot study finds that large mammals are more likely to use wildlife crossing structures than move past a random location in the surrounding habitat. Animal movement also varied between crossing structures in different locations, suggesting that location might be more important than design. These findings are a first step towards a better understanding of the effectiveness of wildlife crossing structures.



Warmer water signals change for Scotland's shags

Fri, 17 Nov 17 00:08:20 -0800

An increasingly catholic diet among European shags at one of Scotland's best-studied breeding colonies has been linked to long-term climate change and may have important implications for Scotland's seabirds.



A sub-desert savanna spread across Madrid fourteen million years ago

Fri, 17 Nov 17 00:09:30 -0800

The current landscape of Madrid city and its vicinity was really different 14 million years ago. A semi-desert savanna has been inferred for the centre of the Iberian Peninsula in the middle Miocene. This ecosystem was characterised by a very arid tropical climatic regime with up to ten months of drought per year, according to a recent paper published in PLOS ONE. Scientists reached such conclusions after comparing mammal faunal with Africa and Asia ones



eDNA tool detects invasive clams before they become a nuisance

Fri, 17 Nov 17 00:11:10 -0800

When seeking a cure for a disease, early detection is often the key. The same is true for eliminating invasive species. Identifying their presence in a lake before they are abundant is vital. A recent University of Illinois study successfully used environmental DNA to detect invasive clams in California and Nevada lakes. Researchers believe this tool can help identify pests before they become a problem.



Species in the north are more vulnerable to climate change

Thu, 16 Nov 17 00:04:00 -0800

For the first time, researchers have proposed the hypothesis that animals that live in climate zones at a safe distance from both the poles as well as the tropics have the most to gain from acclimating to changes in climate. The findings contradict previous research in the field.



Production timings could stem illegal wildlife laundering

Thu, 16 Nov 17 00:11:00 -0800

Production timings for artificially propagated plants and animals could help flag items offered for sale before they should legally be available.



Passenger pigeon genome shows effects of natural selection in a huge population

Thu, 16 Nov 17 00:14:50 -0800

The passenger pigeon is famous for the enormity of its historical population and for its rapid extinction in the face of mass slaughter by humans. Yet it remains a mystery why the species wasn't able to survive in a few small populations. One theory, consistent with the findings of a new study published in Science, suggests that passenger pigeons were well adapted to living in huge flocks, but poorly adapted to living in smaller groups.



Using eDNA to identify the breeding habitat of endangered species

Thu, 16 Nov 17 00:07:30 -0800

Using wide-ranging eDNA analysis combined with traditional collection survey methods, Japanese researchers have identified the breeding site of critically endangered fish species Acheilognathus typus in the mainstream of Omono River in Akita Prefecture, Japan. The findings were published on November 14 in the online edition of The Science of Nature - Naturwissenschaften.



Pacific Island countries could lose 50 -- 80% of fish in local waters under climate change

Wed, 15 Nov 17 00:09:10 -0800

Many Pacific Island nations will lose 50 to 80 percent of marine species in their waters by the end of the 21st century if climate change continues unchecked, finds a new Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program study published in Marine Policy. This area of the ocean is projected to be the most severely impacted by aspects of climate change.



Parasitic plants rely on unusual method to spread their seeds

Tue, 14 Nov 17 00:13:20 -0800

Three species of non-photosynthetic plants rely mainly on camel crickets to disperse their seeds, according to new research from Project Associate Professor Suetsugu Kenji (Kobe University Graduate School of Science). These findings were published on Nov. 9 in the online edition of New Phytologist.



Food supplements

Tue, 14 Nov 17 00:14:40 -0800

The Aloe genus comprises approximately 250 species of succulent dry climate plants (xerophytes). The best known species is Aloe barbadensis (syn. Aloe vera), the inner leaf pulp of which has many uses in the food and cosmetics sector as Aloe vera gel.



More stress and lower survival rates for birds in young, managed forests

Tue, 14 Nov 17 00:00:20 -0800

Birds experience less stress during the winter months when they shelter in old forests rather than in younger, managed plantations suggests new research. The study in Springer's journal The Science of Nature was led by Indrikis Krams of the University of Latvia and the University of Tartu in Estonia.



Study finds 'black box' methods used by biologists probably overestimate number of new species

Tue, 14 Nov 17 00:03:20 -0800

A study published in the journal Molecular Ecology demonstrates the misuse and abuse of methods scientists commonly use to place boundaries between different species.



Study provides insights for combating devastating amphibian disease

Tue, 14 Nov 17 00:04:30 -0800

Amphibian chytridiomycosis, caused by infection with the Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis fungus, is the most devastating vertebrate disease on record.



Microbiome transplants provide disease resistance in critically-endangered Hawaiian plant

Tue, 14 Nov 17 00:07:50 -0800

A team of researchers at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and the O'ahu Army Natural Resources Program transplanted microbes to restore the health of a critically endangered Hawaiian plant that, until now, had been driven to extinction in the wild and only survived in managed greenhouses under heavy doses of fungicide.



The pros and cons of large ears

Mon, 13 Nov 17 00:05:20 -0800

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have compared how much energy bats use when flying, depending on whether they have large or small ears.



A genus of European paper wasps revised for the first time using integrative taxonomy

Mon, 13 Nov 17 00:06:00 -0800

The European and Mediterranean species of the paper wasp genus Polistes were revised by scientists at the SNSB-Zoologische Staatssammlung München. For the first time for this group, scientists applied an integrative taxonomic approach which combines traditional morphological methods with DNA barcoding. As a result, the researchers were able to identify a new species from Morocco. For this well-researched wasp group, this is a little sensation. The study is published in the open access journal ZooKeys.



Now you see me! New insect mimics dead leaves -- but sings loud enough for humans to hear

Mon, 13 Nov 17 00:09:00 -0800

A new species of bushcricket which mimics dead leaves to the point of near invisibility and sings so loud humans can hear it has been examined for the first time using advanced technologies to reveal unusual acoustic properties of its wings. Scientists investigating the newly-described species, named Typophyllum spurioculis, found that when the males sing the entire wing resonates at the frequency of the call -- something which does not happen in other species of bushcrickets.



Crunch time for food security

Fri, 10 Nov 17 00:12:20 -0800

Insects have been a valuable source of nutritional protein for centuries, as both food and feed. The challenge now is to broaden their appeal, safely and sustainably



Mushrooms are full of antioxidants that may have antiaging potential

Thu, 09 Nov 17 00:13:40 -0800

Mushrooms may contain unusually high amounts of two antioxidants that some scientists suggest could help fight aging and bolster health, according to a team of Penn State researchers.



Metagenomic analysis software reveals new causes of superbug emergence

Thu, 09 Nov 17 00:00:10 -0800

Researchers from ITMO University and Center of Physical and Chemical Medicine developed an algorithm capable of tracking the spread of antibiotic resistance genes in gut microbiota DNA and revealed additional evidence of resistance genes transfer between different bacterial species. The method can not only contribute to the development of effective therapy schemes, but also curb the spread of superbugs. The results of the research were published in 'Bioinformatics' journal.



Size matters: How thrips choose their partners

Wed, 08 Nov 17 00:10:20 -0800

The bigger the male, the higher his chances to successfully mate -- this applies, at least, to thrips, insects that are hard to recognise with the naked eye. The larger males not only drive off their smaller rivals, they also have better immune systems and produce more sperm. This is a discovery that was made by biologists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) that recently appeared in the international Journal of Insect Behaviour.



Has protecting marine species become a job for statisticians?

Wed, 08 Nov 17 00:11:20 -0800

Fishermen have no way of separating the fish they catch when they cast their nets at sea. Protected species with no market value end up being trapped and dying for no reason. In an attempt to minimize this incidental fishing, statisticians from UNIGE, Dalhousie University and the Australian National University have devised a new statistical method for predicting bycatches more accurately in the future. The technique can also be applied to other research fields.



Seagrass biodiversity is both a goal and a means for restoration

Wed, 08 Nov 17 00:00:20 -0800

Planting multiple seagrass species, rather than a single species, could be better for restoring damaged coastal ecosystems in Indonesia's Coral Triangle.



Nature bests humans at restoring tropical forests

Wed, 08 Nov 17 00:04:10 -0800

The spontaneous recovery of native tree species is more successful in restoring tropical forests than human interventions like planting seedlings, a new study reports.



Ecological Restoration success higher with natural measures than active measures

Wed, 08 Nov 17 00:03:30 -0800

In forest restoration, letting nature take its course may be the most effective and least expensive means of restoring biodiversity and vegetation structure of tropical forests. With global efforts to secure pledges for restoration of 350 million hectares of degraded forests, researchers argue these commitments don't have to be as costly or labor intensive as many think as long as a well-informed, combined approach of active and natural measures is taken.



Climate-influenced changes in flowering, fruiting also affect bird abundance, activities

Wed, 08 Nov 17 00:06:50 -0800

A new study has documented shifts in Hawaiian bird abundance, breeding and molting based on climate-related changes to native vegetation. Researchers with the US Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station recently reviewed extensive climate, vegetation and bird data collected between 1976 and 1982 at a 40-acre monitoring site about 5 miles outside Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on Hawai'i Island. The study is featured in this month's issue of Ecology.



Reformulation of Markowitz theorem

Tue, 07 Nov 17 00:06:30 -0800

By combining concepts from landscape ecology and Markowitz's portfolio theory, researchers from South Africa and the United States developed a unified 'landscape portfolio platform' to quantify and predict the behaviour of multiple stochastic populations across spatial scales. The landscape portfolio platform, however, is applicable to any situation where subsystems fluctuate with a certain level of synchrony, from trade analysis in stock market to sudden outbreaks of pathogens and invasive species.



The 'DNA corrector' is more efficient in the most important regions of the genome

Tue, 07 Nov 17 00:06:20 -0800

Error surveillance and repair mechanisms during DNA replication do not show the same competence in all regions of the human genome. Scientists headed by ICREA researcher Núria López-Bigas at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) reveal that the mechanism that repairs errors in DNA is more efficient in the regions of genes that hold information for the production of proteins.



How a 'flipped' gene helped butterflies evolve mimicry

Tue, 07 Nov 17 00:11:40 -0800

Scientists from the University of Chicago analyzed genetic data from a group of swallowtail species to find out when and how mimicry first evolved, and what has been driving those changes since then.



How climate change may reshape subalpine wildflower communities

Tue, 07 Nov 17 00:14:10 -0800

An unseasonably warm, dry summer in 2015 on Washington state's Mount Rainier caused subalpine wildflowers to change their bloom times and form 'reassembled' communities, with unknown consequences for species interactions among wildflowers, pollinators and other animals.



Climate change, sparse policies endanger right whale population

Tue, 07 Nov 17 00:00:10 -0800

North Atlantic right whales -- a highly endangered species making modest population gains in the past decade - may be imperiled by warming waters and insufficient international protection, according to a new Cornell University analysis published in Global Change Biology.



Rival sperm and choosy eggs

Tue, 07 Nov 17 00:01:10 -0800

The delicately mannered dance between discerning eggs and vying sperm is more complicated than scientists once believed, and it may hold secrets about the evolution of new species.



Height and weight evolved at different speeds in the bodies of our ancestors

Tue, 07 Nov 17 00:02:20 -0800

The largest study to date of body sizes over millions of years finds a 'pulse and stasis' pattern to hominin evolution, with surges of growth in stature and bulk occurring at different times. At one stage, our ancestors got taller around a million years before body mass caught up.



Acoustic monitoring provides holistic picture of biodiversity

Mon, 06 Nov 17 00:03:00 -0800

Ecologists are using a network of 'outdoor recording studios' to better monitor the subtropical Japanese island of Okinawa. Now a pilot study, in which more than 1,100 hours of birdsong were analyzed, is available in the journal Ecological Research which is the official journal of the Ecological Society of Japan and is published by Springer.



Protecting 'high carbon' rainforest areas also protects threatened wildlife

Mon, 06 Nov 17 00:06:00 -0800

Protecting 'high carbon' rainforest areas also protects threatened wildlife.



Mammals switched to daytime activity after dinosaur extinction

Mon, 06 Nov 17 00:09:50 -0800

Mammals only started being active in the daytime after non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out about 66 million years ago (mya), finds a new study led by UCL and Tel Aviv University's Steinhardt Museum of Natural History.



High risk sex behaviors impact women's health: McMaster

Mon, 06 Nov 17 00:10:30 -0800

The research team compared samples of vaginal microbiota of both women who were involved in sex work and those who were not sex workers in Nairobi, Kenya.



Same gene, different mating techniques in flies

Mon, 06 Nov 17 00:14:10 -0800

A study of two related species of fruit fly published in JNeurosci reveals that a gene known to regulate behavior for attracting a mate in one species gives rise to unique wooing techniques observed in the other species.



Périgord black truffle cultivated in the UK for the first time

Sun, 05 Nov 17 00:14:30 -0700

The Mediterranean black truffle, one of the world's most expensive ingredients, has been successfully cultivated in the UK, as climate change threatens its native habitat.



Digger wasps and their chemistry

Fri, 03 Nov 17 00:01:10 -0700

Astonishing evolution: Because digger wasps switched prey, the chemical protective layer of their skin changed, too.



What do piranhas and goldfish have in common?

Fri, 03 Nov 17 00:02:50 -0700

In a paper published in print in Systematic Biology, researchers including some of the biggest names in ichthyology from LSU and universities and museums across the US and Mexico used highly conserved regions of animal genomes, called ultraconserved elements (UCEs), to compile one of the most data-rich phylogenies of fishes to date. Here's what they found.



The secret lives of ancient land plants

Thu, 02 Nov 17 00:14:10 -0700

Revealing of the liverwort genome brings insight into the evolution of land plants.



Newly discovered orangutan species is 'among the most threatened great apes in the world'

Thu, 02 Nov 17 00:08:40 -0700

Scientists have long recognized six living species of great ape aside from humans: Sumatran and Bornean orangutans, eastern and western gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos. But researchers reporting in Current Biology on Nov. 2 have now made it seven, based on a collection of evidence showing that an isolated population of orangutans living in Sumatra is actually its own unique species. They've named the new species the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis).