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Tag: Biologists

Biologists name new rat snake species after little-known Iron Age kingdom

Biologists name new rat snake species after little-known Iron Age kingdom

Science
May 28 (UPI) -- Scientists have identified a new species of rat snake living in Eastern Europe. The team of herpetologists decided to name the snake after the often overlooked Iron Age kingdom of Urartu. Researchers long suspected that the so-called blotched rat snake, Elaphe sauromates, comprised multiple species. New genetic analysis confirmed their suspicions. In a new paper, published this week in the journal PeerJ, scientists described the new species, Elaphe urartica, and the expanded range of the blotched rat snake. The range of Elaphe urartica and Elaphe sauromates extends through Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Iraq, Iran and Russia. The blotched rat snake's scientific name was originally proposed by Peter Simon Pallas, a famed 19th century Prussian naturalist. The name ho...
Biologists name new deep-sea shark species after 30 years of research

Biologists name new deep-sea shark species after 30 years of research

Science
Feb. 27 (UPI) -- After 30 years of research, scientists have finally given an unusual lantern shark its own species designation and a new name -- a family name. University of Rhode Island shark researcher Bradley Wetherbee named the deep sea species Laila's lantern shark after his 17-year-old daughter, Laila Mostello-Wetherbee. The newly named species' scientific name is Etmopterus lailae. Wetherbee has known the lantern shark for nearly twice as long as he's known his daughter. But while his daughter arrived with a name, it took Etmopterus lailae three decades to earn its designation. "It's not uncommon for it to take many years for a new species to be recognized as new to science and then properly described and named," Wetherbee, a professor in the department of biological sciences, sai...
Laziness is an effective survival skill, evolutionary biologists find

Laziness is an effective survival skill, evolutionary biologists find

Science
Aug. 22 (UPI) -- New analysis of species' metabolic rates during the mid-Pliocene epoch suggests higher energy expenditures put animals at greater risk of extinction. The findings, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, suggest laziness is an effective longterm survival strategy. When scientists tracked the fates of mid-Pliocene species over the last 5 million years, they found species with higher metabolic rates were more likely to have disappeared. "Those that have lower energy maintenance requirements seem more likely to survive than those organisms with higher metabolic rates," Luke Strotz, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Kansas' Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum, said in a news release. Scientists st...
Biologists locate baby white sharks' hangout in North Atlantic

Biologists locate baby white sharks' hangout in North Atlantic

Science
July 18 (UPI) -- With the help of next-generation satellite and acoustic technology, marine biologists have identified the migration patterns and hangouts of baby white sharks in the North Atlantic. Researchers have long suspected that the New York Bight, a seafloor indentation running from New Jersey's Cape May Inlet to Montauk Point on the eastern tip of Long Island, serves as a nursery for newborn and juvenile white sharks. But a nursery must meet three specific criteria: it must host higher densities of young sharks; it must be used year after year, over years; and it must be used as a residency for extended periods. Until now, scientists have only been able to confirm the New York Bight's adherence to the first two criteria. However, the recent tagging and tracking of 10 baby white ...