It doesn’t have towering canopies or jewel-toned corals, but an enormous region of the eastern Pacific that was long considered a biological wasteland is proving to be anything but. New research reveals that the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ), which is being prospected for deep ocean mining, is teeming with…
While it can sometimes feel like we’ve turned over every last stone on this planet, it’s a fact that the natural world can still surprise us. Need some proof? Just feast your eyes on these badass new dragon ants, discovered deep in the tropical rainforest of New Guinea.
Here’s a fun fact to chew on while planning your next vacation: the southwestern United States is brimming with tarantula diversity. Today in the journal ZooKeys, biologists describe 14 previously unknown species of tarantulas living in the American Southwest, including Aphonopelma johnnycashi. Country music legend…
Science, isn’t it great? Especially when it’s bringing us fascinating insights like this one: there could be up to 500 species of arthropods—insects, spiders, mites, and centipedes—living right alongside you in your home. Apparently, the war on bugs was always a lost cause.
For twenty years, the deadly fungal disease Bd has been wiping out amphibians across the world. But a new study offers hope that some frogs will be spared, thanks in part to an unexpected savior: climate change.
As global temperatures rise, many animal species are edging toward the poles and even climbing mountains to stay within their preferred temperature ranges. The result is a slow but noticeable shift in the world’s ecosystems, both on land and at sea.
When it comes to the emergence of new lifeforms, we typically think of a single species evolving into another. But as a new study of fruit flies and parasitic wasps demonstrates, the emergence of a new species can set off a domino effect that, in this case, creates not one, but several new species.
Arachnologists have found a whole new genus of spiders in the deserts of Namibia and South Africa, and a couple of the new species seem to have some peculiar habits.
In 2013, a new island was born off the coast of Japan. While some of these islands formed by volcanic eruptions are only temporary, Nii-jima (“new neighbor” in Japanese) kept growing, eventually consuming the nearby island of Nishino-shima as well. Now the entire landmass is coated in fresh lava just waiting for new…
"In less than two human generations, population sizes of vertebrate species have dropped by half." That's the startling conclusion offered by the World Wildlife Foundation, as they release their biennial "Living Planet Report." But what does that mean?
In 1967, biologists Robert MacArthur and E.O. Wilson developed a new ecological theory: Island Biogeography. It wound up becoming crucial to the way we understand how animals adjust to living in a world that has been completely altered by humans.
Camera traps are just the coolest. In Nicaragua, scientist Miguel Ordeñana uses them to study carnivores, like jaguars and ocelots. And now the organization that he works with, Paso Pacifico, is teaching local kids to use them as well.
As our planet warms, certain plants and animals will no longer be able to live in their accustomed locations. By tracking a half-century's worth of data, scientists from CSIRO have determined where these species will need to go to find new homes.
A new automated system is helping to monitor the world's biodiversity by recording the sounds of nature and uploading them to the web in real time. Anyone can listen to the tracks, and approved users can help train the software to automatically identify species in the recordings. Researchers hope to eventually…
There was lichen on some trees near El Malpais National Monument in north west New Mexico on January 14, 1987. No, seriously there was. If you want to double check, the U.S. Geological Survey has released a database called Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON) that tracks 100 thousand species in the U.S..
Joe Hanson, creator of the fantastic science tumblr It's Okay to be Smart, has a new YouTube science show by the very same name. He's teamed up with PBS to make it happen, and it sounds like they've got big things in store.
Previous analyses of the fossil record suggest that biodiversity tends to dip during warm, "greenhouse" phases of global temperature. Now, research published this week turns that conclusion on its head; a warming planet, it seems, may actually encourage variation in Earth's lifeforms.
The region of South Africa around the Cape of Good Hope has some of the highest biodiversity in the world. Exactly why that is has puzzled scientists... until now. It's actually all because ants are secret horticultural geniuses.