Most endangered gorilla species caught for the first time on film

The Cross River gorilla is a critically endangered gorilla species, native to the border region of Nigeria-Cameroon. Today, only about 250 to 300 individuals are alive, due to habitat loss and poaching, making it the rarest of all four gorilla species. It’s so rare and elusive, that no one has ever been able to record a Cross River gorilla, and

Horse domestication origins revealed after extensive gene study

Horses are arguably one of the most helpful animals man has ever managed to domesticate. At first they were used as source of meat and milk, but it was soon evident that horses were a lot more suited as labor animals than as a direct food medium. Important agricultural advancements were made possible thanks to horses, and due to their reliable nature,

Hyper-parasite defends ant colonies from zombie-ant fungus

Last year, we reported on one of the most gruesome and horrific acts that goes on in nature; it seems so unreal, like if some sort of SciFi monstrous scenario transcended into the realm of reality, that one has a hard time wrapping his head around it. Yes, as some of you might have read previously, I’m talking about the zombie-ant fungus

Dinosaurs were plagued by giant fleas ten times bigger than today and a lot meaner

During the tumultuous  Cretaceous and Jurassic periods if you could only choose one word to describe the world, it would’ve certainly be ‘big’. Big dinosaurs, big plants, big trees, big fish and big insects, of course. Chinese scientists have found almost perfectly preserved fossils of two previously unknown extinct flea species in Inner Mongolia, which are roughly ten times the size of

24 new lizard species discovered in the Caribbean – already faced with extinction

A team of researchers at Penn State University has identified 24 new species of skinks, a subspecies of lizards, native to the Caribbean Islands, turning the region’s fauna from one of the smallest lizard groups in the world to one of the largest. However, half of these new species are considered already extinct or very close to extinction, while the

Rare and elusive Amur leopard captured on photo for first time in China

The Amur leopard is a beautiful leopard subspecies native to the region of the Russian far east, which since 1996 has been classified as critically endangered. Only a handful of specimens remain today, however a photo which surprised an Amur leopard in China suggests that the species’ numbers are steadily increasing, and conservation efforts are beginning to show signs of

Diversity is what helped mammals survive through deep time

After the great dinosaur extinction some 65 million years ago, mammals finally had their big shot as numerous niches became free for the taking. Thus, from mouse size, some mammal species surfaced which were as large as a bus, the so called mammal megafauna, like mammoths, giant sloths or saber-tooth tigers. However, a dire trial of their own was to come. Through

Bowerbirds grow garden just for the sake of beauty

A team of international scientists claim that they’ve found evidence of the first non-human species that cultivates planets for non-food purposes. The extremely fine feathered bowerbirds, native to Australia and Papua New Guinea, display an unique courtship behaviour, where males build a home-like structure, called bower, and decorate it with sticks, little stones, and brightly coloured objects in an attempt to

3000 dolphins die, wash up on the coast of Peru as a result of oil companies activitiy

In the past 3 months, over 3000 dead dolphins have been washed ashore on the coasts of Peru, and this worrying trend continues to grow. So far, the average is about 30 per day, but a significant growth has been reported in the past few days. While dead dolphins washing up are not entirely uncommon, the magnitude of this event

T. Rex relative had an extensive plumage – biggest feathered dinosaur ever found

A remarkable paleontological discovery surfaced from China recently, after scientists reported they’ve found fossils belonging to the Yutyrannus huali,a very close relative of the Tyrannosaurs Rex, which prove that its entire enormous bus-sized body was covered in feathers. This officially makes it the biggest animal covered in feathers ever found, and also forces paleontologists to rethink some of the leading feather-related

Bio-mechanical hybrid robot might detect diseases from inside your body

Scientists at Newcastle University are currently developing a tiny bio-inspired robot, just one centimeter in length, which in less than five years might be used to diagnose and pinpoint diseases from inside the human body. The researchers, backed-up by the American National Science Foundation and the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council,  are hoping to succeed where other scientists at

Hammerhead shark twin discovery leads to concern about entire species

The scalloped hammerhead shark which we’ve probably all seen has a twin – and this discovery led to the conclusion that members of the species might be much, much rarer than previously thought. Scientists have shown that the hammerhead, which was already and endangered species has a ‘fishy’ twin – a newfound species that looks remarkably like it, but is

Tap into the cockroach’s neural activity with the SpikerBox

Neurons are the absolute core components of the nervous system that transmit information through electrical and chemical signals. I once wondered how neural activity might sound like, and I imagined something like a huge gridline sprinkled with electricity bolts though out. I didn’t know about the SpikerBox, back then, though. It’s a gadget, developed by educational entrepreneurs Timothy Marzullo and Gregory

Honeybee dying population linked to pesticide

We’ve reported in the past about the frightening, ever growing cases of honeybee population dye-offs of the past few years, and while no immediate or long term plan has been effective thus far, it seems at least that scientists are identifying the causes. It’s been known for some time that some classes of pesticides are harmful to bees, but a

Earliest animal with a skeleton discovered, pre-Cambrian

The Cambrian era marked a profound change on life on Earth, sparking the rapid development of complex organisms and a diversification of the ecosystem, thus the term “Cambrian explosion“. Prior to this period, animals were simple and small, as well as soft bodied, with no hard parts to display. A team of paleontologists at University of California, Riverside, however, made

Women make for excellent snake spotters before their periods

In what might seem an oddball experiment in the first instance, later revealing some very interesting scientific facts, a Kyoto University researcher asked 60 women participating in a study to look at a 9-photo grid (eight were of flowers, and another captioned a snake) and identify as quickly as possible the snake photo. Women who were in their premenstrual phase of their

Gorillas are more related to humans than previously thought, complete genome sequence shows

Researchers have completed the great apes family’s genetic library after they sequenced the genes of a western lowland gorilla, joining the already-sequenced genomes of humans, chimpanzees and orangutans. Scientists found that gorillas, which share 98% of their genes with humans, are a lot more related to humans than previously thought, as well as surprising genetic differences which went unnoticed until recently. “Previously,

Unique, hybrid creatures discovered off the coast of Costa Rica

Symbiosis is an absolutely fantastic adaptation in itself, but this case of deep sea symbiosis takes it to a whole new level: basically, a hermit crab uses an anemone as shell; scientists discovered this in a rare place, where to different extreme environments meet. Researchers discovered a junction of two strange environments off the coast of Costa Rica: hydrothermal vents

Velociraptor last meal hints that it scavenged as well

Velociraptors have been repeatedly described by paleonthologists as voracious predators, however a recent study of a 75 million year old specimen revealed that the dinosaur wasn’t picky at all, and didn’t miss the chance to pass a free meal. The conclusion came after a  pterosaur or “Pterodactyl” bone was found in its gut, suggesting that its prey was actually scavenged. The

Penguin manages to escape from Tokyo by swimming at “tremendous speed” [shorties]

Be on the look out for a one year old Humboldt escaped from the Tokyo Sea Life park; the young penguin was caught speeding in the Kyu-Edo River headed towards Tokyo Bay. But wait, things get even better: the penguin apparently escaped by climbing a wall, though how a penguin could climb a wall is beyond me. Maybe there is