Bringing you the latest news, information, and resources from around the web. In the January 11th edition, read more about the following:
- Belize bans offshore oil exploration to protect marine wildlife
- How to Save the Paradoxical Axolotl
- MoBot scientists use DNA testing to bring an African plant out of extinction
- Ancient Infant's DNA Reveals New Clues to How the Americas Were Peopled
- If Birds Left Tracks in the Sky, They’d Look Like This
Belize bans offshore oil exploration to protect marine wildlife
In an effort to protect the Belize Barrier Reef, the government of Belize has officially and permanently banned offshore oil activities within its waters. The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest coral reef system in the world, and home to over 500 species of fish, and 100 different types of coral. As the reef has been on UNESCO’s endangered list since 2009, this law is considered a bold step and a demonstration of leadership by Belize in marine conservation.
How to Save the Paradoxical Axolotl
Culturally significant and internationally widespread, the axolotl is famous and ubiquitous, thriving in the pet trade and laboratories. But it is native only to Lake Xochimilco, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and therefore critically endangered in the wild. Researchers are working to reverse this population decline despite the challenges facing their natural habitat – and a racing clock.
MoBot scientists use DNA testing to bring an African plant out of extinction
Scientists at the Missouri Botanical Garden have reported using DNA testing to “rediscover” Dracaena umbraculifera, a species from Madagascar technically classified as extinct. As the plant is difficult to identify and currently not flowered in any botanical gardens, genetic testing has played a key role in confirming that this plant actually still flowers in Madagascar, and needs protection.
Ancient Infant's DNA Reveals New Clues to How the Americas Were Peopled
With the discovery of a burial site from 11,500 years ago, scientists now have further evidence to trace the ancestry of Native Americans across the land bridge from present-day Russia to Alaska. New and revised hypotheses are developing – plus an important conversation about scientists conducting research in native communities.
If Birds Left Tracks in the Sky, They’d Look Like This
Photographer Xavi Bou has spent the past five years perfecting camera techniques to capture the paths formed by birds in flight. What results are stunning photos that embody art, science, technology, and nature.