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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Species in the US

I just wanted to share this link to a new species of crayfish found in the US: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70J0GP20110120

It is a large species that had never been seen before. The article points out how neat it is that people can still explore and make new biological discovers even in populated parts of the US. I'm not talking about genetists splitting existing species into multiple species, I'm talking about truly new species that have never been described by science. It reminded me of a friend, Bill Peterman, who found a new species (and Genus!) of salamander in Georgia a couple years ago. His published description of the new species (Urspelerpes brucei) can be found here

Camp, C.D., W.E. Peterman, J.R. Milanovich, T. Lamb, J.C. Maerz, and D.B. Wake. 2009. A new genus and species of lungless salamander (family Plethodontidae) from the Appalachian highlands of the south-eastern United States. Journal of Zoology 279:86– 94.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Remebering the Great Naturalists

This was an interesting, scary, and somehow inspiring bit of historical information on the early naturalists.  One of my favorite parts was a quote from one of the all-time greats, Alfred Russel Wallace. 

“I trembled with excitement as I saw it coming majestically toward me,” Alfred Russel Wallace wrote, of a spectacular butterfly in the East Indies, “& could hardly believe I had really obtained it till I had taken it out my net and gazed upon its gorgeous wings of velvet black & brilliant green, its golden body & crimson breast … I have certainly never seen a more gorgeous insect.” Naturalists were also caught up body and soul in the great intellectual enterprise of collecting, classifying and coming to terms with the diversity of life on Earth.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/dying-for-discovery/ 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cool Frog Adaptation

It was recently shown that some frogs can absorb objects embedded in their body cavity (e.g. PIT Tags, thorns, etc.) and pass it out through their bladder.

Read more about it here

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Amazing Wildlife Photography Book

My Friend Mundy Hackett, who is an amazing photographer in his own right, just suggested this book to me and I thought I'd pass it along.  It captures the most amazing, once-in-a-lifetime moments and would make a great gift for any nature lover on your holiday shopping list.


Decisive Moments Photography Book

Monday, December 6, 2010

World of Army Ants

I thought this was a neat bit of information on all of the species that live in association with army ants:
Discover Magazine Blog: Army Ants

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Breeding Endangered Frogs

This might not be the best long-term solution to the global amphibian crisis (massive declines and extinctions) but it could be the only solution in the short term.

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/ReptilesAmphibians/NewsEvents/breedinglaloma.cfm?hpout=homepage