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Tag: species

Extinction: A million species at risk, so what is saved?

Extinction: A million species at risk, so what is saved?

Science
A decade-long project to save one of the world's most endangered birds has finally found success, with the birth of two chicks. But with an estimated one million species at risk across the world, and nothing like the money and resources to save them all, how do conservationists choose the few they can save?"You have to wear one of these I'm afraid," Tanya Grigg says sympathetically, handing me a distinctly unflattering blue hair net. "Any stray hairs could wrap around the birds' legs and injure them; they're so delicate." Tanya has a soft voice and gentle manner that I can imagine putting the most skittish of birds at ease. She shows me into a large aviary. There are just two, nervous-looking birds inside - both with miniature, shovel-shaped bills and spi...
Climate change: Migrant species do well in warm and wet UK in 2019

Climate change: Migrant species do well in warm and wet UK in 2019

Science
It's been a good year for migrant butterflies, moths and dragonflies in the UK, according to a review of 2019 by the National Trust. The charity says warm and wet weather saw the biggest influx of painted lady butterflies in a decade. But the impacts of drought and wildfires in some parts mean it's not been a good year for natterjack toads and water voles.The fires saw the habitats of mountain hares impacted as well. The changeable nature of the weather in 2019 meant there were mixed outcomes for species around the country. The warm spells in the earlier part of the year saw lots of moths, butterflies and dragonflies from Europe arrive en masse. Chief among them was the painted lady butterfly. This orange and black spotted specie...
Division of mitochondria, key to animal evolution, is similar across species

Division of mitochondria, key to animal evolution, is similar across species

Science
Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Scientists knew mitochondrial division is present across different species, but researchers weren't sure how exactly mitochondrial division is conserved -- or even whether it divides the same way in different organisms. Now, researchers have shown that the genes powering mitochondrial replication, or division, a key component of animal evolution, are conserved across different species. The endosymbiotic theory, an evolutionary theory, holds that more complex organisms called eukaryotes evolved from primitive single-celled organisms known as prokaryotes. Researchers have previously shown that mitochondria, the cellular organelles responsible for energy production, originated in prokaryotic bacteria, but were adopted by eukaryotes. The conservation of similar mitochondrial...
Ancient whale species sheds light on shift from limb- to tail-powered swimming

Ancient whale species sheds light on shift from limb- to tail-powered swimming

Science
Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Modern whales use their tails to swim, but their earliest ancestors, a group of semi-aquatic species known as protocetids, swam with their limbs. Due to gaps in the fossil record, the transition from limb- to tail-powered locomotion among whales isn't well-understood. But a newly discovered species of ancient whale, unearthed in Egypt, has offered scientists some clarity on the matter. "The biggest gap is that we lack associated skeletons of whale intermediates between land mammals and the earliest of early known whales to document the transition to foot-powered swimming," researcher Philip Gingerich, professor of earth sciences, evolutionary biology and anthropology at the University of Michigan, told UPI in an email. "We also need more late middle Eocene skeletons to f...

2 insect species classified as threatened as glaciers melt

Technology
Federal wildlife officials say the continued existence of two species of insects is in doubt because the glaciers and year-round snowfields they depend on are melting awayBy MATT VOLZ Associated PressNovember 20, 2019, 10:16 PM3 min read The continued existence of two species of insects is in doubt because climate change is melting away the glaciers and year-round snowfields they depend on, U.S. wildlife officials said Wednesday. The western glacier stonefly and the meltwater lednian stonefly found in the northern Rocky Mountains will be protected as threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said. “We recognize the fact that this species is not doing well,” agency spokeswoman Jennifer Koches said. “The primary threat to the habita