Divers discover new-to-science species
Wednesday, 27 June 2012, 10:16 am
Press Release: NIWA
NIWA Media Release Divers discover new-to-science species in one of the deepest flooded caves in the worldIn a recent diving expedition, Australian cave divers found three new-to-science species – a transparent amphipod, a worm, and a small snail – down in one of the world’s deepest underwater caves, near Nelson. “It’s not easy to get inside the caves, and we want to know about the very specific life in them,” says NIWA expert Dr Graham Fenwick.The discoveries were made in the Pearse Resurgence, a cave in the Mt Arthur Range, close to Nelson, where the divers were exploring underwater cave systems. They were collecting samples of stygofauna, which literally means animals from the River Styx, the mythical river that leads to the underworld.
Read rest see pics here: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC1206/S00058/divers-discover-new-to-science-species.htm
Total of 79 Potentially New Shark Species Found
A genetic analysis suggests more overlooked species than scientists anticipated, raising concerns that populations of new species are quite small and endangered
By Daniel Cressey and Nature magazine
A genetic study of thousands of specimens of sharks and rays has uncovered scores of potential new species and is fuelling biologists’ debates over the organisation of the family tree of these animals. The work also raises the possibility that some species are even more endangered than previously thought.Sharks and rays are key predators in marine ecosystems, but the life cycles and population numbers of many species remain poorly understood. The family tree of these animals — which are part of the elasmobranch subclass — has proved similarly opaque, with little agreement among researchers over their evolutionary relationships.Gavin Naylor, a biologist at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, and his colleagues sequenced samples from 4,283 specimens of sharks and rays as part of a major effort to fill the gaps. The team found 574 species, of which 79 are potentially new, they report in the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History.Naylor says that he was “flabbergasted” by the result, especially because the sequencing covered only around half of the roughly 1,200 species thought to exist worldwide.
Read rest here: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=total-79-potentially-new-shark-species-found
Dinosaur cold-blood theory in doubt
By Jason Palmer Science and technology reporter, BBC News
One of the strongest lines of evidence that dinosaurs were cold-blooded, like modern reptiles, has been knocked down.Prior studies of dinosaur bones uncovered what are known as "lines of arrested growth".The creatures were presumed to be cold-blooded because modern cold-blooded animals show these same lines.But scientists reporting in Nature have studied the bones of 41 modern mammal species from around the world, finding every one had these lines as well.The idea that dinosaurs are cold-blooded, or ectothermic, goes back to the 19th Century. But a number of discoveries 1960s have been challenging that notion.Because soft tissues such as organs and skin are not preserved (with a few notable exceptions), much of what is known about dinosaurs must be inferred from their bones, and comparisons made with modern animals that can be studied in greater detail.
Read rest here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18602965