Midnight In The Desert — species

The northern white rhino should not be brought back to life?

Posted by K R on

The northern white rhino should not be brought back to life?

A geriatric semi-captive rhino died in Kenya recently. “Sudan”, a 45-year-old northern white rhino was put to sleep as vets decided, after months of ill health, that his condition had deteriorated to the point where the levels of pain and quality of life were unacceptable. From a conservation perspective, this does not sound like a big deal. Sudan was one old rhino. He was well past breeding age. So why did his death make headlines? Sudan was the last surviving male northern white rhinoceros, a subspecies known to scientists as Ceratotherium simum cottoni that went extinct in the wild about...

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An Even-Weirder-Than-Usual Tardigrade Just Turned Up in a Parking Lot

Posted by K R on

An Even-Weirder-Than-Usual Tardigrade Just Turned Up in a Parking Lot

A newfound species of tardigrade, or "water bear," with tendril-festooned eggs has been discovered in the parking lot of an apartment building in Japan. The newfound tardigrade, Macrobiotus shonaicus, is the 168th species of this sturdy micro-animal ever discovered in Japan. Tardigrades are famous for their toughness: They can survive in extreme cold (down to minus 328 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 200 Celsius), extreme heat (more than 300 degrees F, or 149 degrees C), and even the unrelenting radiation and vacuum of space, as one 2008 study reported. They're bizarre and adorable at the same time, with eight legs on...

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'The Future of Humanity' recommends evacuating Earth in order to save the species

Posted by K R on

'The Future of Humanity' recommends evacuating Earth in order to save the species

Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, author of the bestselling 1994 book "Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension," is a science writer who's had the great good fortune to be dubbed a “futurist,” an expert on things that haven't happened yet, as evidenced in the titles of his last two books, also robust sellers: 2011's "Physics of the Future" and 2014's "The Future of the Mind." His new book, The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth, continues this trend. In this new book, Kaku actually quotes Mark Twain,...

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U.S. Puts Bumblebee On The Endangered Species List For 1st Time

Posted by K R on

U.S. Puts Bumblebee On The Endangered Species List For 1st Time

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated the rusty patched bumblebee an endangered species — the first such designation for a bumblebee and for a bee species in the continental U.S. The protected status, which goes into effect on Feb. 10, includes requirements for federal protections and the development of a recovery plan. It also means that states with habitats for this species are eligible for federal funds. "Today's Endangered Species listing is the best—and probably last—hope for the recovery of the rusty patched bumble bee," NRDC Senior Attorney Rebecca Riley said in a statement from the Xerces Society,...

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Scientists Say A Mystery Species Bred with Ancient Humans in Distant Past

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Scientists Say A Mystery Species Bred with Ancient Humans in Distant Past

A new study of the genomes of Australasians has revealed sections of DNA that do not match any known hominin species. The dramatic findings mean that a mystery species bred with ancient humans in the distant past and that our family tree is much more complex than previously believed. New Scientist reports that the unknown species bred with early human ancestors when they migrated from Africa to Australasia. The surprising finding, published in the journal Nature Genetics, was made by Jaume Bertranpetit at Pompeu Fabra University in Spain and his colleagues, who examined the genomes of living Indigenous Australians, Papuans,...

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