Monthly Blog Archives: October 2015

Predator Defenses Backfired: Poisonous Frogs Face Higher Risk Of Extinction, Researchers Say 

By Samantha Mathewson | October 20, 2015 Sometimes, being the most poisonous in the bunch isn’t the best defense, it seems. In order to escape predation, many species have evolved to use special defenses that include camouflaging themselves, mimicking other species or using chemicals. For some amphibians that use toxins to protect themselves, the self-defense plan has backfired. Researchers from the University of Liverpool recently discovered that this predatory defense puts animals such as the […]

Scuba divers in Bahamas find trove of extinct animal fossils and clues to a scientific mystery

By Joel Acenbach | October 19, 2015 Sawmill Sink is a challenging place to dive. It’s a flooded sinkhole on the island of Abaco in the Bahamas. Below 30 feet is a layer of opaque water saturated in poisonous, acidic hydrogen sulfide. But in 2004, a retired military diver named Brian Kakuk figured out how to penetrate the murk and dive into the lightless depths of the hole. Along ledges, he found a trove of […]

Chernobyl’s lesson: Tell it to the birds

By Rupa Sengupta | October 16, 2015 It has flaming orange and blue feathers, a long orange beak and round dark eyes. It’s a thing of beauty, of grace, of plucky unselfconsciousness. Meet the male moustached kingfisher, long dubbed “ghost bird” for rarely, if ever, having been sighted. Sadly, what I’ve described is only an image recently circulating in the media. Reportedly, Christopher Filardi of the American Museum of Natural History captured this rare bird […]

New Species of Ancient Shorebird Identified from New Zealand Fossils 

From | October 19, 2015 An endemic and previously unknown species of shorebird has been identified from fossils found in Central Otago, New Zealand. The new species, Hakawai melvillei, lived approximately 17.5 million years ago (early Miocene), a time when New Zealand was covered in subtropical forests and crocodiles roamed parts of the South Island. According to a paper published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, Hakawai melvillei was a representative of a large […]

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