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December 2004

December 7

Up from the deep: World's oceans yield thousands of new species.

Threat of Extinction Plagues More Than 15,000 Species
The annual report card on the state of the planet's species contains some sobering statistics. According to this year's Red List of Threatened Species, compiled by the World Conservation Union (IUCN), a total of 15,589 species are currently at risk for extinction, with more than 3,330 new threatened plants and animals added to the roll since last year. As it stands now, one in three amphibians, one in four mammals and one in eight birds stand to disappear permanently.

November 2004

No zoology articles in November.

October 2004

No Zoology articles in October.

September 2004

No Zoology articles in September.

August 2004

August 8

'Ark' of DNA May Resurrect the Extinct. July 27, 2004
British scientists announced plans to create a "Frozen Ark" of preserved DNA from endangered animals and birds, with the eventual hope of resurrecting species extinct in the future though cloning, project organizers announced Tuesday.

Dozens of New Species Found at Panglao? Aug. 2, 2004
An intensive study of marine life off a small island in the central Philippines may have yielded "dozens of new species of crabs" and other sea creatures, the head of the project said recently.

Growing Tiny Totally Tubular Formations. Tucson (SPX) Jul 28, 2004
An accidental discovery may provide insights into the creation of tubular structures such as those found in caves and at hydrothermal vents.

Whale Carcass Yields Bone-Devouring Worms. Monterey Canyon CA  (SPX) Jul 30, 2004
Scientists studying a whale carcass in Monterey Canyon recently announced the discovery of two new species of unique worms that feed on the bones of dead whales.

July 2004

July 10

'Blob Monsters' are Whale Remains. June 23, 2004
One of the myths of the sea has been skewered by gene researchers, who say that huge "blobs" of weird tissue that have washed up on shorelines and sparked tales of sea monsters are in fact the remains of whales. A 13-ton lump of boneless tissue that came ashore at Los Muermos, Chile, in July last year ignited speculation that it could be the body of a new species of deep-sea giant octopus. Alas, tests of fragments of its DNA prove that the tissue came from a sperm whale, say University of Southern Florida biologists. The team also checked preserved samples from other blobs. They found that the "Giant Octopus of St. Augustine" from 1896, the "Tasmanian West Coast Monster" of 1960, as well as three blobs that were found in Bermuda and Nantucket in the 1990s were all washed-up whale remains. See also Microscopic, Biochemical, and Molecular Characteristics of the Chilean Blob and a Comparison With the Remains of Other Sea Monsters: Nothing but Whales and Beach blob mystery solved at last.

New Fish May Be World's Smallest Vertebrate. AFP / Discovery News. July 8, 2004
Australian scientists claimed Wednesday they had discovered the world's smallest fish, which lives for just two months and does not grow fins, teeth or scales.

June 2004

No Zoology articles for June.

May 2004

May 23

Antifreeze Flounder Reveals Secret. May 13, 2004
A remarkable "antifreeze" protein prevents the flounder from freezing up in northern polar oceans, according to a study published on Thursday. Scientists have known for some 30 years that some fish species flourish in sub-freezing waters thanks to plasma proteins, which cling to microscopic ice splinters in the blood, stopping the crystals from teaming up into larger structures that could damage cells.

May 9

Trade Secret of Sticky Spiders Revealed
For an arachnophobe, the sight of a spider making its way up a wall sparks fear. For a materials scientist, however, it can provide inspiration. New findings unravel just how a spider manages to stick to ceilings in apparent defiance of gravity. The discovery could point the way to novel adhesives.

April 2004

No Zoology articles for April

March 2004

March 28

Envisat Fishes Up Facts Behind Chilean Giant Squid Invasion. Paris (ESA) Mar 23, 2004
Masses of large ocean-going squid have inundated the shores of Southern Chile, alarming local fishermen who fear these carnivorous invaders could threaten fish stocks. Envisat has helped account for their otherwise mysterious arrival.

There Be Dragons: New Deep-sea Predator Species Discovered. FT. PIERCE, Fla.
Dr. Tracey Sutton, a fish ecologist at the HARBOR BRANCH Oceanographic Institution in Ft. Pierce, Fla., has discovered a new species in a bizarre and elusive family of deep-sea predatory fish known collectively as dragonfish. The find, reported in the current issue of the journal Copeia, is the first new dragonfish species discovered in more than a decade.

February 2004

February 22

One Order of Snake Legs, Please. University Park - Feb 11, 2004
The mystery of where Earth's first snakes lived as they were evolving into limbless creatures from their lizard ancestors has intrigued scientists for centuries. Now, the first study ever to analyze genes from all the living families of lizards has revealed that snakes made their debut on the land, not in the ocean.

Fish at the movies
Last year's movie smash Finding Nemo impressed many marine biologists with its scientific accuracy. In this free feature, Alison Abbott meets the young expert in fish biomechanics who helped to breathe life into the film's stars.

February 15

Four-armed jellyfish found
Bumpy sea creature is new species. 9 February 2004

Where'd I Put That?
Maybe it takes a bird brain to find the car keys. Birds that hide and recover thousands of separate caches of seeds have become a model for investigating how animals' minds work.

January 2004

January 25

Scientists Solve Chilean 'Blob' Mystery.
When a huge, unidentifiable, gelatinous blob weighing 13 tons and measuring 41 feet long and 19 feet wide washed up on a beach in Chile in July, 2003, many speculated that it was the remains of a giant sea monster. The fibers, Pierce’s team found, were totally unlike the fine structure of an octopus or squid. Further, the molecular test results proved that the blob was the highly decomposed remains of a sperm whale. See also

Mole rat's magnetic magic revealed
The blind mole rat continually monitors its direction using an internal compass - the first animal discovered to have this talent.

Monkey morality
Sharing might not be as nice as it's cracked up to be. 14 January 2004.

Puzzled monkeys reveal key language step
The key cognitive step that allowed humans to become the only animals using language may have been identified, scientists say.

January 18

Superglue from the sea
Chemists show how mussels get a grip. Nature, 12 January 2004

Squid May Inspire New Nanolights
A Hawaiian squid is shining new light on optical nanotechnology: the creature has a built-in flashlight made up of a previously unknown type of protein. The discovery could help researchers design novel nanoreflectors.

Ocean Life Depends On Single Circulation Pattern In Southern Hemisphere. Princeton - Jan 15, 2004
A study has shown that marine life around the world is surprisingly dependent on a single ocean circulation pattern in the Southern Hemisphere where nutrient-rich water rises from the deep and spreads across the seas.

Animal Thought and Communication.
How do animals think and communicate with each other? And what can studying animals tell us about the evolution of language in humans? See also