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Species

Biology

Scientists reclassify tarantula species, name one after Johnny Cash

The "man in black" may be gone, but he'll never be forgotten, especially among arachnologists. Researchers from Auburn University and Millsaps College have reclassified 55 known tarantula species down to 15, while adding 14 new species, including Aphonopelma johnnycashi. The mostly black tarantula species was discovered near Folsom State Prison in California, which is the subject of one of Johnny Cash's most famous songs, "Folsom Prison Blues," recorded during a concert at the prison in 1968.Read More

Science

'Digital observatory' allows global information-sharing to protect biodiversity

Thousands of organizations around the world are working towards protection of ecosystems, yet the sharing of data is extremely limited and often localized – swathes of information that could be important are unknown, unpublicized and from a global perspective, wasted. The Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA), developed by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), could pave the way for a new era of understanding. It aims to bring together multidisciplinary data allowing researchers and decision-makers the means to assess, monitor and forecast protected areas globally.Read More

Environment

North America's largest living wall completed

Not content with having the largest non-industrial living roof in Canada and North America, designers in Canada have gone one step further with the completion of the largest and most biologically diverse living wall in North America. Green wall designers Green Over Grey recently completed work on the living wall at the Semiahmoo Public Library and Royal Canadian Mounted Police Facility in Surrey, British Columbia, which consists of a unique design covering nearly 3,000 square feet (279 square meters) and consisting of over 10,000 individual plants. Read More

Science

Nature can still surprise us: more than 350 new species found in Himalayas

You’d think there’d be nothing new in the world to discover, but Mother Nature still has a few surprises up her sleeve. According to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), scientists have discovered 353 new species in the eastern Himalayas over the past decade. They include a ‘flying frog’ that glides using long webbed feet, fossil evidence of a 100 million-year-old gecko, and the world’s shortest deer which, when fully grown, stands just 20 inches tall. Read More

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