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Latest Taxonomy Stories

Rat-Sized Snails Invade Northern Florida
2013-04-15 15:09:09

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Officials in Florida are warning the public about a potential infestation of a massive African snail that can grow to the size of a rat and ravage both plant-life and housing materials such as stucco and plaster. The snails have also been known to carry a parasitic nematode that can lead to meningitis in humans. “They're a trifecta,” said Denise Feiber, the public information director of the Division of Plant Industry in...

New Genetic Study Of Tadpole Shrimps Casts Doubt On The Validity Of The Term 'Living Fossil'
2013-04-02 08:10:15

PeerJ The term 'living fossil' has a controversial history. For decades, scientists have argued about its usefulness as it appears to suggest that some organisms have stopped evolving. New research has now investigated the origin of tadpole shrimps, a group commonly regarded as 'living fossils' which includes the familiar Triops. The research reveals that living species of tadpole shrimp are much younger than the fossils they so much resemble, calling into question the term 'living...

Nocturnal Gulls Hunting Behavior Determined By Lunar Cycle
2013-03-28 12:14:40

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft Swallow-tailed gulls hunt most often under a new moon, when fish come to the surface under the cover of darkness The lunar cycle controls the behavior of various animal species: owls, swallows and bats, for example, align their activity with the phase of the moon to maximize their hunting success. However, marine life is also affected by the moon. Many species of fish hide from their enemies in the depths of the sea during the daytime and only come up to the...

Unraveling The Bizarre Features Of The Turtle Genome
2013-03-28 07:05:03

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The western painted turtle (Chrysemys picta bellii) is one of the most widespread species of turtle in North America. This creature is found in fresh, slow-moving waters from southern Canada to northern Mexico and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. And because this species has been widely studied, it only makes sense for researchers to sequence its genome, and that they´ve done. Publishing the work in this week´s Genome...

DNA Used To Quickly Unravel Relationship Between Plants And Insects
2013-03-25 15:54:44

Smithsonian Studying the relationship between plants and the insects that feed on them is an arduous task, as it must be done through direct observation. It can take years for a researcher to fully understand the diets of a community of herbivorous insects in a tropical rain forest. Now, five Smithsonian scientists are paving a fast track using the DNA found inside the insects' stomachs, potentially turning years of research into months. This method will help scientists understand the...

Giant Squid, One Global Population
2013-03-21 05:59:05

[ Watch the Video: Giant Squid All One Big Happy Family ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An international team of researchers say they have discovered that the giant squid's DNA stretches across the globe, meaning the ocean beasts intermingle and mate throughout the world. The team wrote in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B that no matter where the elusive animals are found, they are so closely related at the genetic level that they represent a...

Burgess Shale Fossil Provides Crucial Missing Link
2013-03-14 05:05:04

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Located in Yoho National Park, Canada's Burgess Shale fossil beds have yielded yet another major scientific discovery. Scientists from the University of Toronto, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Montreal have unearthed a strange phallus-shaped creature from the 505 million year-old rock layers. The study, published in a recent issue of Nature, confirms Spartobranchus tenuis as a member of the acorn worms group....


Latest Taxonomy Reference Libraries

Crab Spiders, Thomisidae
2014-06-19 08:13:57

Thomisidae is a family that holds around two thousand species of crab spiders that can be found throughout the world. Although the name crab spider has been used to refer to a large number of species, it is most often used to refer to members of this family, especially the flower crab spider. Many members of this family have flat bodies that resemble those of crabs and others hold their two front legs in positions that crabs are known for or move in sideways motions as crabs do. Although...

Frosted Flatwoods Salamander, Ambystoma cingulatum
2014-05-26 09:02:44

The frosted flatwoods salamander (Ambystoma cingulatum) is a species of mole salamander that can be found in southeastern coastal areas of the United States. Its range includes northern areas of Florida and southern areas of Georgia and South Carolina. It prefers to reside in pine savannas and wet pine flatwoods. This species is small, reaching an average body length between 3.5 and 5.3 inches and has a small head and body with short legs and a long, smooth tail. It is typically brown to...

Northwestern Salamander, Ambystoma gracile
2014-05-26 07:53:38

The northwestern salamander (Ambystoma gracile) is a species of mole salamander that can be found along the Pacific Coast of North America. Its range extends from May Island in southeastern Alaska to the Gulala River in Sonoma County, California. It resides in a number of habitats from sea level to the timberline, including grasslands and woodlands, but cannot be found east of the Great Divide. It holds two subspecies known as A. g. decorticatum and A. g. gracile, which are separated by a...

Conservancy Fairy Shrimp, Branchinecta conservatio
2014-05-05 12:32:48

Scientific name: Branchinecta conservatio Common Names: Conservancy Fairy Shrimp Status: Listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List on August 1, 1996 Geography: Native to the United States (Southern California) Conservation Information: The historical distribution of this species is unknown. However, places where the species is now known to occur (vernal pools in southern California) once held more continuous and larger populations than there are today. The species is known from...

Pika
2014-04-30 09:56:14

The term pika is used to refer to small mammals in the Ochotonidae family, which holds one genus known as Ochotona. This genus holds thirty species, sometimes referred to as whistling hares, which can be found in cold areas of North America, Asia, and Eastern Europe. Most of the species within this genus reside in rocky areas, although some can be found in steppe environments. Pikas reach an average body length between 5.9 and 9.1 inches, with a weight of up to twelve ounces. They prefer...

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Word of the Day
barratry
  • The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
  • An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
  • Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
This word ultimately comes from the Old French word 'barater,' to cheat.
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