News

Ash trees and antelopes on the brink of extinction

Published on 14/09/2017

Scientists warn once-common species are disappearing faster than they can be counted as North America’s ash trees join the IUCN’s list of endangers species due to the threat of an invasive beetle species. The IUCN list now included more than 25,000 species at risk of extinction, where scientisits are now warning that species such as the American ashes and five African antelopes that were thought to be safe, are now disappearing faster than they can be counted.

Snow leopard no longer ‘endangered’

Published on 14/09/2017

The iconic big cat’s conservation status has been improved from “endangered” to “vulnerable”. The decision was announced by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the global standard for assessing extinciton risk. Experts have warned that the species still face threats from poaching and habitat destruction. These creatures, which live in the moutains of central Asia, were listed as endangered by the IUCN in 1972.

The fossil of a marine reptile “re-discovered” in a museum is the largest of its kind

Published on 28/08/2017

The ”sea dragon” belongs to a group that swam the world’s oceans 200 million years ago, and is the largest Ichthyosaurus to be described, at more than three metres long.

The reptile belongs to the species, Ichthyosaurus somersetensis, which is named after the county in south west England where many ancient marine reptile specimens have been unearthed. It was dug up at Doniford Bay, Somerset, in the 1990s and eventually found its way into the collections of the Lower Saxony State Museum in Hannover. The fossil has remained unstudied until now.

Root behaviour changes as woody trees age

Published on 24/08/2017

A recent study from the University of Guam has revealed that the timing of daily root extension in plants is under the influence of the age and size of the plant. Three woody tree species sampled showed a preference for nightime root extension, with about two thirds of the 24-hour root extension occuring in the dark for newly emerged seedlings. The percentage of root extension that occured during the daytime increased as the plants became older and larger.

Life cycle of the mysterious and long-dead dodo revealed by bone study 

Published on 24/08/2017

Scientists studying remains of the extinct avians say they have managed to put flesh on the bones of the dodo’s existence, revealing aspects of their life from when they laid eggs to how quickly they reached adulthood, and even manages to determine that they shed and regrew their plumage each year.

Published in the journal of scientific reports, a palaeontologist Delphine Angst from the University of Cape Town and colleagues from the Natural History museum in London and Tring describe that after analysis of 22 wing bones, that dodo bone have three layers of tissue. Previous research in modern birds has shown that the outermost tissue is only found in adults.

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