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Walter Tschinkel's Aluminum Casts of Ant Colonies Reveals Insect Architecture

Walter Tschinkel's Aluminum Casts of Ant Colonies Reveals Insect Architecture | Wonderful Wildlife | Scoop.it
Retiree Walter R. Tschinkel is an entomologist and former professor of Biological Science at Florida State University. He recognizes ants as "some of nature's grand architects" and, curious to understand their self-created habitats, devised a clever (if cruel) way to do it: By pouring molten aluminum down into the hole.

 

Unsurprisingly, the ants die in the process. But after the aluminum cools and Tschinkel has completed a meticulous excavation, he unearths these wondrous, chandelier-esque shapes revealing the alien architectures of the colony.


Via Alessio Erioli, Tudor Cosmatu, Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Functional connectivity of lynx at their southern range periphery

Functional connectivity of lynx at their southern range periphery | Wonderful Wildlife | Scoop.it

Peripheral populations are often small and isolated compared to those in the range core, in part due to the patchy distribution of suitable habitats at range margins. It follows that peripheral populations typically occur at lower densities and are more susceptible to extinction, but their persistence may be facilitated through connectivity with core areas. Relationships between connectivity and the distribution of animal populations have not yet been fully evaluated, especially for large carnivores having extensive spatial needs and specialized habitat requirements. Using observations of snow tracks, we modeled occurrence of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) in relation to landscape characteristics along their southern range periphery in Ontario, Canada; we sought to assess functional connectivity of lynx habitat along the southern margins of the range. As observed in other studies, young coniferous forests had the highest probability of lynx occurrence, likely due to their association with snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus). We used the occurrence model to parameterize a resistance surface and then circuit theory to predict functional connectivity along the southern periphery of lynx distribution. Lynx typically travelled through landscapes with higher connectivity than random paths, implying that lynx habitat requirements in their southern range likely extend beyond habitat composition, and that conservation efforts should seek to preserve metapopulation dynamics through functional connectivity of suitable habitat across larger spatial scales.


Via Dave'sWildSide
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Bizarre-looking oarfish washes ashore on Cabo San Lucas beach

Bizarre-looking oarfish washes ashore on Cabo San Lucas beach | Wonderful Wildlife | Scoop.it
In Florida, scientists have their hands on a large and mysterious eyeball, which washed ashore Wednesday, and are trying to determine what kind of sea creature it belonged to. That could take a few days.
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Functional connectivity of lynx at their southern range periphery

Functional connectivity of lynx at their southern range periphery | Wonderful Wildlife | Scoop.it

Peripheral populations are often small and isolated compared to those in the range core, in part due to the patchy distribution of suitable habitats at range margins. It follows that peripheral populations typically occur at lower densities and are more susceptible to extinction, but their persistence may be facilitated through connectivity with core areas. Relationships between connectivity and the distribution of animal populations have not yet been fully evaluated, especially for large carnivores having extensive spatial needs and specialized habitat requirements. Using observations of snow tracks, we modeled occurrence of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) in relation to landscape characteristics along their southern range periphery in Ontario, Canada; we sought to assess functional connectivity of lynx habitat along the southern margins of the range. As observed in other studies, young coniferous forests had the highest probability of lynx occurrence, likely due to their association with snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus). We used the occurrence model to parameterize a resistance surface and then circuit theory to predict functional connectivity along the southern periphery of lynx distribution. Lynx typically travelled through landscapes with higher connectivity than random paths, implying that lynx habitat requirements in their southern range likely extend beyond habitat composition, and that conservation efforts should seek to preserve metapopulation dynamics through functional connectivity of suitable habitat across larger spatial scales.


Via Dave'sWildSide
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We may be getting smarter but more animals are under threat

We may be getting smarter but more animals are under threat | Wonderful Wildlife | Scoop.it
We may be getting smarter but more animals are under threat (Smarter yet we're not smart enough to save the environment or our native wildlife ...)...
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The Animals Wildlife & Pets Daily

The Animals Wildlife & Pets Daily | Wonderful Wildlife | Scoop.it
Daily Postings For Caring & Supportive Animal & Wildlife Heroes & Lovers; Activists, Advocates, Grassroots & Posted Non-profit Supporters. Take Action Today Not Tomorrow. (The Animals Wildlife & Pets Daily is out!
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Victory for Forests: Disney Stands Up for Endangered Forests and Animals

Victory for Forests: Disney Stands Up for Endangered Forests and Animals | Wonderful Wildlife | Scoop.it
Today, Disney adds its significant voice to the growing chorus of companies demonstrating that there's no need to sacrifice endangered forests in Indonesia or elsewhere for the paper we use every day.
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The Auburn Tiger Trapdoor Spider – A new species discovered from a college town backyard

The Auburn Tiger Trapdoor Spider – A new species discovered from a college town backyard | Wonderful Wildlife | Scoop.it

Researchers at Auburn University reported the discovery a new trapdoor spider species from a well-developed housing subdivision in the heart of the city of Auburn, Ala. Myrmekiaphila tigris, affectionately referred to as the Auburn Tiger Trapdoor spider, is named in honor of Auburn University’s costumed Tiger mascot, Aubie.

 

Click here to watch a video about this discovery.

 

The research team, directed by Biological Sciences professor Jason Bond, lead investigator and director of the Auburn University Museum of Natural History, and Charles Ray, a research fellow in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, was excited at the prospect of such a remarkable find just underfoot. Bond and Ray actually live in the neighborhood where the new species was discovered.

 

Myrmekiaphila tigris belongs to a genus that contains 11 other species of trapdoor spider found throughout the eastern U.S. and includes the now-famous species Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi, from Birmingham, Alabama, named for Canadian rocker Neil Young.

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Rare Striped Cheetahs in Africa: Genetic Mutation Gives Stripes to King Cheetahs

Rare Striped Cheetahs in Africa: Genetic Mutation Gives Stripes to King Cheetahs | Wonderful Wildlife | Scoop.it

Rare stripes in some cheetahs found only in sub-Saharan Africa made scientists classify it as different species. Now, researchers have finally solved the mystery. Mutation in a single gene is causing the stripes in the cheetah similar to the blotched pattern or stripes in feral cats.

 

While some tabby cats have stripes on their back, some tabbies do have stripes in irregular swirls. These tabbies were called as "blotched" and were not considered as common in the wild. Even the cheetahs with the blotched pattern were initially thought to belong to a separate species and were known as "king cheetahs."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Four leopards poached 'per week'

Four leopards poached 'per week' | Wonderful Wildlife | Scoop.it
At least four leopards are poached every week in India, according to a new study by a group of conservationists.
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The Wildlife of the London Underground

The Wildlife of the London Underground | Wonderful Wildlife | Scoop.it
Wild animals in the London Underground.Awesomeness from @Architizer http://t.co/4FRV8ip5...
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