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Latest Taxonomy Stories

Aurornis Xui Discovery Puts Archaeopteryx Back In Bird Family
2013-05-29 15:30:43

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online A new discovery made by paleontologists digging in China has put Archaeopteryx back on the map as one of the earliest birds. Archaeopteryx was first discovered in 1861 and, at the time, was professed to be the world's earliest bird. However, in 2011 researchers carried out a phylogenetic analysis and determined that the Archaeopteryx was actually just another feathered dinosaur. If this team was right, it would mean flight...

2013-05-28 15:36:14

Snail shells coil in response to an lopsided protein gradient across their shell mantles, finds research in BioMed Central's open access journal EvoDevo. In contrast the shell mantle of limpets, whose shells do not coil, have a symmetrical pattern of the protein Decapentaplegic (Dpp). There are many hundreds of different kinds of gastropods (slugs snail and limpets) - second only in number of species to insects. They have adapted to live on land as well as in fresh water and marine...

Plants Reawaken After 400 Years Buried Under Canadian Glacier
2013-05-28 07:34:41

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A Canadian scientist has discovered that certain once-frozen plants have the ability to reawaken after long periods of dormancy, sprouting back to life. The finding came while Catherine La Farge, a researcher with University of Alberta´s Faculty of Science, was observing ancient plants known as bryophytes in the Canadian tundra. Recently exposed terrain left behind by receding glaciers has revealed a startling awakening of...

UN Turns To Edible Insects As Food Source
2013-05-13 15:38:30

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online According to a new report from the United Nations titled “Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security,” forests and the creepy crawlers that inhabit them are an underutilized source of food in the battle against worldwide hunger. The study was conducted by the UN´s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in conjunction with Wageningen University in the Netherlands. The...

Giant African Land Snail Not In Texas After All, Says USDA
2013-05-10 07:23:37

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Less than a day after a Houston-area gardener spotted what was believed to be a giant African land snail, a USDA spokeswoman reported Thursday (May 9) the creature is actually a rosy wolfsnail (Euglandina rosea). The rosy wolfsnail, also known as the cannibal snail, is a native North American species and is commonly found in Texas. Tanya Espinosa of the USDA said there is no evidence that the giant African land snail is in Texas....

Experts Warn Texans Not To Touch Deadly Giant African Snails
2013-05-08 08:49:24

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online People in a Texas neighborhood may be looking for massive mollusks after a recent sighting of a giant African land snail in one Houston-area garden sparked interest. However, researchers are warning people to stay away from the supersized slugs as they are dangerous to touch because they have been known to carry meningitis. Anyone coming into contact with the creatures should wash their hands immediately. Autumn Smith-Herron,...

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...


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
sough
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'
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