News That Matters

Tag: species

DNA tests reveal plant species thought to be extinct

DNA tests reveal plant species thought to be extinct

Science
Jan. 8 (UPI) -- With the help of DNA testing, researchers at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis have rediscovered a plant species thought to be extinct.Dracaena umbraculifera was initially described in 1797. It was believed to be native to Mauritius, a small island in the Indian Ocean, 1,200 miles from the coast of southern Africa. After multiple attempts to locate the species on Mauritius, botanists declared the species extinct.Despite the declaration, D. umbraculifera continued to be cultivated at botanical gardens around the world.Researchers at the Missouri Botanical Garden set out to determine where the species truly originated and whether the species really was extinct in the wild. Scientists began by sequencing the species genome and comparing it to its closest relatives. Th...
New species of spider revealed, named after Bob Marley

New species of spider revealed, named after Bob Marley

Science
Dec. 27 (UPI) -- A new species of water-adapted spiders has been discovered on Australia's coral reefs, with researchers naming it after reggae star Bob Marley for his song "High Tide or Low Tide."The team of researchers that discovered Desis bobmarleyi sp. n -- Dr. Barbara Baehr, Dr. Robert Raven and Dr. Danilio Harms of the University of Queensland and the University of Hamburg -- named the spider based on it's ability to survive both in and out of water.The intertidal spiders adapted to become true marine animals, the researchers say, adjusting to life underwater by hiding in barnacle shells, kelp or corals during high tide along the coast of Australia's Queensland state.They developed air chambers to breathe, using silk, and when the tide recedes they can be found hunting small inverte...
Galapagos finches caught in act of becoming new species

Galapagos finches caught in act of becoming new species

Science
A population of finches on the Galapagos has been discovered in the process of becoming a new species. This is the first example of speciation that scientists have been able to observe directly in the field. Researchers followed the entire population of finches on a tiny Galapagos island called Daphne Major, for many years, and so they were able to watch the speciation in progress.The research was published in the journal Science.The group of finch species to which the Big Bird population belongs are collectively known as Darwin's finches and helped Charles Darwin to uncover the process of evolution by natural selection.In 1981, the researchers noticed the arrival of a male of a non-native species, the large cactus finch.Professors Rosemary and Peter Grant noticed that this male proceeded ...
Some species more vulnerable to climate change than they appear

Some species more vulnerable to climate change than they appear

Science
Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Research suggests some species are more vulnerable to climate change they appear.In analyzing the ecosystems within tidal pools and shallow waters along the West Coast, researchers realized beds of mussels and seaweed provide protection against climate change for a variety of small marine species.According to the latest research -- published this week in the journal Ecology Letters -- seaweed and mussel beds essentially offer air conditioning to the communities of species they shelter. As a result, many species as far south as Southern California and as far north as Puget Sound have experienced equally minimal amounts of heat stress.Cursory evaluations might suggest these species are resilient to climate change or able to adapt to dramatic temperature variation, but in rea...
New great ape species identified in Indonesia

New great ape species identified in Indonesia

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceScientists who have been puzzling for years over the genetic "peculiarity" of a tiny population of orangutans in Sumatra have finally concluded that they are a new species to science. The apes in question were only reported to exist after an expedition into the remote mountain forests there in 1997. Since then, a research project has unpicked their biological secret. The species has been named the Tapanuli orangutan - a third species in addition to the Bornean and Sumatran. It is the first new great ape to be described for almost a century. Publishing their work in the journal Current Biology, the team - including researchers from the University of Zurich, Liverpool John Moores University and the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme - pointe...