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Preview: Brightsurf Science News :: Endangered Species News

Endangered Species Current Events and Endangered Species News from Brightsurf

Endangered Species Current Events and Endangered Species News Events, Discoveries and Articles from Brightsurf

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Why are there so many types of lizards?

Fri, 23 Feb 18 00:07:00 -0800

Researchers from Arizona State University School of Life Sciences and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute have sequenced the complete genetic code -- the genome -- of several vertebrate species from Panama. They found that changes in genes involved in the interbrain (the site of the pineal gland and other endocrine glands), for color vision, hormones and the colorful dewlap that males bob to attract females, may contribute to the formation of boundaries between species. Genes regulating limb development also evolved especially quickly.

Distinguishing males from females among king penguins

Thu, 22 Feb 18 00:11:30 -0800

It is difficult to distinguish males from females among King Penguins, but a new Ibis study reveals that King Penguins can be sexed with an accuracy of 100% based on the sex-specific syllable pattern of their vocalisations. Using the beak length, King Penguin individuals can be sexed with an accuracy of 79%.

Disease-bearing mosquitoes gain from shrinkage of green spaces

Thu, 22 Feb 18 00:16:10 -0800

A study conducted in São Paulo, Southern Hemisphere's biggest city, shows that mosquitoes belonging to vector species make up for seven out of the eight most common species found in municipal parks; adapted to urban environment, they benefit from the fragmentation of green areas, a process which leads to the extinction of wild species.

Drier conditions could doom Rocky Mountain spruce and fir trees

Thu, 22 Feb 18 00:02:10 -0800

Drier summers and a decline in average snowpack over the past 40 years have severely hampered the establishment of two foundational tree species in subalpine regions of Colorado's Front Range, suggesting that climate warming is already taking a toll on forest health in some areas of the southern Rocky Mountains.

Moths in mud can uncover prehistoric secrets

Thu, 22 Feb 18 00:02:50 -0800

A groundbreaking new technique for examining moth scales in forest lake sediments allows prehistoric outbreaks of these insects to be identified. The technique -- which could prove as revolutionary as fossil pollen and charcoal markers -- can provide information on the frequency and intensity of past and future insect epidemics, their impact on the forest environment and how they are linked to climate change.

When every fish counts

Thu, 22 Feb 18 00:08:20 -0800

Genetic analysis by UC Davis showed about one-third of endangered delta smelt were misidentified in surveys of the Yolo Bypass. Their study found that genetic tools can be a powerful complement to visual identification of endangered fish.

Research into the family tree of today's horses sheds new light on the origins of the species

Thu, 22 Feb 18 00:10:10 -0800

The earliest known domesticated horses are not at the root of today's modern breed's family tree, as had previously been thought, new research has shown.

Cave art and painted shells suggest neanderthals were artists, understood symbolism

Thu, 22 Feb 18 00:10:00 -0800

Neanderthals were artists, according to a new study in Science, which reveals that the oldest cave art found in Europe predates early modern humans by at least 20,000 years, and so must have had Neanderthal origin.

Horse domestication revisited: Botai horses did not sire today's steeds

Thu, 22 Feb 18 00:09:30 -0800

A new genomic study reveals that the oldest known domesticated horse population, which lived on the Central Asian steppes roughly 5,500 years ago, did not sire the domesticated horses of today.

The Australian government's plan for the biocontrol of the common carp presents several risks

Thu, 22 Feb 18 00:09:00 -0800

Belgian, English and Australian scientists are calling on the Australian authorities to review their decision to introduce the carp herpes virus as a way to combat the common carp having colonised the country's rivers. In a letter published in the journal Science, they not only believe that this measure will be ineffective but that it also represents a risk to ecosystems.

Toenail fungus gives up sex to infect human hosts

Thu, 22 Feb 18 00:12:40 -0800

The fungus that causes athlete's foot and other skin and toenail infections may have lost its ability to sexually reproduce as it adapted to grow on human hosts. The discovery that this species may be asexual -- and therefore nearly identical at the genetic level -- uncovers potential vulnerabilities that researchers could exploit in designing better antifungal medications. The findings appear online in Genetics.

Few Chicagoland wetlands left without non-native species, study finds

Thu, 22 Feb 18 00:12:50 -0800

The wetlands in and around Chicago are overwhelmingly invaded by non-native plants, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers. The study, which pulls together species occurrence data from over 2,000 wetlands in the urban region, is the first to describe wetland invasion patterns on such a large scale in the Chicagoland area.

Are flamingos returning to Florida?

Wed, 21 Feb 18 00:11:30 -0800

Flamingos are a Florida cultural icon, and sightings in the state have been on the rise in recent decades. However, whether they're truly native to the US or only arrive via escape from captivity has long been subject to debate, making developing a plan for managing Florida's flamingo population challenging. A new study reviews the evidence and provides a fresh argument that the birds should be considered part of the Sunshine State's native fauna.

Long incubation times may defend birds against parasites

Wed, 21 Feb 18 00:11:20 -0800

Some tropical birds have longer egg incubation times than their temperate cousins, even though their habitat is teeming with egg-eating predators. The reason why has long been a mystery, but a new study from The Auk: Ornithological Advances applies new methods to confirm the evidence for an old hypothesis -- that a longer development period leads to a stronger, more efficient immune system.

The conflict between males and females could replace the evolution of new species

Wed, 21 Feb 18 00:12:50 -0800

New research shows that males and females of the same species can evolve to be so different that they prevent other species from evolving or colonising habitats, challenging long-held theories on the way natural selection drives the evolution of biodiversity.

Asian elephants have different personality traits just like humans

Wed, 21 Feb 18 00:14:00 -0800

Researchers of the University of Turku, Finland, have studied a timber elephant population in Myanmar and discovered that Asian elephant personality manifests through three different factors. The personality factors identified by the researchers are Attentiveness, Sociability and Aggressiveness.

Cross-bred flies reveal new clues about how proteins are regulated

Wed, 21 Feb 18 00:00:40 -0800

The investigators used a technique called bottom-up proteomics (sometimes called shotgun proteomics) to reveal which proteins of each species were present in the hybrid flies.

Theory suggests root efficiency, independence drove global spread of flora

Wed, 21 Feb 18 00:02:40 -0800

Researchers from Princeton University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences suggest that plants spread worldwide thanks to root adaptations that allowed them to become more efficient and independent. As plant species spread, roots became thinner so they could more efficiently explore poor soils for nutrients, and they shed their reliance on symbiotic fungi. The researchers report that root diameter and reliance on fungi most consistently characterize the plant communities across entire biomes such as deserts, savannas and temperate forests.

New analytical method provides an insight into additional chromosomes

Wed, 21 Feb 18 00:03:50 -0800

A new technique promises to identify additional chromosomes involved in carcinogenesis. A method for analyzing additional chromosomes was proposed by a team of scientists at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Institute of Cytology and Genetics (Siberian branch of Russian Academy of Sciences), NSU Laboratory of Structural, Functional and Comparative Genomics and the University of Belgrade (Serbia) and published in the journal Chromosoma.

Diet or Regular? Decoding behavioral variation in ant clones

Tue, 20 Feb 18 00:15:30 -0800

Clonal ants appear to be diverse in responding to sweetened water, suggesting epigenetic regulation in behavioral variation and colony survival.

Study of mollusk epidemic could help save endangered sea snail

Tue, 20 Feb 18 00:15:10 -0800

Overfishing and environmental change have pushed abalone species on the US west coast to the edge of extinction. Now a fatal disease threatens their recovery. But new research shows that some abalone species may be less susceptible to the disease than others, providing initial data that could help map where abalone could survive and thrive despite the disease.

Grey squirrels beat reds in 'battle of wits'

Tue, 20 Feb 18 00:01:00 -0800

Problem-solving powers may help to explain why grey squirrels have taken over from native red squirrels in the UK, new research says.

PNAS study: Extreme-altitude birds evolved same trait via different mutations

Tue, 20 Feb 18 00:09:40 -0800

All extreme-altitude birds have evolved especially efficient systems for delivering scarce oxygen to their tissues. But a new study led by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has found that these birds often evolved different blueprints for assembling the proteins -- hemoglobins -- that actually capture oxygen in the Himalayas and Andes.

New shark species confirmed

Tue, 20 Feb 18 00:09:20 -0800

Using 1,310 base pairs of two mitochondrial genes, Toby Daly-Engel, an assistant professor of biological sciences at Florida Tech, and colleagues identified a new species, the Atlantic sixgill shark.

'Demographic compensation' may not save plants facing changing climate

Tue, 20 Feb 18 00:04:40 -0800

A large-scale study shows mixed results for hypothesis on how plants deal with climate change.

As climate changes, so could the genes of the Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly

Tue, 20 Feb 18 00:04:30 -0800

Researchers warn climate change can not only influence the geographic distribution of a species in response to changing conditions -- it could also affect the evolutionary trajectories of interbreeding species.

Green toads with multiple genomes have ancestors that are only distantly related

Tue, 20 Feb 18 00:05:40 -0800

Dr. Matthias Stoeck from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) and researchers from the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) and the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) have just published an extensive phylogenetic tree for the Eurasian green toads. This phylogenetic tree shows that polyploid species are hybrids and only descend from parental species with a very high degree of genetic divergence.

Brain size of human ancestors evolved gradually over 3 million years

Tue, 20 Feb 18 00:07:50 -0800

Modern humans have brains that are more than three times larger than our closest living relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos. Scientists don't agree on when and how this dramatic increase took place, but new analysis of 94 hominin fossils shows that average brain size increased gradually and consistently over the past three million years.

Biodiversity loss raises risk of 'extinction cascades'

Mon, 19 Feb 18 00:10:30 -0800

New research shows that the loss of biodiversity can increase the risk of 'extinction cascades', where an initial species loss leads to a domino effect of further extinctions.

Dispersal of fish eggs by water birds -- just a myth?

Mon, 19 Feb 18 00:01:40 -0800

How do fish end up in isolated bodies of water when they can't swim there themselves? For centuries, researchers have assumed that water birds transfer fish eggs into these waters -- however, a systematic literature review by researchers at the University of Basel has shown that there is no evidence of this to date.

You are what you eat: Diet-specific adaptations in vampire bats
Vampire bats feed exclusively on blood. It has therefore been long suspected that they have highly specific evolutionary adaptations and most likely also an unusual microbiome. An international group of scientists analyzed the genome of vampire bats and the microorganisms that live in their gut and asked how much the viruses contained in the blood may affect the vampire bats. Their findings have now been published in Nature Ecology