Biology

Fungal infection threatens European salamanders: Study

A fungal infection threatens European salamanders: experts warn

A fungal infection that hit northern European countries many years ago behaves as a “perfect storm” and may end up wiping out almost all vulnerable species, experts have warned.

The lethal fungus, dubbed B. salamandrivorans (Bsal), left almost all fire salamanders dead in an outbreak occurred in The Netherlands in the year of 2014. Wild salamanders and newts in Germany and Belgium have also suffered outbreaks since then.

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Mass bleaching events offer low prospect of recovery for Great Barrier Reef

Mass bleaching events offer zero prospect of recovery for Great Barrier Reef

Mass bleaching events occurred just twelve months apart offer zero prospect of recovery for the Great Barrier Reef in north Queensland, scientists have warned.

The Great Barrier Reef suffered two consecutive massive coral bleaching events, in 2016 and 2017. A team of scientists from the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies conducted aerial surveys of the structure, and found that the bleaching events damaged a 1,500km stretch of the reef.

Cyclone Debbie impacts Great Barrier Reef: Report

Cyclone Debbie makes devastating blow to Great Barrier Reef

After suffering back-to-back severe coral bleaching, the Great Barrier Reef has had to cope with another devastating blow — Cyclone Debbie. Ferocious winds moving at speeds of up to 260 kilometer per hour tore through the Whitsunday Islands and made landfall at Airlie Beach. Local researchers and reporters went underwater to examine the destruction caused by the cyclone.

The cyclone snapped off branches and lifted up and threw aside massive pieces of coral. Local tour operators portrayed a disheartening picture of the broken reef.

Paleontologists discover remains of an earliest relative of dinosaurs

Paleontologists discover remains of an earliest relative of dinosaurs

The discovery of 245-million-year-old fossilized remains of one of the earliest relatives of dinosaurs from a basin in southern Tanzania may help fill in the gaps in scientists’ understanding of how those massive creatures evolved as well as provide a deeper insight into what their earliest relatives might have looked like.

Paleontologists reported that the remains belonged to an extinct carnivorous creature called Teleocrater rhadinus, which wasn’t a direct forerunner to dinosaurs. Instead, this creature was more of a close cousin.

Coral bleaching affected two-thirds of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef: Study

Coral bleaching affected two-thirds of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef: scientists say

New aerial surveys have confirmed that back-to-back coral bleaching events have affected more than two-thirds of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

A team of scientists with the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at the Australian Research Council conducted the surveys, and scored bleaching at 800 individual coral reefs across 8,000 kilometers at the world’s biggest living structure.

The results proved that two mass bleaching events that took placed in the recent years have affected a 1,500-kilometer stretch, leaving merely the southern part of the reef unscathed.

Octopus can ignore own DNA information: Research

Octopuses can ignore their own DNA information: researchers find

A new study has suggested that octopuses along with their squid and cuttlefish cousins are much more intelligent than marine biologists give them credit for.

Octopuses have long been known for making remarkable escapes by squeezing into really small areas or unscrewing glass jars from the inside, but the study is really astonishing as it suggest that these creatures are able to ignore their DNA information and that they can readily modify the way they use their DNA.

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Cephalopods can readily change the way they use DNA: study

Cephalopods can readily change the way they use DNA: study

Cephalopods like octopuses, cuttlefish and nautiluses can readily change the way they use their DNA, a new study by an international team of researchers revealed.

Researchers from Israel’s Tel Aviv University and Woods Hole, Massachusetts-based Marine Biological Laboratory studied cephalopods and found that their stunning abilities might originate at the molecular level. Rather than making use of their genetic code as a blueprint to create the proteins they require to survive, they use it more like guidelines.

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Badger caught burying a cow in Utah

Badger caught burying a cow in Utah

Cameras set up in the Great Basin Desert of Utah captured a badger burying an entire cow by itself, and he buried carcass was able to sustain the short-legged omnivore for months. A team of biologists from the University of Utah had scattered the carcasses of seven calves in the area to study the behavior of scavengers. Around a week later, when researcher Evan Buechley revisited the area to check the carcasses, he was disappointed to find that one of the carcasses was missing.

Manatees removed from list of endangered species

Manatees removed from list of endangered species

Manatees, the giant marine mammal also known as sea cow, will no longer get special protections as they have been taken off the U.S. Interior Department’s list of endangered species.

Federal wildlife authorities announced on Thursday that they reclassified manatees as threatened species. Conservationists were quick to condemn the decision saying it would weaken protections for the marine mammal.

Online users eagerly waiting for ‘April the giraffe’ to go into labor

Animal lovers eagerly waiting for ‘April the giraffe’ to go into labor

Thousands of animal lovers continue to watch live giraffe cam from the Animal Adventure Park as they are eagerly waiting for “April the giraffe” to go into labor.

In a recently-held question & answer session, park owner Jordan Patch said that when the giraffe will be seen stretching out and raising her tail, it will be a sign of pressure, indicating a contraction.

Thus, viewers around the world watch with bated breath every time the female giraffe lift’s her tail.

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