Articles on Species

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As temperatures rise, will species have enough habitat to move to suitable ground? bonnyboy/flickr

Can ‘climate corridors’ help species adapt to warming world?

Animals and plants will need escape hatches to move to cooler climes as the planet warms, but few parts of the U.S. have the natural habitat available for these migrations.
There’s a difference in the sex chromosomes between various mammals, such as the platypus compared to humans. Flickr/Darren Puttock

Did sex drive mammal evolution? How one species can become two

How new species are created is at the core of the theory of evolution. Mammals may be a good example of how sex chromosome change drove major groups apart.
How many species of frog are in the picture? Genetics often says ‘more than we thought’. Michael Lee (Flinders University & South Australian Museum)

The Earth’s biodiversity could be much greater than we thought

The Earth is full of many varied species from the largest mammals to the tiniest organisms. But we now think there could be ten times more species than was originally thought.
Some of the many species in the Australian National Insect Collection. CSIRO/Alan Landford

Why so many Australian species are yet to be named

At least 100,000 insects are among the many Australian species still to be formally identified. That's a problem for any biosecurity experts who need to be able to spot potentially invasive bugs.
Doing its own thing: the eastern coyote, or coywolf, is a mix of coyote, wolf and dog which has spread across eastern North America. Jonathan Way,

Why the eastern coyote should be a separate species: the ‘coywolf’

A wildlife biologist argues that the canid in eastern North America – known as the eastern coyote, or the coywolf by some – deserves to be classified as a separate species.
One of the several precious giant tortoises recently found on Volcano Wolf, Galápagos Islands. Luciano Beheregaray

How we rediscovered ‘extinct’ giant tortoises in the Galápagos Islands – and how to save them

When 100-year-old giant tortoise Lonesome George died in 2012, the world thought his species was lost forever. We went to the Galápagos Islands looking for 'extinct' tortoises – and we found them.
Fragments of woodland surrounded by cleared land in south west Australia. Google Earth

Unique Australian wildlife risks vanishing as ecosystems suffer death by a thousand cuts

Australia may have reputation for vast areas of wilderness, but in reality the continent's ecosystems have been chopped and diced. Now we need to protect what's left.
Professor Lee Berger from the University of the Witwatersrand holding the skull of Homo Naledi. EPA/Shiraaz Mohamed

Homo naledi may be two million years old (give or take)

The big question being asked is: where does Homo naledi fit in the evolutionary tree? Assessing the similarity or dissimilarity between fossil skulls has provided a possible clue to the answer.
The skull of Homo naledi is built like those of early Homo species but its brain was just more than half the size of the average ancestor from 2 million years ago. SUPPLIED

Homo naledi: determining the age of fossils is not an exact science

Despite claims about its age, puzzling combinations of features from Homo naledi gives it an uncanny resemblance to human beings.
What’s in a name? Plenty, if it is a dinosaur such as the Changyuraptor, a genus of the ‘four-winged’ predatory dinosaur. S. Abramowicz, Dinosaur Institute

Unraveling the mystery of how dinosaurs get their names

A dinosaur's name says something about the dinosaur itself. They are grouped together according to similarities they share, which also indicates their ancestral relationships to one another.
A Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) in the wild near Melbourne. Raoul Ribot

Colour variability in Crimson Rosellas is linked to a virus

Despite its name, the Crimson Rosella is perhaps Australia’s most colour-variable bird and a cause of this striking and beautiful diversity seems to be a disease that’s potentially deadly to many other…

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