How “insect soup” might change the face of conservation

Much of what we know about patterns of biodiversity has come from extensive fieldwork, with expert researchers sampling and identifying species in a process that takes thousands of man-hours. But new technologies may revolutionize this process, allowing us to monitor changes in biodiversity at speeds and scales unimaginable just a decade ago. A new paper […]

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Cocoa frog and lilliputian beetle among 60 new species found in Suriname

Sixty species new to science, including a chocolate-coloured frog and a tiny dung beetle less than 3mm long, have been discovered by scientists in Suriname. An expedition of scientists spent three weeks in 2012 exploring an area of rivers, mountains and rainforest in the south-eastern region of Suriname that has “virtually no human influence”. The […]

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Free-tailed funnel cloud (reprint from June 2011)

When Doppler radar first arrived in the area known affectionately to Texans as the Hill Country, the local television station meteorologists were understandably eager to show off the weather forecasting capabilities of their newest toy. Unfortunately, they got off to a less than impressive start. Night after night that summer, evening thunderstorms were forecast but […]

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Domesticated bees do not replace declining wild insects as agricultural pollinators

Sprinkled with pollen, buzzing bees fly from one blossom to another, collecting sweet nectar from brilliantly colored flowers. Bees tend to symbolize the pollination process, but there are many wild insects that carry out the same function. Unfortunately, wild insect populations are in decline, and, according to a recent study, adding more honey bees may […]

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