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Getting a tail up on conservation?

Lizards are an important indicator species for understanding the condition of specific ecosystems. Their body weight is a crucial index for evaluating species health, but lizards are seldom weighed, perhaps due in part to the recurring problem of sp...

Researchers ID new mammal down under

In the current crisis of global biodiversity loss, the discovery of new species is a welcome addition. But the recent finding that the mountain brushtail possum, an arboreal marsupial mammal of Australian wet forests, is actually made up of two species also poses new conservation challenges. The new species is proposed in an article in the latest Australian Journal of Zoology (Volume 50, Issue 4), authored by Earthwatch-supported biologist Dr. David Lindenmayer (Australian National University) and colleagues. "Geographic dimorphism in the Mountain Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus caninus) - the case for a new species," describes how the northern and southern populations of the mountain brushtail possum are both morphologically and genetically distinct.

Mole rats look old, are old

Virtually hairless, venerably wrinkled and very nearly blind, naked mole-rats -- those homely rodents from underground Africa -- remind some zoo-goers of little old men. The resemblance is more than coincidence. They really are really old males -- and females, too -- biologists report in an article scheduled for November publication in the Journal of Zoology (Vol. 258, Part 3). Many naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber) in laboratory colonies in the United States and South Africa have lived more than 20 years, and some are at least 26 years old, making them by far the oldest small rodents in captivity.

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