tech and geek stuff
Snow leopards aren’t as rare as we thought – but aren’t safe yet
In danger of reclassificationSebastian Kennerknecht/Minden PicturesBy Adam PopescuTHE iconic snow leopard might no longer be classed as an endangered species, if some scientists have their way. That may...
Endangered sharks, rays further threatened by global food markets
A majority of shark fins and manta ray gills sold around the globe for traditional medicines come from endangered species, a study has revealed. Using cutting-edge DNA barcoding technology, researchers...
Large non-native species like donkeys can boost biodiversity
Water buffalo grazing in a Welsh marshJoan Gravel/AlamyBy Fred PearceMoose and water buffalo do a lot of munching and trampling, so it might seem a bad thing that these large animals have escaped their...
Wiping out a population of animals might help the species
By Aylin Woodward There’s a bright side to everything, perhaps even mass die-offs of animals. If one population of a species goes rapidly and completely extinct – maybe thanks to a forest fire or hurricane...
Where is everybody? The implications of cosmic silence
Applying the principle of mediocrity to the Drake equation, a probabilistic estimate of the number of intelligent species in the universe, leads to the conclusion that technological species go extinct...
Largest ever dinosaur may have been as long as 7 elephants
Earth’s largest ever animal?Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesBy New Scientist staff and Press AssociationFossilised bones from six dinosaurs may have belonged to the biggest animal ever to have walked the Earth....
New bird that humans drove to extinction discovered in Azores
Inside the crater of a volcano on Graciosa Island in the Azores archipelago, in the Atlantic Ocean, an international team of researchers has discovered the bones of a new extinct species of songbird, a...
New shark species glows in the dark, weighs about 2 pounds and has a huge nose
Just as "Shark Week" is gearing up, researchers have discovered a new species of shark 17 years in the making. Like finding a needle in a haystack, it was well worth the wait as this elusive creature is...
Restoring Estonian alvar grasslands to save unique species
Grazing maintains the species-rich grassJulianna PhotopoulosBy Julianna Photopoulos in Estonia, on Muhu islandIt’s hot and sunny, and the long, flat fields are covered in grasses, with patches of shrubs...
In saliva, clues to a 'ghost' species of ancient human
In saliva, scientists have found hints that a 'ghost' species of archaic humans may have contributed genetic material to ancestors of people living in sub-Saharan Africa today. The research adds to a growing...
New species of dinosaur named after Canadian icon
A new species of troodontid theropod dinosaur identified, Albertavenator curriei, named after renowned Canadian palaeontologist Dr. Philip J. Currie. Palaeontologists initially thought that the bones of...
Climate change lets invaders beat Alpine plants in mountain race
Saxifraga androsacea – ruling the mountaintop, but for how much longer?Bob Gibbons/AlamyBy Andy CoghlanAs the climate warms up, invasive weeds are outpacing native Alpine plants to the tops of mountains,...
Boy finds ‘extinct’ frog in Ecuador and helps revive species
Back on the radarLuisA. Coloma/Centro JambatuBy Lou Del BelloA school-age boy has rediscovered an Ecuadorian frog considered extinct for at least 30 years. The animal has now successfully bred in captivity....
UK and Irish seabirds search area size of Spain for food
By New Scientist staff and Press Association REX/ShutterstockSatellite-tracking of hundreds of British and Irish seabirds has revealed new insights into where species search for food at sea. The study,...
Demise of dinosaurs opened the doors to the age of tree frogs
David A. Northcott/GettyBy New Scientist staff and Press AssociationFrogs leaped to take advantage of the global catastrophe that killed off the dinosaurs. New research shows that 88 per cent of frog...
The Blue-winged Amazon: A new parrot species from the Yucatán Peninsula
In 2014, during a visit to a remote part of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, an ornithologist came across parrots with a completely different color pattern from other known species. A new study names these...
Trove of new horror species discovered in Australian abyss
What lurks in the ocean's abyssal depths? That was the question the crew of research vessel RV Investigator sought to answer in a month-long expedition exploring Australia's eastern abyss for the first...
Dawn of humanity: Neanderthal-Homo sapiens transition
An archaeological dig in a cave in the Moravian region of the Czech Republic has provided a timeline of evidence from 10 sedimentary layers spanning 28,000 to 50,000 years ago. This is the period when...
‘Devil weeds’ threaten wildebeest migrations in Serengeti
Food could be in short supplyArne Witt/CABIBy Andy CoghlanWith names like “devil weed” and “famine weed”, perhaps it’s little wonder that these invasive plant species threaten to disrupt one of the great...
Neuroscientists rewire brain of one species to have connectivity of another
Neurons are connected to each other to form networks that underlie behaviors. Drs. Akira Sakurai and Paul Katz of Georgia State's Neuroscience Institute study the brains of sea slugs, more specifically...
Extinct species of Galapagos giant tortoise may be resurrected
Room for more giantsRodrigo Buendia/AFP/Getty ImagesBy Sam WongConservationists believe they can bring back a species of giant tortoise unique to Floreana Island in the Galapagos and considered extinct...
Outnumbered and on others' turf, misfits sometimes thrive
Evolutionary biologists have long assumed that when an individual of a species wanders into a different environment than it is adapted to, it will be at a competitive disadvantage compared to natives of...
Decoded genome may help Mojave Desert tortoise win race to survive
Researchers may have a new tool to help conserve the Mojave Desert tortoise -- an iconic desert reptile in the Southwestern US For the first time, they have decoded the animal's genome and expect their...
New species of bus-sized fossil marine reptile unearthed in Russia
A new species of a fossil pliosaur (large predatory marine reptile from the 'age of dinosaur') has been found in Russia and profoundly change how we understand the evolution of the group, says an international...
See-through frog has heart you can see beating through its chest
Hyalinobatrachium yaku is a newly discovered glass frogJaime Culebras By Lou del BelloA newly discovered glass frog species whose beating heart is visible through its chest is already feared to be in...
Three amazing nature areas shortlisted for World Heritage status
Qinghai Hoh Xil: home to antelopes, yaks, bears and wolvesIUCN Chimed Ochir BazarsadBy Andy CoghlanThree sites of outstanding biodiversity could soon be granted World Heritage status, and so receive new...
Frog skeleton allows them to jump horizontally or vertically
Royal Veterinary College/PA Wire By New Scientist staff and Press AssociationFrogs have a unique skeleton made for jumping that evolved over hundreds of millions of years, new research has shown. Precise...
Hundreds of newly-discovered plants may yield new crops or drugs
By New Scientist staff and Press Association Kew More than 1,700 new plants have been discovered in the past year, including species that could help provide food in the future, a major report reveals....
Time flies: Insect fossils in amber shed light on India's geological history
Researchers have identified three new species of insects encased in Cambay amber dating from over 54 million years ago. Researchers describe the new species of fungus gnats, which provide further clues...
Tiny invasive sea creatures hitch a ride in rabbitfish guts
All aboard for a trip to the Mediterranean SeaWaterFrame/Alamy Stock PhotoBy Chelsea WhyteIt’s the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Suez Canal. Tiny invasive creatures thumb a ride inside the gut of rabbitfish,...
Fossil 'winged serpent' is a new species of ancient snake, doctoral student finds
An ancient sink hole in eastern Tennessee holds the clues to an important transitional time in the evolutionary history of snakes. Among the fossilized creatures found there, according to a new paper,...
Hanging on: In search of the bat that returned from the dead
The Cuban greater funnel-eared bat was thought to be extinctOliver Wearn/ZSLBy Oliver WearnIn the pitch dark, the beam of a head torch illuminates hundreds of bats encircling a silhouetted figure in front...
Eggs four times bigger than ostriches’ reveal a giant dinosaur
Zhao Chuang/PA WireBy New Scientist staff and Press AssociationA clutch of enormous fossil eggs from China has led to the discovery of a new species of giant bird-like dinosaur. Flightless Beibeilong...
Meet ‘Neo’, the most complete skeleton of Homo naledi ever found
Meet Neo – a rising starWits University/John HawksBy Colin BarrasIt’s the cave that keeps on giving. Almost four years ago, researchers recovered 1500 ancient human bones and teeth from a rocky chamber...
Ancient humans: What we know and still don’t know about them
The story of human evolution is a complicated oneDonSmith/Alamy By Colin BarrasIn recent weeks, we have explored the brain of a species called Homo naledi, speculated on the idea that Neanderthals might...
'First arrival' hypothesis in Darwin's finches gets some caveats
Being first in a new ecosystem provides major advantages for pioneering species, but the benefits may depend on just how competitive later-arriving species are. That is among the conclusions in a new study...
Homo naledi is only 250,000 years old – here’s why that matters
Stefan Heunis/AFP/Getty ImagesBy Colin Barras In 2013, Lee Berger at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and his colleagues made an extraordinary discovery – deep inside a South African...
This newly-discovered ant species is named after Radiohead
Myrmecologists from the Smithsonian Institution's Ant Lab in Washington DC have discovered three new species of ant, one of which is named after British band Radiohead."We wanted to honor their music"...
Mystery human hobbit ancestor may have been first out of Africa
The tiny Indonesian hominin may have descended from a species that left Africa 2 million years agoKatrina KennyBy Alice KleinThe identity of the mysterious Homo floresiensis, aka the hobbit, has once...
Pesticide maker Dow Chemical tries to kill risk study
WASHINGTON — Dow Chemical is pushing a Trump administration that’s open to scrapping regulations to ignore the findings of federal scientists who point to a family of widely used pesticides as harmful...
Bears breed across species borders
Scientists have sequenced the entire genomes of four bear species, making it now possible to analyze the evolutionary history of all bears at the genome level. It shows that gene flow, or gene exchange,...
Signs of trouble for birds in one very green state
MONTPELIER, Vt. — The bird population in Vermont’s forests has declined 14.2 percent over 25 years, largely due to several factors, including invasive species, climate change, and the natural cycle of...
The bright lights of big cities help blackbirds thrive
Cut out for city life?Arterra/UIG via GettyBy Julianna PhotopoulosLight pollution is a problem for many animals, but at least one bird seems to welcome it. European blackbirds choose to nest near street...
Three new species of extinct South American marsupials discovered
The discovery of three extinct species and new insights to a fourth indicates a little-known family of marsupials, the Palaeothentidae, was diverse and existed over a wide range of South America as recent...
Deep learning tells giraffes from gazelles in the Serengeti
Caught on camerahttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/By Matt ReynoldsComputers are playing spot the difference in the Serengeti. An image-recognition algorithm that can identify different...
World’s largest canary discovered on island of giants and dwarfs
Large beak led to confusionAlexandre VazBy Sandhya SekarSpecies: São Tomé grosbeak (Crithagra concolor) Habitat: Endemic to the rainforests of São Tomé island, Gulf of Guinea, West Africa Deep within...
New species evolve faster as mountains form
Mountains, like rainforests, are hotbeds of biodiversity. But scientists aren't sure why. For years, they've thought that it might be related to the new environments that arise when mountains form -- as...
Tyrannosaurs show their sensitive side
A team of researchers has found a new species of tyrannosaur dinosaur -- the most popular of the prehistoric creatures. After the fossils were pulled out of the muddy banks of a Montana river, the team...
Scientists investigate Tasmanian tiger sightings
Is Australia’s extinct thylacine — a striped, dog-like marsupial commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger — not extinct after all? Recent alleged thylacine sightings convinced scientists at James Cook University...
UK plans to bring 20 species back from brink of extinction
Chequered skipper butterfly is on the ‘to save’ listIain Leech/Heritage Lottery Fund/PA WireBy New Scientist staff and Press AssociationEfforts to save some of the UK’s rarest species from extinction...
Flying foxes are facing extinction on islands across the world
Hunted for foodClaude Balcaen/FLPABy Brian OwensFlying foxes are in deep trouble. Almost half the species of this type of fruit bat are now threatened with extinction. The bats face a variety of threats,...
Weird T. rex forerunner had small horns and crocodile-like snout
We weren’t kidding when we said the horns were smallDino PuleràBy Chelsea WhyteThere’s a new tyrannosaur on the block, and it seems it was quite sensitive. This predecessor of T. rex, Daspletosaurus horneri,...
Biologists find surprising variability in courtship behaviors of wolf spiders
Studies of wolf spiders found that courtship displays help preserve genetic isolation between closely related species. Another study found that the species Gladicosa bellamyi used multi-modal communication...
Bird-eating spiders?! New tarantula species found
Three new species of massive, furry “birdeater” spiders have been discovered, with dozens more stricken from the grouping.In a new paper published in the open-access journal ZooKeys, researchers cleaned...
Translucent helmeted cockroach looks like an alien with a halo
Slovak Academy of SciencesBy Karl Gruber Species: Helmablatta louisrothi Habitat: Lava caves in Vietnam Advertisement It’s one of the weirdest-looking cockroaches ever known, sporting a huge head with...
Neanderthal teeth tell tales of diet and medicine
Enlarge / The jaw of the El Sidron individual found to be consuming poplar and Penicillium-containing vegetation.Paleoanthropology Group MNCN-CSIC reader comments 2 Share this story Around 50,000 years...
Sociable woodpeckers that cooperate have evolved smaller brains
Cooperation may ease the strain on woodpeckers’ brainsWilliam Leaman/Alamy Stock PhotoBy Andy CoghlanIn primates such as humans, living in cooperative societies usually means having bigger brains — with...
Species appears to evolve quickly enough to endure city temperatures
Urban acorn ants collected in Cleveland appear to have taken no more than 100 years -- no more than 20 generations -- to evolve and thrive in their heat-trapping city home. The capability suggests the...
First underwater video footage of the True's beaked whale
The True's beaked whale is a deep-diving mammal so rarely seen that it often defies recognition at sea by researchers. As a result, we have little data about its distribution, abundance and calving rate...
The Amazon forest is the result of an 8,000-year experiment
Brazil nuts scattered at the base of trees in the Amazon. These trees are so common in the Amazon today as a result of human cultivation that began over 8,000 years ago.Lior Golgner reader comments 10...
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its component fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark