Articles on Species

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A palisade trapdoor spider of the new species E. turrificus walks across the rainforest floor near Maleny, Queensland. Jeremy Wilson

Trapdoor spider species that stay local put themselves at risk

Trapdoor spiders that build unique burrows are found only in small areas of Queensland. But they don't travel very far from their location, and that could put them at risk.
Generations of giraffes. Shutterstock.

Curious Kids: what is a species?

It can actually be very tricky to define a species, but in the 1900s, scientists found a pretty good way.
Birds don’t fly across wide Amazonian rivers like the Rio Negro. Marcos Amend www.marcosamend.com (for use with this article only)

Bird DNA helps explain Amazonian rivers’ role in evolution

Rivers are natural boundaries for evolving populations. But scientists don't agree whether they create new species or just help maintain them. Research using birds' molecular clocks provides some answers.
Berzelia stokoei, one of the 3% of plants in South Africa that are found nowhere else in the world. Marinda Koekemoer

Why plants need an identity

There is good news for plant conservation in South Africa and internationally.
Attenborougharion rubicundus is one of more than a dozen species named after the legendary naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Simon Grove/Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

It’s funny to name species after celebrities, but there’s a serious side too

Scientists have been naming species after well-known people since the 18th century, often in a bid for publicity. But the issue deserves attention – 400,000 Australian species are yet to be described.
Some people thought Charles Darwin was suggesting that, over a very long period of time, apes turned into people. He was not. Flickr/Ronald Woan

Curious Kids: Can chimpanzees turn into people?

The short answer is no. An individual of one species cannot, during its lifetime, turn into another species. But your question helps us think about life, evolution and what it means to be human.
A simplified Tree of Life summarising the evolutionary relationships among a broad selection of living organisms. Shutterstock/Zern Liew

How to grow an evolutionary tree

Charles Darwin was one of the first to show connections in the variety of life by using a rough evolutionary tree. Things have developed quite a bit since then.

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