Climatic conditions transformed a usually harmless bacterial infection into a dangerous outbreak that killed more than 60% of the world’s saiga antelope. More than 200,000 saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica tatarica) in Kazakhstan died of a virulent infection over a 3-week period in May 2015.
From the Great Barrier Reef to the Galapagos Islands and the forests of central Africa, over a third of Natural World Heritage Sites designated by UNESCO are under threat from myriad problems.
Of the seventeen locations with a critical conservation outlook, sixteen are in the Tropics, and the majority of those are in Africa.
Emperor penguins are renowned for spending months without eating while they breed and incubate eggs — activities that they must complete on solid ground. Now, scientists have caught some of the birds sneaking off for late-night snacks.
Reduced-impact logging, also called selective logging, which gained popularity in the 1990s, aims to balance biodiversity impacts with global demand for timber by extracting fewer trees. But the success of this approach is coming under increasing scrutiny.
A new study in the Brazilian Amazon found that dung beetle communities, and their important role as “ecosystem engineers,” is severely disrupted by even low-level timber extraction, with sharp reductions in species richness.
Multitudes of s...
Despite weighing only a few hundred grams, young loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the South Atlantic are able to overcome ocean currents. Before they return to the beach to breed, young sea turtles spend years adrift in the open ocean — but these ‘lost years’ have proved difficult to study.
Humans might not be the only species that considers a listener’s frame of mind.
Chimpanzees make an extra effort to warn neighbours that seem ignorant of danger.
From largest to fastest to first in orbit, 99 record-holding achievements by spiders have been singled out for recognition, in the hope of raising interest in the oft-maligned creatures.
Stefano Mammola and Marco Isaia at the University of Turin in Italy and their colleagues compiled the list, including 44 Guinness World Records held by spiders, to raise interest in arachnid biology. The paper celebrates the anatomy, behaviour and palaeontology of spiders, from the most massive — the Goliath ...
A long-standing suspicion seems to have been confirmed: mammals like us spent their first hundred million years in the dark, and only came out in daytime when the dinosaurs disappeared. It is the first time we have had a firm date for this change. The first mammals to truly embrace the daytime were simians: our ancestors.