Sadly, the people who want the border wall, likely will not care that it will drastically impact wildlife along the border.
But over at Vox, an excellent piece by Eliza Barclay and Sarah Frostenson lays out an amazing argument (and demonstrates visually) how this will impact biodiversity along the border.
Sadly, as this wall becomes a reality (if it becomes a reality) this is not the first or the last time we’ll be having this discussion.
I LOVE ME SOME TRANSITIONAL FOSSILS!
But this one is particularly interesting, as it fills a crucial hole in the fossil record and demonstrates how four-limbed creatures became established on land. Found on the Scottish border, it’s called (wait for it…) Tiny.
Read about it here!
Woolly mammoths once flourished from northern Europe to Siberia. As the last ice age drew to a close some 10,000 years ago, the mainland population perished, victims of climate change and human hunters.
However, a remote island population survived for 6000 years after the mainland had died off. And from a tooth of a male mammoth, geneticists have now deciphered the reason the population ultimately went extinct.
Read about it in the New York Times.
Not figurative dust. Literal dust. Cambodia’s limestone karsts exist nowhere else and are home to a host of endemic species. These environments are being pulverized for cement and scientists are racing to document all the rare plants before they are gone.
Read about it over at the NYTimes!
Given that I studied an abundant snail during my PhD (actually, Potamopyrgus antipodarum is invasive throughout most of the world), this headline was alarming to me.
But like many uncharismatic microfauna, snails are declining in record number across a number of different habitats.
Read about it over at Scientific America, and save the snails!
The endangered Powelliphanta augusta snail of New Zealand Credit: Alan Liefting
It’s often hard to determine the sex of fossils (most of our parts that determine such things are not… fossilizable).
But researchers from North Carolina State University and North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences found a medullary bone, a kind of tissue found only in female birds that are carrying eggs, or have just finished laying them, in a T-rex fossil from the Cretaceous.
While this is exciting (and you should read about it over at the Washington Post), it may be more exciting as researchers now have a means of identifying sex of dinosaurs. Which allows us to find out more about sex-linked traits in extinct dinosaurs.
Some days I just need a pick me up. While others take to the internet and fine photos of kittens telling them to hang in there, I seek the adorable face of the pangolin.
Also known as the spiny anteater, it is the only mammal wholly covered in scales. They resemble artichokes on legs. Oh and they are beyond adorable.
However, all 8 species of pangolins are endangered because they have one more distinction: the worlds most trafficked mammal. Their meat has become a delicacy in vietnam, which has rapidly wiped out populations of pangolins across South East Asia.
Read about their plight over at BBC, and for a little Friday pick me up, enjoy these lovely photos of my favorite mammal.