Archives for posts with tag: Australia

Scientists have found a new species of spider on Horn Island off northern Queensland and named it after Sir David Attenborough. It is just over 1 mm in length and called Prethopalpus attenboroughi.

Researchers found the Lord Howe phasmid, a giant stick insect, on Ball’s Pyramid, off the coast of Australia, in 2001.This was thought to have gone extinct in the late 20th century but the team has created new breeding colonies.

Lord Howe's phasmid

Source: Patrick Honan, Zoos Victoria

They hope to reintroduce the insects to their native habitat on nearby Lord Howe Island once they have eradicated the non-native predators.

Turtleheaded sea snakes in Australia only travel a few kilometres from their reefs. This means that the individual genetic populations are very different and the snakes are more likely to become inbred, which makes them at higher risk of extinction if there are environmental changes.

Read the abstract in Ecology and Evolution.

The oldest fossils found so far are cell- or bacteria-like microfossils found in Australia that date back 3.4 billion years.

Tasmanian devils get a very infectious and fatal facial cancer that is can be caught by another Tasmanian devil by biting, mating or touching. Scientists have sequenced the genome of the cancer itself, and this might help save the animals. The whole Tasmanian devil genome was sequenced in June 2011.

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