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1,000 Hidden Species Found in Australian Outback

December 16, 2011

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1,000 Hidden Species Found in Australian Outback

The Australian Outback might seem lifeless, but under the hot, dry surface, it is actually teeming with life. A team of researchers in Australia, looking for invertebrates in small underground cavities, has found over 1,000 new species. They think that there are another 3,500 beneath the topsoil, just waiting to be discovered. They hit the […]

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Two New Frog Species are World’s Smallest

December 14, 2011

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Two New Frog Species Are World’s Smallest

You won’t see many frogs of this size. That’s because they are rare and because they are tiny. Two newly discovered frog species are smaller than a penny. In fact they are the smallest ever found and they live in Papua New Guinea, where they are easily missed at 0.4 inches in length. Paedophryne dekot […]

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Lungfish Use Pelvic Fins to Walk Underwater

December 14, 2011

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Lungfish Walks Underwater

The accompanying video shows a lungfish that uses its fins for walking and this could help to clear up the mysteries about when our distant relatives moved from water to land. The African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) uses fins similar to the ancestors of the first vertebrates to walk on land. There had been evidence, though […]

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The Guppy: The New Top Predator

December 13, 2011

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Guppy The New Top Predator

They are tiny and cute and can be seen in countless aquariums. Surely the Guppy is at the bottom of the predator list. Maybe not. A new chemical study puts the guppy high up on the food chain. Even higher than a shark, according to Greg Michalski, an assistant professor at Purdue University. Is it […]

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Tiny Spider Brains Overflow Into The Body, Legs

December 13, 2011

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Spider Brains Overflow Into The Body

According to Smithsonian researchers, the brains of tiny spiders are so large that they fill their body cavities and even overflow into their legs. They are essentially walking brains. Researchers measured the central nervous systems of nine species of spiders, everything from giant rainforest dwellers to spiders smaller than the head of a pin. What […]

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Kirtland’s Warblers Like To Live In Forests After A Fire

December 9, 2011

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Kirtland’s Warblers Endangered Species of Birds

Kirtland’s warblers (named after Jared P. Kirtland) are an endangered species of birds that, like so many humans, spend summer in North America and winter in the Bahamas. Now a new study using data from NASA’s Landsat satellites shows that these birds prefer to live in young forests and forests that have previously suffered a […]

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Bearing Gifts Equals More Sex Even With Spiders

December 8, 2011

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Bearing Gifts Equals More Sex

It looks like human males aren’t the only ones giving women cheap gifts to get sex. Male nursery web spiders (Pisaura mirabilis) wrap their gifts in silk to give to females. Most gifts are nice juicy insects, but some are inedible plant seeds or empty exoskeletons that they have already devoured. What cheapskates! Males will […]

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Nuclear Plant Helps Save Endangered Florida Crocodiles

December 7, 2011

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Nuclear Plant Helps Save Endangered Florida Crocodiles

Normally we hear about how bad nuclear plants are, but when was the last time you heard a story about how they save animals? One nuclear power plant in Florida is helping animals; namely crocodiles. Canals designed to divert power plant water are giving them a safe habitat and allowing them to thrive. This species […]

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It’s Official, Toads Can Predict Earthquakes

December 5, 2011

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Toad

Italian toads can apparently sense earthquakes like the earthquake that struck L’Aquila on April 6th, 2009. We know this because Dr Rachel Grant of the UK’s Open University was studying a toad population at San Ruffino Lake, around 74km from the quake’s epicenter at the time. What she found was interesting. Five days before the […]

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Using Bees To Ease Tensions Between People And Elephants

November 28, 2011

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Fence Beehive

Elephants and African farmers have had a long history of conflict, but now Lucy King’s work is helping to bring an end to it, using beehive “fences” that keep elephants out of farmers’ fields. It might seem that Elephants aren’t scared of much. Like Lions, they seem to rule their land. However, what they don’t […]

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Human Stem Cells Transplanted Into Mouse Brains

November 28, 2011

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neuron

Scientists have reported that they have successfully transplanted human stem cell-derived neurons into the brains of living mice. Human embryonic stem cells grown in a culture with mouse neurons were then implanted into a living mouse’s hippocampus. These mice neurons had a very specific trait. They were activated by light. The study demonstrated that the […]

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