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Dumbledores and Bumblebees

It may interest you to know that one of this generation’s most iconic characters, Dumbledore, takes his name from an Old English term for the bumblebee. It’s easy to see why J.K. Rowling could be so inspired, bumblebees never seem incessantly busy like their honey-crazed counterparts and they tend to “bumble” along alighting among  flowers…

If you can’t beat ’em, eat ’em

There’s a growing trend among scuba divers in the Caribbean: they’re on the hunt for something tasty… Last month, the Glass Goby (Coryphopterus hyalinus) suffered a change in status on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Previously considered of Least Concern to conservationists, this reef-dwelling fish is now listed as Vulnerable. And it isn’t alone.…

World Heritage — Saving Nature As Well As Culture

By Susan Lieberman

What do the Taj Mahal, Yellowstone National Park, the Great Wall of China, and Virunga National Park have in common? They are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites, protected by an international convention recognizing that they and another thousand special places around the world are the common heritage of humanity and deserve the highest level of protection.

Locally “Extinct” Bumblebee Found in Virginia

A rare bee species thought extinct in the eastern U.S. has popped up in a Virginia state park, giving scientists hope.

“Extinct” Snail Found Alive—But for How Long?

“So I was wrong,” scientist says about extinction—but cautions the purple-and-pink mollusk is still perilously close to dying out.

The Fall and Rise of the Amphibian Empire

In 1970, a group of experts on frogs, toads, salamanders, and caecilians noticed that populations of the Yosemite Park Toad in California had suddenly crashed. The habitat was suitable, there seemed to be nothing wrong but their numbers had crashed to very low levels. People scratched their heads and thought of it as just one…

Dead and Lost Boobies: Harbingers of a Growing El Niño?

Starving seabirds far from home may point to a brewing El Nino in the Pacific.

Shark Species Thought to Be Extinct Turns Up in Fish Market

When scouting for extremely rare species probably the last place you’d think to check would be “the store.” And yet it was at a store of sorts–a public fish market in Kuwait to be exact–where marine researchers rediscovered the smoothtooth blacktip shark (Carcharhinus leiodon) in 2008. The species was thought to be extinct, or not even a…

3-Foot-Long Earthworms Get a Boost in Australia

The dwindling giant Gippsland earthworm is getting a new lease on life as part of an innovative farming program in Australia.

Photos: Orange Octopus, More Creatures Found Deep in Antarctic Sea

A bristle-cage worm, a sea lily, and an orange octopus are among species hauled up from Antarctica’s Amundsen Sea for the first time.

Five Surprising New Bat Species Found in Africa

Tiny mammals split off from other species three million years ago, study says.

Troll-Haired Mystery Bug Found in Suriname

It may or may not be a new species, but this crazy-haired bug is an eye popper of a planthopper.

New Species of Giant Air-Breathing Fish: Freshwater Species of the Week

Water Currents previously reported on Donald Stewart‘s ongoing efforts to reclassify a giant Amazonian fish as representing several distinct species. The work of the fish biologist at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is supported in part by National Geographic. Stewart’s latest work has just been published in the journal Copeia, and marks…

New Eyeless Fungus Beetle Found in Cave

A new species of eyeless insect adapted to the darkness has been discovered in an Arizona cave, a new study says.

The Return of Grand Cayman’s Blue Iguana: From Near-Extinction to Endangered

In 2002, between 10-25 blue iguanas remained in the wild. Today, there are 750. By incubating eggs in his home office and gathering plants to feed the baby blues, Fred Burton and his team have brought back a species that was nearly extinct. While these 5-foot-long majestic creatures are still a rare sight, they are…