Articles on Species

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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.
A wax figure of Charles Darwin, whose theories about species have influenced science for centuries. Jose Manuel Ribeiro/Reuters

The long struggle to understand species: from pre-Darwin to the present day

Humans have an innate interest and ability in naming biologically meaningful entities, or species. Taxonomy, then, vies for the title of world's “oldest profession”.
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, www.EasternCoyoteResearch.com

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.

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