Monthly Blog Archives: January 2015

New flower discovered in Blue Mountains smells like rotting fish

Not all flowers smell like roses, but a new plant discovered in the Blue Mountains sprouts blooms that smell like rotting fish. Botanist Greg Steenbeeke was one of three scientists to identify the new species in a small patch of rainforest in the Megalong Valley. “I’ve gone past the point where we found the plant several times a year for two decades and never knew it was there,” said Mr Steenbeeke, the NSW Office of […]

Desert tawny owl: New species of bird discovered in Israel

An international group of ornithologists has discovered that a species of Middle Eastern desert owl – previously thought to be Hume’s owl – is actually a completely new species. The desert tawny owl (Strix aluco) is a new species of bird that has been known to inhabit the desert areas of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Yemen since the 1950s. There are roughly about 5,000 pairs of this type of owl in the world, about […]

BBC – Earth – Caterpillar makes magical cocoon

It sounds magical; a caterpillar that has built a cocoon that could pass as a tiny palace forged from ice. A brilliant white cocoon, that glimmers and shines, of a type that has never before been seen. We know of no other cases from anywhere in the world of a caterpillar making a cocoon out of flakes of resin A structure, in which the caterpillar can live and transform its very being, that has special […]

The Oceans Are On the Verge of Mass Extinction. Here’s How to Avoid It. | Mother Jones

We land-based creatures live in the midst of a massive extinction crisis, just the sixth one over the past half billion years. What about the oceans? A much-discussed, wide-ranging recent Science study (paywalled) has good news: Sea critters are currently faring much better than their land counterparts, which are going extinct at a rate 36 times higher. (That number is likely exaggerated, the authors note, because scientists have done a much better job of cataloging […]

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