Posts about wildlife

2,000 Species New to Science from One Island

photo of squat lobster

Photograph by Dr Tin-Yam Chan, University of Keelung

153 scientists from 20 countries fanned out across the remote South Pacific island of Espiritu Santo, examining mountains, forests, caves, reefs, and water for all living organisms. In five months, they collected 10,000 species. Some 2,000 of these may be new to science.

This squat lobster, found in waters 150 meters (492 feet) deep, is one of the new species. Eighty percent of the world’s species remain to be discovered, notes French scientist Philippe Bouchet, one of the expedition’s leaders.

A World of Crabs from One Tiny Island

About 600 of these were crab species. The two-horn box crab is able to crack and peel open snails’ shells using a sharp “tooth” on its right claw to cut open shells and long, slender “fingers” on the left claw to yank out its prey.

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Ancient Ants

Blind “Ant From Mars” Found in Amazon

An ant so unlike all other living ants that it was given an extraterrestrial name has been discovered in the Amazon rain forest, biologists announced today. The tiny new species is the only known surviving member of an ant lineage that separated from the main family more than a hundred million years ago, DNA analysis revealed.

The pale, eyeless ant appears to be adapted to living underground, possibly surfacing at night to forage. Its long mandibles suggest that the 0.08-inch-long (2-millimeter-long) animal is a predator, most likely of soft-bodied creatures such as termite larvae.

Christian Rabeling, a graduate student at the University of Texas in Austin, found a single specimen of the new species, thought to be a worker ant, in tropical soils near Manaus, Brazil. Rabeling’s team named the new creature Martialis heureka—”Martialis” means “of Mars

The new species’ genes suggest that it broke away from the main ant family before the origin of all other living ant groups, which include 20 subfamilies that together contain more than 12,000 species.

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Polar Bears and Huskies

I posted about Polar Bear and Dogs previously. Now here is a video:

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