The riches of the natural world are not spread evenly across the globe. Some places, such as the tropical Andes in South America, are simply stacked with unique species of plants and animals, many found no place else on Earth. So-called biodiversity “hotspots” are thought to cover just 2.3 percent of the planet’s surface, mostly in the tropics, yet they account for half of all known plant species and 77 percent of land vertebrates.
SCIENTISTS ARE CONTINUING to tease out the mechanisms by which the Venus flytrap can tell when it has captured a tasty insect as prey as opposed to an inedible object (or just a false alarm). There is evidence that the carnivorous plant has something akin to a short-term “memory,” and a team of Japanese scientists has found evidence that the mechanism for this memory lies in changes in calcium concentrations in its leaves, according to a recent paperpublished in the journal Nature Plants.
An hours-long standoff in Ukraine centered on an armed man who had taken 13 hostages came to a close after President Volodymyr Zelensky publicly endorsed a Joaquin Phoenix-narrated movie. Continue reading Ukraine Hostage Standoff Ends After President Shares Public Endorsement of Joaquin Phoenix Film
Over 360 elephants have been found dead across Botswana since the beginning of May, and conservationists have yet to figure out what is causing their deaths. Continue reading Over 360 Elephants Found Dead From Unknown Causes in Botswana
An Australian zookeeper was critically injured Friday after she was mauled by two lions, CBS News reports. Continue reading Australian Zookeeper in Critical Condition After Being Attacked by Two Lions
Covid-19 is a zoonotic virus, meaning it spread to humans from an animals. Scientists aren’t sure which animal spread it to us, though they think snakes or bats might have spread it to us via pangolins. But it’s not just exotic, wild animals that spread diseases. Newe research shows the next global public health crisis could come to us through industrial animal agriculture.
The title of most poisonous animal on Earth is typically given to the beautiful and deadly golden poison dart frog of Columbia—the one-inch-long frog is sometimes drenched in enough poison to kill ten grown men. But a far less exotic creature is capable of producing enough poison to kill up to 20 people: the unassuming rough-skinned newt, with its bumpy skin and fiery orange underbelly, a familiar sight in the Pacific Northwest of North America. Continue reading Toxic Newts Use Bacteria to Become Deadly Prey