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Croak and Dagger

Taxonomy: The spy who loved frogs. "To track the fate of threatened species, a young scientist must follow the jungle path of a herpetologist who led a secret double life." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 16, 2013 - 8 comments

Your wildflower search engine.

Search for wildflowers by location, color, flower shape, flower size and time of blooming. 3,126 plants indexed. This web site helps those of us with limited knowledge of botany to identify flowering plants that are found outside of gardens. This help is provided by presenting you with small images of plants. You can use a number of search techniques to get to the images that are most likely the plant you are looking for. When you click on a plant image the program shows you links to plant descriptions and more plant images. The site has about 5 ways of searching for a plant. You can use these searches in any combination. Some searches eliminate some plants from consideration. Most searches give a "score" to each plant depending on how well the plant matches the search criteria. The plants with the highest score are displayed at the top of the results. Click here for Instructions. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jun 5, 2013 - 21 comments

Subspecies Extinction Alert

DNA analysis has confirmed the death, by poaching, of the last Javan rhino in Vietnam. This marks the official extinction of the Vietnamese subspecies of Javan rhinoceros. The entire species is now represented by just 35 individuals from the Indonesian subspecies, all of whom reside in Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia.
posted by Scientist on Jan 16, 2013 - 52 comments

12 Amazing Things About Bats

12 Amazing Things About Bats [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Oct 31, 2012 - 31 comments

Sex crazed, but not too picky

Nature constantly engineers new and creative solutions to all sorts of problems—turning our stereotypes about sex upside-down along the way.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 17, 2012 - 16 comments

The Lesula of the Congo

A new monkey species, known to locals as the 'lesula' (Cercopithecus lomamiensis), has been discovered in a largely unexploited rainforest within the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
posted by Wordshore on Sep 12, 2012 - 44 comments

The 100 most endangered species

"Priceless or Worthless?" is a handsomely photographed report by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature identifying the 100 most endangered animals, plants, and fungi (9 MB PDF) on the planet and what needs to be done to save them. [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Sep 12, 2012 - 11 comments

The top ten new species 2012

The top ten new species 2012 The International Institute for Species Exploration has come up with a list of top ten new species; among them the snub nosed monkey that sneezes when it rains, a wasp that attacks ants in less than 0.05 of a second, and a psychedelic jellyfish. (previously on MeFi)
posted by dhruva on Aug 8, 2012 - 32 comments

Plankton Chronicles

Plankton Chronicles
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 4, 2012 - 10 comments

"Guuuuuuuuuh-roovy!"

Limbless amphibian species found. [bbc.co.uk] A UK-Indian team of scientists have announced the discovery of a new species of limbless amphibian. The creature - about 168mm in length and pink in colour [image] - belongs to an enigmatic, limbless group of amphibians known as the caecilians [wiki].
posted by Fizz on Apr 25, 2012 - 52 comments

Long Live Ligers

"It fits with what we would expect as a result of the rapid change in Arctic habitat." The stuff of science fiction is becoming increasingly the stuff of science fact. And now, it seems, you can crack open a white Coke (if you can stomach the campaign) and watch it all from the comfort of your couch. [more inside]
posted by huckhound on Apr 9, 2012 - 40 comments

Time Tree

TimeTree is a public knowledge-base for information on the evolutionary timescale of life. A search utility allows exploration of the thousands of divergence times among organisms in the published literature. A tree-based (hierarchical) system is used to identify all published molecular time estimates bearing on the divergence of two chosen taxa, such as species, compute summary statistics, and present the results . . . For those interested in published summaries of relationships and divergence times of major groups of organisms (family level and above), see the authoritative synthesis The Timetree of Life.

Here are some examples to get you started: Humans and Chimpanzees diverged 6.3 MYA; Giraffes and Dolphins diverged 58.3 MYA; Cats and Mice diverged 95.2 MYA; and Dogs and Fleas diverged 777.8 MYA. [more inside]
posted by troll on Oct 27, 2011 - 18 comments

I think I'll call him Rusty.

The red-crested tree rat (Santamartamys rufodorsalis), not seen in over a hundred years, made an unexpected, nonchalant appearance at the El Dorado Bird Reserve in Colombia a couple of weeks ago. Witnesses are unavailable for comment, being too busy with squeals of "Awwwwwww" to respond to questions. Press release here; high-res photos heEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
posted by Gator on May 19, 2011 - 25 comments

Urban Traps

Urban Traps [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Mar 18, 2011 - 53 comments

A Shrew On the Edge of Existence

This species was around seventy-six million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and the continents were splitting.  The impact of a colossal space rock wiped out the dinosaurs but did not finish them off, even though their habitat was close to 'ground zero'.  They survived the super-hot "greenhouse Earth" of the Eocene, major changes in global ecosystems, and the Ice Age (take that, Scrat).  They have grooved teeth which inject venom into their prey; very strong limbs which end in long sharp claws.  They have only three native predators.  However this 'living fossil' called the Solenodon could soon be wiped out by mongoose, people and wild dogs. [more inside]
posted by Hardcore Poser on Jun 2, 2010 - 9 comments

Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species

"Bryn the pygmy rabbit died in 2008, marking the end of her genetic line. This subpopulation lost its sagebrush habitat as the land was developed for agriculture ... In an off-exhibit room at the Oregon Zoo, the staff was quiet, even reverent, as they brought in Bryn. She was one of two Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits left, and since both were old females, this was a solemn occasion." Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species
posted by melissam on May 30, 2010 - 16 comments

Bug-eating slugs, fanged fish, and killer sponges (oh my)

Attenborough's Pitcher, an "Udderly Weird Yam," a two-inch phallic mushroom already immortalized on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, and the "Bombardier Worm" ("Chaff worm" would seem a more accurate name) are just four of the newly described species making the International Institute for Species Exploration's totally arbitrary Top 10 New Species list. [more inside]
posted by dust of the stars on May 26, 2010 - 6 comments

Venter creates spiraling coils of self-replicating DNA.

"The ability to design and create new forms of life marks a turning-point in the history of our species and our planet." - Freeman Dyson, on the J.C. Venter Institute's creation of a cell controlled by a synthetic genome. We are now in the business of engineering life.
posted by BoatMeme on May 20, 2010 - 62 comments

Young Indiana Jones Discovers Missing Link (maybe....)

"So I called my dad over and about five metres away he started swearing, and I was like 'what did I do wrong?' and he's like, 'nothing, nothing - you found a hominid'."
The remarkable remains of two ancient human-like creatures (hominids) have been found in South Africa. Some researchers dispute that the fossils are of an unknown human species, but others say they may help fill a key gap in the fossil record of human evolution. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 8, 2010 - 26 comments

Hen that thinks it's a dog takes litter of puppies under its wing

A hen in Shrewsbury, England takes a litter of puppies under her wing, and other animals that take in other species.
posted by Tlery on Mar 5, 2010 - 22 comments

A Cubic Foot

How much life could you find in one cubic foot? With a 12-inch green metal-framed cube, photographer David Liittschwager (of the Endangered Species Project) surveyed biodiversity in land, water, tropical and temperate environments around the globe for National Geographic. At each locale he set down the cube and started watching, counting, and photographing with the help of his assistant and many biologists. The goal: to represent the creatures that lived in or moved through that space. The team then sorted through their habitat cubes and tallied every inhabitant, down to a size of about a millimeter. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 2, 2010 - 25 comments

The Encyclopedia of Life

The Encyclopedia of Life [previously] is E.O. Wilson's dream become reality. It has been online since February of 2008, aiming to catalog the currently known 1.9 million species on our planet. You can also add text, images, video, comments, and tags. [ FAQVideo IntroductionTutorials ]
posted by not_on_display on Jan 30, 2010 - 10 comments

The tale of the coelacanth

The amazing story of the coelacanth is one of the wonders of the living world that inspires marine biologists such myself. Coelacanths, part of the offshoot lineage of fishes known as "lobed finned ", are very different from typical "ray finned" fishes that you usually think of. Their bizarre lobed fins are thought to be an intermediate step between fish fins and amphibian legs. Scientists had known that these weird fish existed because of fossils for over a century, but we believed that they went extinct 65 million years ago... until a South African fisherman caught one in 1938. [more inside]
posted by WhySharksMatter on Sep 7, 2009 - 49 comments

Endangered Species Act 2009

Endangered Species Act Protections Restored by President Obama. Previous regulation made it easier to start projects without consulting scientists.
posted by Smaaz on Mar 4, 2009 - 17 comments

Invasional Meltdown

What Invasive Species Are Trying to Tell Us. "Walking snakeheads, carnivorous snails, and the superpredator from the reef: The invasion has begun." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Feb 16, 2009 - 46 comments

Lame Duck v. Bald Eagles

Cross another item off of President Bush's to-do list before he leaves the White House: hobbling the Endangered Species Act and allowing federal agencies to gauge the environmental impact of their projects for themselves. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said the changes were needed to ensure that the ESA would not be used as a "back door" to regulate greenhouse gases.
posted by digaman on Aug 11, 2008 - 50 comments

Down

The Genius of Charles Darwin [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Aug 8, 2008 - 66 comments

What Is A Species?

What Is A Species? "To this day, scientists struggle with that question. A better definition can influence which animals make the endangered list."
posted by homunculus on Jun 8, 2008 - 11 comments

Hmmmm...

The annual northward migration is in full swing. The first time you see one on your feeder for the new season is cause for a big smile (maybe a little waving of arms). These little guys can weigh as little as a penny, yet will consume nearly twice their body weight every day. Have you guessed? Yes, it's a hummingbird flight of fancy. (Attenborough video) [more inside]
posted by netbros on May 4, 2008 - 26 comments

Sharks 4. Humans 165,000,000.

Rethink. The. Shark. [YouTube] The Save Our Seas Foundation [small Flash], a Swiss-based non-profit, joins the growing ranks of a world-wide movement to undo the damage caused by popular reports and gross misrepresentation by Hollywood of sharks as human-savoring sea monsters/killing machines. The fact of the matter is that the opposite is true: Current estimates give between 65 million to 165 million sharks being killed worldwide annually via unregulated catch - including 38 million to 70 million [PDF] for their fin alone, with untold numbers of butchered and bleeding-to-death sharks being cast back into the oceans to die slow and gruesome deaths. [more inside]
posted by humannaire on Jul 31, 2007 - 38 comments

Four endangered gorillas found shot dead

Four endangered gorillas were found shot dead in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a conservation group announced today. For all the evil bastards that do this, there are many, many more good people fighting the good fight to help keep gorillas healthy. One, even has a blog.
posted by james_cpi on Jul 26, 2007 - 41 comments

That shit is deep.

Dude, there are some fucked up creatures crawling around on the ocean floor.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Dec 5, 2006 - 66 comments

He was a good friend of mine.

Amphibian Extinction Crisis: "For the first time in modern history, because of the way that humans are impacting our natural world, we're facing the extinction of an entire class of organisms....This is not the extinction of just a panda or a rhino, it's a whole class of organisms." Original declaration of the Amphibian Conservation Summit (pdf). More details in the BBC and San Francisco Chronicle. Previously.
posted by salvia on Jul 7, 2006 - 9 comments

Polar bears, hippos, and sharks, oh my... god

What animals are endangered? (2006, updated from 2004) One in four mammals. One in three amphibians. Raw data and photos behind what others call the mass extinction crisis. Polar bears expected extinct in 25 years. In a little good news, Great Apes may be granted human rights in Spain (like the mountain gorilla -- all 660 that remain). In other news, without salmon, widespread bankruptcy expected in California's fishing industry. Me? I can only afford an electric sheep.
posted by salvia on May 3, 2006 - 41 comments

NewPoopFlingers.com

This monkey business has finally gone too far [warning: cackling].
posted by thedevildancedlightly on Apr 13, 2005 - 17 comments

New Monekys and Species this year

A new species of monkey turned up in India [NYTimes or Rediff]. Though the monkeys are new to science, people in the area are quite familiar with them. They call them "mun zala" or deep forest monkeys. It's a stocky, short-tailed, brown-haired creature they have named the Macaca munzala, or Arunachal macaque. Maybe not that excting for those of us not excited by, uh, mokeys, but did you know this year there have been other new things discovered? A new species of plec and one of Neon goby, even more exciting, a new electric fish was found as well. A quick search turned up dozens of new fish this year. ABC News says 178 new things found in the oceans this year alone, raising the number of life-forms found in the world's oceans to about 230,000. The big question is, of course, how many of those will Taste Like Chicken? The bad news on the little critter front is 1 in 10 bird species could vanish within 100 years, and I bet they all taste like chicken.
posted by Blake on Dec 16, 2004 - 16 comments

Extinct animals action figures

Extinct animals action figures - get yours and make them fight. Recreate the famous battles of Dodo vs. Caribbean Monk Seal, or Little Swan Island Hutia vs. the Balinese Tiger.
posted by milovoo on Oct 1, 2004 - 6 comments

No more slitherings.....

Farewell, eels.
posted by troutfishing on Aug 2, 2004 - 36 comments

The Endangered Species Act at 30

The Endangered Species Act marked its 30th anniversary this December. Some say we need it while others say we need to change it. Whatever its faults, many species have benefited from it.
posted by homunculus on Dec 30, 2003 - 5 comments

Hinterland Who's Who

Hinterland Who's Who Back in the mid 1906s the Canadian government made what have now become the longest running public service annoucments ever. They're also possible the most boring, but that can't stop them from being amazingly popular. Don't forget to check out the spoofs.
posted by tiamat on Oct 21, 2003 - 35 comments

momento more

skulls
posted by crunchland on Sep 11, 2003 - 8 comments

Everything you wanted to know about species.

The ARKive "is the Noah's Ark for the Internet era - the world's centralised digital library of films, photographs and associated recordings of species, accessible to all via the world wide web."
posted by tbc on Aug 14, 2003 - 4 comments

Forget MoJo, Let's Get It On at the HoJo like FloJo.

Species on the brink of Extinction: The Forgotten HoJo. Once numbering in the thousands during the 1970s, the recent death of the Times Square HoJo nyt leaves the world with only 10 of these endangered habitats. Check out this extensive gallery of the tragic empty carcasses that was once as abundant on the American landscape as the noble buffalo. Here is a good retrospective of the history from the earliest to its glory years. If you fancy a pilgrimage, eschew your crappy SXSWs and festivals this summer and embark on HOJOPALOOZA. I'll see you there with a single tear running down my cheek.
posted by Stan Chin on Mar 6, 2003 - 13 comments

The All Species Inventory

The All Species Inventory is a non-profit organization dedicated to the complete inventory of all species of life on Earth within the next 25 years - a human generation. It's an interesting project, based on open-source ideology (check out their "Principles") but seems to be limiting itself to strictly Linnaean methods.
posted by Irontom on Sep 23, 2002 - 10 comments

We're finding new fauna in some of the most heavily-populated areas on earth.

We're finding new fauna in some of the most heavily-populated areas on earth. It sort of makes you wonder what how many species we never even know about as we slash and burn great hunks of the rain forests, wooded areas, and other biodiverse areas of the world. (And good grief, those bugs are huge!)
posted by mrmanley on Apr 5, 2002 - 9 comments

20 species we might lose in the next 20 years.

20 species we might lose in the next 20 years. From discover.com and the other "20's" articles on the main page are especially good too.
posted by skallas on Oct 12, 2000 - 1 comment

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