Turtle conservationist murdered in Costa Rica

Eggs, drugs and human lives For the standards of the criminals who poach and smuggle animals in Central America, it was just another day. But for the rest of the world, the murder of conservationist Jairo Mora Sandoval is a tragedy – a tragedy highlighting the risks faced by biologists whose passion for nature puts them on the front line

Almost extinct deer species makes astounding comeback due to action by government and conservationists

The reemergence of the critically endangered population of Huemul deer (Hippocamelus bisulcus) marks a fantastic achievement by local governments and conservationists worldwide. Brought back from the brink of extinction, when populations measured less than 1% of original numbers, the Huemul populations have not only stabilized – but have started increasing, according to a new study. The south Andean deer, as

Chinese Meat Firm With Terrible Food Safety Record Buys The Largest Pork Producer In The U.S.

Tho global meat giants with shady food and environmental safety records shook hands as they are planning to become the world’s biggest meat producer. Smithfield Foods, the largest pork producer in the U.S., has been bought by China’s Shuanghui International Holdings Limited for $4.7 billion. The global meat industry, which is grasped firmly by a handful of companies will become

Giant pink slugs discovered in Australian mountaintop [PHOTOS]

  Researchers have for the first time described an unique snail species that can only be found high on top Mount Kaputar in New South Wales, Australia. The snails exhibit an atypical coloring – fluorescent pink – and can grow as large as eight inches long, true giants by snail standards. Though Triboniophorus aff. graeffei has been reported by locals

The European Union agreed to drastically reform its fishing policy

50 years ago, if you took a cod from European waters, you’d have to cut it to be able to cook it. Nowadays, cooks easily fit one fish in a frying pan, even with a few vegetables. As unimportant as this fact may seem,it is actually a good reflection of the huge drop in fish numbers. Blame it on the

Sharks worth more money alive in the ocean than in a soup bowl, study finds

Every living being is important, however in a transnational-based society everything has a price label on it, even humans. A recent study, for instance, has assessed the economic value of sharks, both alive and dead. The researchers involved in the study found that shark ecotourism currently generates more than US$314 million annually worldwide and is expected to more than double to

Big-Mouthed Toucans decline reshapes rain forest evolution

The Brazilian rain forest is a home to a slew of birds of all shapes, sizes and coloring – some 1,700 species to be more precise. One of such bird is the goofy looking  toucan, which can be easily recognized by its extremely long beak which can reach half the size of the bird’s body. Human intervention in the area through

How the turtle got its shell: earliest ancestor sheds light

Turtles are maybe the most majestic creatures in the reptile world, and have always been a source of inspiration for man. Everybody knows the fable of the turtle and the hare, which teaches how slow, but sturdy and resilient strides can outwit inconsistent sprints. The turtle’s really serious about it, and as evidence it practices what it preaches. You see,

World’s tiniest sculpted bunny is the size of a bacteria

Researchers in Japan made good use of a new, state-of-the-art micro sculpting technique to create objects so small that they are the size of a single bacteria. One of these objects is the smallest bunny in the world, only a few micrometers wide, but the researchers have also demonstrated other shapes as well. Their work has applications in new technology that may

One in thirteen people have chimp-like feet

Did you know you may have chimp-like feet?

GM ‘hybrid’ fish poses threat to natural populations

A study has shown that genetically modified salmon that breed with wild trout can produce a fast-growing, competitive fish that not only screws around with the local ecosystem, but because it also alters the fish genome in ways which cannot be anticipated. What do you get when you cross a genetically modified salmon and wild brown trout? Well, something which

Rats have a double view of the world

Rodents are able to move their eyes in different directions, thus always keeping an eye on the the airspace above them, researchers from Max Planck Institute have shown. Using miniaturised high-speed cameras and high-speed behavioural tracking, they found that rats can move their eyes in different directions, both in the horizontal and in the vertical plane; the eyes move individually

Italian ban on pesticides has major benefits on bee health

In case you didn’t know, bee popullations all around the world are dwindling. The disorder which is causing this massive decline in bee numbers is called CCD – colony collapse disorder. In 2012 alone, a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder (CCD) wiped out about half of honeybee hives [read more here]. What happens in CCD is that basically worker bees

Why penguins can’t fly: you can’t be good at two things at once

Penguins are remarkable animals that have always garnered attention. For one they’re extremely cute (always an advantage in a world where humans are at the absolute top of the food chain), then they’re extremely fascinating to study. If you’re to closely look at the wings of a penguin, intuition would immediately tell you that these robust birds have no chance

More than half of described spider species don’t build webs

When you think about a spider, you usually imagine a big, silky, web used to trap unfortunate insects. But a new study conducted by biologists of the Kiel University and the University of Bern has shown that about half of all spiders have found an alternative to that and don’t use web at all. These species use the so-called scopulae

Russian crafts lands safely on earth – most mice, gerbils and other critters perish aboard perished

In April, the Russian space agency launched the Bion-M craft which carried quite a few mice, gerbils, newts, snails and some microfauna into Earth’s orbit. The experiment was designed to test how weightlesness affect them and how these organisms adapt in the process. The craft returned back to Earth on May 19th in an otherwise safe landing, however most of

CT scan images caterpillar to butterfly metamorphosis in 3-D

Serving as one of the strongest metaphors nature has to offer, at the later stages of its evolution the caterpillar – a soft bodied, not very pretty, ground based insect – morphs into a butterfly – a majestic flying insect of varying coloring and shape. What exactly goes inside the chrysalis the caterpillar wraps itself with for the many weeks required for metamorphosis remains a mystery, though.

“Living fossil” fish DNA may help explain how the first animals to walk on land evolved

A matter of great debate and ardent discussion in the field of evolutionary biology today is the transition of complex life from a watery environment to land. So far, there have been numerous speculations put forward in attempt to explain how tetrapods (four-legged land animals) first evolved and washed ashore to start life fresh as land-based animals, however the missing

Primate howl hints towards origins of human speech

Scientists have always tried to answer how speech developed in humans or what are its evolutionary mechanisms, a mystery made even more difficult to unravel since none of our close primate relatives has been granted with even the most primitive forms of speech, or so it was thought. Researchers studying the gelada – a primate that closely resembles the baboon

Article suggests dragonflies are the most effective predators in the animal world – 95% success rate

Lions roar and act tough, and they’re often regarded as kind of the land, but only 1 in 4 of their hunts is successful. Sharks have been on top of the food chain for hundreds of millions of years, and still half of their attempts fail. Dragonflies on the other hand, look soft and fragile, and are among the few