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This Rare White Possum Could Soon Be a Ghostly Memory

A ghost lives in the Daintree Rainforest in northeastern Queensland, Australia. There, on a single mountain range located 1,100 meters above sea level, scientists have recently found what may be the last few white lemuroid ringtail possums (Hemibelideus lemuroides), a species that was all but wiped out by a heat wave in 2005.

September 16, 2014 — John R. Platt

Holiday Species Snapshot: Christmas Island Shrew

Many species don’t have anything to be thankful for this holiday season. Here’s one that may have already been lost. Species name: The Christmas Island shrew (Crocidura trichura) Where found: This miniscule mammal only exists—if it still exists at all—on Australia’s Christmas Island, a tiny dot in the Indian Ocean that is also home to [...]

December 23, 2014 — John R. Platt

Proud Battleships, Subtle Mines: Dardanelles, 1915

Reported in Scientific American, This Week in World War I: April 3, 1915 "The day when Constantinople will be covered by the guns of the enemy is not very far distant." That's the ebulliant sentence from the article in Scientific American two weeks before this one, just after the initial British and French attack near [...]

April 3, 2015 — Dan Schlenoff
Sunday Species Snapshot: Swift Parrot

Sunday Species Snapshot: Swift Parrot

The beautiful bird known as the swift parrot may be on the fast track to extinction. Species name: Swift parrot (Lathamus discolor) Description: A small bird, just 25 centimeters long, with bright features and a particularly showy attitude.

March 29, 2015 — John R. Platt

Island Sanctuary Could Save Sex-Crazed Northern Quoll

Life is tough if you’re a northern quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus). These rare, cat-sized Australian marsupials don’t have very long life spans—especially males, which tend to die after their first mating experience when less than a year old.

June 11, 2014 — John R. Platt
Naval Attack on the Dardanelles: Prelude to a Disaster, 1915

Naval Attack on the Dardanelles: Prelude to a Disaster, 1915

Reported in Scientific American, This Week in World War I: March 20, 1915 The report published in this issue from a century ago delivers a robustly optimistic outlook on the Allied attack on Turkish territory at the entrance to the waterway between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean: "If the great Mahan were living to-day [...]

March 20, 2015 — Dan Schlenoff

Battle of Gallipoli: A Strategic View, 1915

Scientific American looked at the wider context of the battle for Gallipoli. This Week in World War I: April 24, 1915 April 25, 2015, marks the 100-year anniversary of an important battle in the First World War: it was a major defeat for the Allies (Britain, France and Russia) and a great victory for the [...]

April 24, 2015 — Dan Schlenoff

Butt-Breathing Turtle Now Critically Endangered

Few reptiles can breathe underwater. Australia is home to one of the exceptions, the white-throated snapping turtle (Elseya albagula), which can extract oxygen from water through its backside via a process called cloacal respiration.

December 12, 2014 — John R. Platt

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