Leatherback turtles get sanctuary on US coast

Federal regulators have designated almost 42,000 square miles of ocean as critical habitat for the leatherback turtles, the largest turtles in the world; even though this is a much welcomed initiative, the surface is far, far less than environmentalists and biologists were expecting. A haven for turtles This protected area is the first of its kind in the US, providing

MIT research might help UAVs fly with the agility of hawks

Current unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), commonly referred to as drones, are packed with state of the art technology, but despite this they’re not very smart as far as maneuvering around obstacles is concerned. Birds, for instance, can fly through forests at incredible speeds, traveling through out the whole woods  at times, with no risk of collision what so ever. MIT

Carbon dioxide in oceans drives fish crazy

The increasing amount of carbon dioxide dissolved in oceans is literally driving fish crazy, according to an Australian researcher. Professor Phillip Munday of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University explains that the CO2 interferes with their ability to hear, smell, and swim – the most important things for a fish. “For several years

A Stunning New Species of Black-and-Yellow Horned Viper discovered in Tanzania

Hyderabad, Jan 12,2012: A strikingly black-and-yellow snake with horn-like scales above its eyes has been discovered to stun the wildlife enthusiasts world over. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has just announced the discovery of the spectacularly colored snake from a remote area of Tanzania in East Africa. The animal, identified as Matilda’s horned viper, measures 2.1 feet (60 centimeters) and looks

World’s tiniest vertebrates found

Measuring only a fraction of a coin, these tiny frogs were discovered hopping around in the tropical forests of Papua New Guinea. But small as they are, they have really big names: Paedophryne amauensis and Paedophryne swiftorum are the smallest vertebrates found so far, according to the report published in PLoS one. Until now, that title was held by a

Leaping lizard tails could provide massive advances in robotics

Researchers at Berkley University have developed an extraordinary robotic toy car called the “Tailbot”, equipped with a stabilizing tail, which is able to correct and adjust its position during mid-air leaps to land safely. The biologists and engineers involved in the study were inspired by lizards that swing their tails upward to prevent them from pitching head-over-heels into a rock. From Jurassic

How to paint ants – all in the name of science, of course

Andrew Quitmeyer is a PhD student at Georgia Tech who recently devised a perfectly handy how-to video on painting ants for scientific experiments. Handy, that is, for all of you ant aficionados reading ZME Science that want to take things a bit further and selectively study your colony, maybe even add a bit of color. Yeah, I thought so too, but

Giant Galapagos tortoise extinct for 150 years might still be alive

A subspecies of the the giant Galapagos tortoise, Chelonoidis elephantopus, long thought to be extinct for more than 150 years, is now believed to might still exist, scientists say. Yale University researchers conducted a highly thorough genetic analysis of various Galapagos giant tortoises in the region, which allowed them to speculate that at least a few dozen specimens of the elusive Chelonoidis elephantopus might

The fish that mimics the mimicking octopus

Off the coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia, dwells the Thaumoctopus mimicus commonly refered to as the mimic octopus, a remarkable animal capable of changing its shape and size to take the form of a jellyfish, a lion fish or even a crab or shrimp, among many other, for both protection against predators and as a shrewd disguise for hunting pray easier.

Stinky Frogs to Give Their Human Predators Clues to Survive Diseases

Hyderabad, Dec 10, 2011: Believe it or not. Foul smelling frogs not only offer clues to prepare a new range of antibiotics but boost human immune system against bacterial attacks. This is despite the fact that human beings continue to haunt the frogs and butcher them for a variety of cuisine like ‘jumping legs’ in restaurants world over though the

Medical research on chimps will no longer be performed

Concluding a debate which lasted for over 7 months, the US Institute of Medicine has released a report that marks a turning point for chimpanzees, our closest relative, in terms of medical research. The panel laid out some stringent rules against all current and future chimp research, installing some dramatic penalties to those who disobey. This result comes mostly as

Wild monkeys to monitor radiation levels in Japan

How do you measure the radiation level at the Fukushima power plant, without endangering people in the process? Researchers found quite a creative way of doing this: they tagged wild monkeys which hang around the place anyway with radiation sensors. Takayuki Takahashi explained that he and his team are planning to put radiation-measuring collars on three such monkeys, as well

Fish that can breath above water hints on the evolution of walking

Researchers studying a primitive fish exhibiting an eel-like body, and which can breath above water, claim that the creature’s ancestors might actually be the true innovators of walking. By using an extensive video analysis, the researchers observed how the African lungfish, when put out of the water, uses its pelvic muscles to not only lift itself off the surface, but also

The “Elvis” Monkey and Psychedelic Gecko – among new species discovered in SE Asia

This past year alone, scientists have reveled no less than 208 new species in the Mekong River region of Southeast Asia, among them a psychedelic gecko and a monkey with an uncanny “Elvis” hairdo. According to a report released by the WWF, this slew of newly discovered species are part of highly biodiverse region, currently under threat by habitat loss, deforestation, climate change and overdevelopment.

Shorties: extremely rare Persian Leopard caught on tape

Camera traps positioned in the rocky terrain from Afghanistan recently caught surprising photographs of a Persian leopard, a top predator, but which was long thought extinct from the area. However, this series of images shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that the predator is still, against all odds, alive and kicking. But sadly, despite all its amazing qualities and

Cloning a mammoth ? Not so fast!

In a recent post I was telling you about Russian and Japanese researchers working together with the purpose of cloning a mammoth from bone marrow DNA recently found in Siberia. However, many researchers are extremely skeptical about this, including some of the world’s leading experts. “C’mon, it’ll never happen. Not in my lifetime,” said Webb Miller, a Penn State computer

Elusive rare bumblebee rediscovered after more than 50 years

Known as “Cockerell’s bumblebee“, this particular species has managed to elude entomologists and basically anyone else with the trained eye to spot them for decades now. Recently, a group of scientists has managed to track and spot the bumblebee for the first time since 1956 in the White Mountains of south-central New Mexico. Cockerell’s bumblebee was first described in 1913 using

Jurassic Park comes to life in New Jersey. Robot-dinos!

New Jersey will soon be home to the closest thing to Jurassic Park so far, after yesterday the only press release in the world to feature dinosaurs announced that  Field Station: Dinosaurs, an new kind of innovative theme park which opens in Secaucus in May 2012. With the guidance of paleontologists from the New Jersey State Museum, the exhibit will feature

Paper wasps recognize each others faces

You’ve seen a wasp, you’ve seen another, and might think they all look the same, however it seems that among wasps, at least, the one hive mind doesn’t apply to appearances as well, as a new study shows that  paper wasps developed the ability to recognize each other’s faces, just like humans. Individuals of a species have learned to identify

Grizzly bears back on the endangered list

Last week, the court appeal which sought to put the mighty Grizzly bear back on the endangered species list, and thus receive much need protection, granted favor on their side, sealing a victory. In 2007, the Fish and Wildlife Service scrapped grizzlies belonging to the Yellowstone Distinct Population Segment (DPS) off the endangered species list, speculating that they would be able to