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New frog species found in Venezuela and Colombia

Venezuelan and Colombian scientists have identified a new species of frog in the Perija mountain range shared by both countries that is home to unusual species like this small amphibian. With multi-colored skin and a distinctive song, the Hyloscirtus japreria was discovered during expeditions over the past decade living in rivers and cascades at altitudes above 1,000 meters (3,280 feet). It was named in honor of the Japreria, a disappearing indigenous ethnic group in the Perija in the northwestern Venezuelan state of…

Can you love an animal to death?

Can you love an animal to death? A new book by British photographer Tim Flach documents some of Earth's most treasured species pushed to the brink of extinction by manmade crises, from pangolins hunted for their scales to Brazil's pied tamarin threatened by urbanisation. "Most of the changes in the past have been driven by natural forces, but on this occasion, it seems to be driven by us," Flach told AFP on a visit to Washington. "My real question is: 'Why am I here doing it? Why am I here taking a picture of the last…

Science update on climate change: from bad to worse

PARIS: Scientists monitoring the Earth's climate and environment have delivered a cascade of grim news this year, adding a sense of urgency to UN talks on how best to draw down the greenhouse gases that drive global warming. Here is a summary of recent findings: 1.1 degrees Earth's average surface temperature last year was a record 1.1 degrees Celsius (1.98 Fahrenheit) above the preindustrial era. The planet's rising fever is caused by the accumulation of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,…

Faceless fish among weird deep sea Australian finds

MELBOURNE: Faceless fish and other weird and wonderful creatures, many of them new species, have been hauled up from the deep waters off Australia during a scientific voyage studying parts of the ocean never explored before. The month-long journey off the country's eastern seaboard has been surveying life lurking in a dark and cold abyss that plunges four kilometres (2.5 miles) below the surface, using nets, sonar and deep-sea cameras. Chief scientist on board "The Investigator" Tim O'Hara from Museums Victoria told…

Giant bird-like dinosaur species found in China

BEIJING: Researchers have discovered a new species of giant, bird-like dinosaur that made nests larger than monster truck tires in what is now central China, a study said. Measuring about eight metres (26 feet) long and weighing up to 3,000 kilograms (6,600 pounds), the Beibeilong sinensis -- "baby dragon from China" -- lived about 90 million years ago and is only the second known species of the giant oviraptorosaur in the world. Darla Zelenitsky, a Canadian paleontologist who co-authored the study, told AFP that the…

Early humans co-existed in Africa with human-like species 300,000 years ago

KROMDRAAI, SOUTH AFRICA: Scientists unveiled the first evidence on Tuesday that early humans co-existed in Africa 300,000 years ago with a small-brained human-like species thought to already be extinct on the continent at that time. The findings, published in three papers in the journal "eLife", raise fresh questions about human evolution, including the prospect that behaviors previously attributed to humans may have been developed by hominin precursors of Homo sapiens. Hominins are an extinct group of the same genus as…

New sonic blast shrimp named after Pink Floyd

LONDON: A newly-discovered shrimp species with a bright pink claw and the ability to produce one of the loudest sounds in the ocean has been named after legendary British band Pink Floyd, zoologists said on Wednesday. "Synalpheus pinkfloydi" has a bright pink claw that, "just like all good rock bands," can produce large amounts of sonic energy, according to a post on the blog of the University of Oxford's Museum of Natural History. Zoologist Sammy de Grave, a lifelong Pink Floyd fan who works at the museum, said the…