Category Archives: COUNTRIES

The hunt is on for Tasmania’s glowing ghost mushrooms

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The holy grail of mushrooms, the ghostly mushroom, glows bright green when photographed at night with long exposure.(Supplied: Herman Anderson)

There is a trick to correctly identifying a mushroom, according to enthusiast Helen Robertson.

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Insect apocalypse? Not so fast, at least in North America

Researchers have documented large population declines in beetles, including carabid
beetles, like the one shown here.
(Image: © OZGUR KEREM BULUR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY via Getty Images)

In recent years, the notion of an insect apocalypse has become a hot topic in the conservation science community and has captured the public’s attention. Scientists who warn that this catastrophe is unfolding assert that arthropods — a large category of invertebrates that includes insects — are rapidly declining, perhaps signaling a general collapse of ecosystems across the world.

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Here’s Why the Invasive Asian Giant Hornet’s Identification Is Actually a Scientific Success Story

National Museum of Natural History

Notorious Asian Giant Hornet Finds Home in Smithsonian

killer-hornet-spiked image www.pythonjungle.com

The Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia, can grow up to two inches long and is a species not native to North America. The National Insect Collection, co-curated by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), houses one of the first specimens collected in North America (Michael Gates, USDA).

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A Mysterious 25,000-Year-Old Structure Built of the Bones of 60 Mammoths

The purpose of such an elaborate structure remains a big open question

A jaw-dropping example of Ice Age architecture has been unearthed on Russia’s forest steppe: a huge, circular structure built with the bones of at least 60 woolly mammoths. But exactly why hunter-gatherers enduring the frigid realities of life 25,000 years ago would construct the 40-foot diameter building is a fascinating question.

“Clearly a lot of time and effort went into building this structure so it was obviously important to the people that made it for some reason,” says Alexander Pryor, an archaeologist at the University of Exeter (U.K.). He is the lead author of a new study published this week in the journal Antiquity describing the find at Kostenki, a place where many important Paleolithic sites lie clustered around the Don River.

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Medicine from the jungle – rainforest pharmacy | DW Video Documentary

Bonobo apes are experts in using rainforest plants as medicine. But they’re now endangered because of poaching and deforestation.

Will the secrets of the rainforest die with them? Find out in: RAIN FOREST PHARMACY – MEDICINE FROM THE JUNGLE. Dr Barbara Fruth is in the Democratic Republic of Congo to study the apes and learn more about the rainforest pharmacy. Her team of international researchers is in a race against time – can they finish their work before the apes’ medical knowledge is lost forever? WATCH VIDEO DOCUMENTARY NEXT

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Mammoth tusk hunters probe permafrost for ‘ethical ivory’

With the sale of elephant tusks under close scrutiny, “ethical ivory” from the extinct woolly mammoth is now feeding an insatiable market in China. This rush on mammoth ivory is luring a fresh breed of miner – the tusker – into the Russian wilderness and creating millionaires in some of the poorest villages of Siberia.

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Tropical Snakes Suffer as a Fungus Kills the Frogs They Prey On

Surveys of reptiles in central Panama show the ripple effects of an ecological crisis. Fungus kills off frogs.Snakes then go hungry.

Tropical snakes are masters of disguise, skillfully camouflaged and capable of holding a position for hours without moving a muscle. This made for challenging work for herpetologist Karen Lips, now at the University of Maryland, who spent 13 years counting the snakes of El Copé in central Panama.

Lips had anticipated the arrival of chytrid, a fungus that has been killing off huge numbers of amphibians in Central America since the 1990s. The effects of the disease were well documented—a massive collapse of frog populations was coming. So Lips set up wildlife surveys to track tropical snake populations that prey on amphibians before and after the fungus swept through El Copé. The study, published today in the journal Science, found that it’s most likely that snake species fell as a result of the mass frog die-off.

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Four rare mountain gorillas ‘die in Uganda lightning strike’


There are just over 1,000 mountain gorillas in existence

Four rare mountain gorillas, including a pregnant female, have died in Uganda after being hit by lightning, a conservation group says.

The three adult females and a male infant were found in Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park with “gross lesions” on their bodies indicating electrocution.

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Queensland snake catcher finds green tree frog devouring deadly coastal taipan

A north Queensland snake catcher says seeing a green tree frog devour a highly venomous snake was a “once-in-a-lifetime experience”.

Jamie Chapel was called out to a Townsville property on Tuesday night to catch the coastal taipan, considered one of Australia’s deadliest species.

He was halfway there when the client told him a frog was eating the snake.

When he arrived at the property, the “quite large” frog had eaten all but the head of the 20-25cm taipan.

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New Coronavirus may have ‘jumped’ to humans from snakes, latest study concludes

Where did this virus come from? A new study points to a slithering suspect: Snakes…!!!

A new study suggests snakes may be the source of the new coronavirus causing an outbreak in China. Above, an image of Naja atra, a type of snake common in southeastern China.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on Jan. 23 to include discussion of the controversy around the new study.

As an outbreak of a new coronavirus continues to grow in China and spread to other countries, one question remains: Where did the virus come from? Now, a controversial new study points to a slithering suspect: snakes.

The study analyzed the genetic sequence of the new virus, known as 2019-nCoV, and compared it with the genetic sequences of more than 200 other coronaviruses from around the world that infect various animals.

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