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Posts Tagged "new species"

Extinction Countdown

Alligator Snapping Turtles, the Dinosaurs of the Turtle World, Are Actually 3 at-Risk Species

alligator snapping turtle

Alligator snapping turtles look pretty intimidating. These massive, prehistoric-looking reptiles can reach more than 66 centimeters in length and weigh more than 100 kilograms. Add in their unusual ridged carapaces, finger-long claws and sharp, beaklike mouths and you’ve got an impressive package. But in truth, alligator snapping turtles aren’t all that aggressive. They tend to [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Microjewels: Stunningly Beautiful Snails Going Extinct as Soon as They Are Discovered

microjewel

You need to have pretty good eyesight to see the tiny snails from the genus Plectostoma. These almost impossibly small gastropods from Malaysia and Thailand only reach a millimeter or two in width, but they make up for their lack of size with their stunning beauty. The 31 Plectostoma species described in a new paper [...]

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Extinction Countdown

New Crocodile Species Discovered in West Africa

slender-snouted crocodile

Studying crocodiles in some of the world’s most remote and inaccessible places isn’t easy, but it’s all in a day’s work for researcher Matthew Shirley. It is also, as he says, a “crazy amount of fun”—even on the days when catching and studying crocodiles leaves him covered in his own blood. “I love cruising through [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Starving Orangutans, Dead Bats and Other Links from the Brink (April 13, 2013)

bornean orangutan

Bornean orangutans, gray bats and Grauer’s gorillas are among the endangered species in the news this week. This Week’s Most Heartbreaking Story: A family of Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) was photographed clinging to the sole remaining tree in their former forest habitat after the rest of it had been chopped down for a palm oil [...]

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Extinction Countdown

3 New Slow Loris Species Discovered in Borneo; Rare Venomous Primates Threatened by Illegal Pet Trade

Kayan loris

Protecting the adorable but endangered slow loris—the world’s only venomous primate—from the illegal pet trade suddenly got a little harder. According to a paper pending publication in the American Journal of Primatology, what was once recognized as one slow loris species and two subspecies is actually four different species. Lead author Rachel Munds, an anthropology [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Newly Discovered Hawaiian Bird Could Already Be Extinct

Here’s something amazing: a new bird species has been discovered in the U.S. for the first time since 1974. Unfortunately, the discovery wasn’t a live bird. It was actually a museum sample collected in 1963, and the scientists who discovered it fear it may already be extinct or threatened with extinction. The specimen was collected [...]

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Observations

New Toxic Nocturnal Primate Species Discovered

new slow loris species toxic bite primate Borneo

The slow loris shouldn’t be a difficult object of study. For one thing, it’s slow—very slow (think sloth slow). And these small primates, which are unique in possessing a toxic bite to ward off predators, are charismatic due in large part to their compelling, wide-eyed faces. But they are also nocturnal, and they tend to [...]

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Observations

Late Bloomer: Trailblazing 18th-Century Woman Botanist Finally Honored with Namesake

jeanne baret

In the 18th century, not yet 30 years old, she became the first woman to travel around the world. Along the way she helped collect thousands of plant specimens, some of which were new species. And she did it all dressed as a man. In her own lifetime, French botanist Jeanne Baret fought for recognition [...]

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Running Ponies

Four New Species of Deep-Sea Killer Sponge Discovered

new-species-carnivorous-sponge-featured

Four new species of carnivorous sea sponge have been discovered in a place where ridiculous adaptations for sourcing food seem about as widespread as horrific ways to die – the deep sea. Following their discovery in 2012 of the fantastic-looking carnivorous harp sponge (Chondrocladia lyra) off the coast of California and almost four kilometres deep, [...]

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Running Ponies

Shadow, Labyrinth, Mirror: New Species of Child-Eating Dracula Ants Get Cool Ninja Names

mystrium-featured

Time to dust off those tuxedos and meet me at the Blood Bar in five, because we’ve got six new species of Dracula ants to discuss. Species belonging to the Amblyoponinae subfamily of ants from Madagascar have earned the nickname ‘Dracula ants’, thanks to a social feeding system that involves the queens and workers feeding [...]

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Running Ponies

Female Mimicry in Rove Beetles: How to Mate with Everyone at the Same Time on Dung

tropical-rove-beetle-featured

Last week a new species of rove beetle was described, almost two centuries after Darwin had discovered it in a little town on the coast of Argentina called Bahia Blanca. Along with a bunch of other insect specimens and some fossils, this little beetle was packaged up and shipped back to London, where it ended [...]

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Running Ponies

Move Over, Snotty: Australian Jellyfish Crambione Cookii Filmed for the First Time

crambione-cookii-featured

It’s jellyfish mania in Australia right now, thanks to our snotastic new friend, whose discovery on a Tasmanian beach was announced just last week. While Captain Vom waits patiently for his new official name, we’ve got time to welcome another Australian jellyfish species into the spotlight, and this one’s been waiting more than a century [...]

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Running Ponies

Top Ten Strangest Animal Moments of 2013

skin-feeding

It’s been a good year for strange animals. Which is something you could probably say about every year ever because animals are strange. So here’s my Top Ten Strangest Animal Moments of 2013, ordered from most strange to slightly less strange. Most lists go the other way and end on a high note, but when [...]

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Running Ponies

First Photos of Olinguito Cubs have been Released

baby-olinguito

Just look at this thing. How does it exist? Back in August, a team from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History led by curator of mammals, Kristofer Helgen, announced the discovery of the olinguito – the first new species of carnivore discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years. The species was discovered as [...]

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Running Ponies

Wandering Ponies August: Puffin Census, Monster Pyrosomes, an Unfortunate Crab Moustache and more

brooding-squid-featured

An important part of running a blog about weird/new animals is the part where you beat yourself up about all the great stories you miss. Whether it’s because I’m too slow, too busy, or just quietly decided to watch Pretty Little Liars and waste hours winning Shining Force battles in the bath instead, it all [...]

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Running Ponies

The Olinguito: A New Species That Looks House Cat Crossed With a Teddy Bear

Bassaricyon-neblina-new-species-mammal-featured

With its soft, round ears, pink nose and wide, brown eyes,  the olinguito is an absolute teddy bear, and the first new species of carnivore discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years. At home in the humid cloud forests that line the slopes of the Andes in Colombia and Ecuador, the newly described olinguito [...]

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Running Ponies

New Species, Thor’s Hero Shrew, Will Back Itself in Any Feat of Strength

thor's hero shrew

A new species of shrew has been found in Africa, and it has the mightiest, most extraordinary backbone of all the mammals. A little more than a century ago, the first species of African hero shrew (Scutisorex somereni) was found in Uganda by British zoologist, Oldfield Thomas. While Thomas noted the creature’s long, thick fur, [...]

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Running Ponies

Two new species of Chinese spider are positively weeny

Mysmena wawuensis

Dear Mr M. wawuensis, Thank you for your application to study at the Academy of Terrors and General Unpleasantness. As you know, the Academy can only accept a very limited number of students each year, and unfortunately we cannot offer you a place this coming semester. This decision was based on a rigorous assessment from our admissions [...]

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