Nature

Great Lakes Covered with 88% Ice Sheet

Great Lakes Covered with 88% Ice Sheet

Great Lakes have always been covered with snow during the season, but this year, the level is much higher. The ice covering has increased to about 88% in 2014 which was 94% in 1994, said the federal government's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor.

Around 20% of freshwater lakes on the surface of earth freeze every winter. The ice coverage puts the Coast Guard's fleet of nine icebreakers into action, to clear the path for essential vessels and cargo including heating oil, salt and coal.

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Ecotourism with Increased Conservation Efforts Could Help Madagascar Lemurs

Ecotourism with Increased Conservation Efforts Could Help Madagascar Lemurs

Lemurs in Madagascar are facing serious threat of extinction, warned world’s top most experts in Madagascar, an Indian Ocean island off the coast of Africa. Habitat destruction and fragmentation, mining and logging of rosewood and ebony trees are some of the major threats to lemur’s population in the region.

Also, the poor environmental law enforcement along with five-year political crisis in Madagascar has added to threatening condition of about 100 species of lemurs. Madagascar, known for its unique wildlife, has been facing political issues for the past five years.

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Honeybee Colony Collapse Virus Spreading among Bumblebees

Honeybee Disease Affecting Bumblebees Population

Some colonies of bumblebees, wild and managed honeybees are on the verge of extinction, said researchers from the Royal Holloway University of London. Honeybees that are known for pollinating 87 of leading wildflowers and crops have been hit by two common honeybee diseases: deformed wing virus and the Nosema ceranae, a fungal parasite.

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Elephants Console Each Other during Distress

Elephants Console Each Other during Distress

Emory University research team conducted one-year study on 26 captive Asian elephants revealed that elephants help their distressed friends and mates feel better by vocalization or physical touches. First ever empirical evidence of consolation in elephants has been reported by Joshua Plotnik, researcher at Emory University.

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Scientists suggest Direct Link between Temperature and Speed of Jet Streams

Scientists suggest Direct Link between Temperature and Speed of Jet Streams

US scientists suspect longer and colder winters over North America and northern Europe because of warmer Arctic conditions. They believe that rising temperatures of the Arctic could lead to permanent change in high-altitude polar jet streams that flow in the northern altitudes from west to east.

Scientists have found a direct link between temperature and the speed of jet streams. As the high-altitude jet streams are formed when cold Arctic air strikes with warmer air from South, researchers suggest that higher the difference in temperature more will be the speed of jet streams.

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Cat Parasite Found in Arctic Beluga Whales

Cat Parasite Found in Arctic Beluga Whales

Researchers have found a cat parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, among high percentage of western Arctic Beluga whales. Michael Grigg, molecular parasitologist with the US National Institutes of Health said in 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Chicago, said the protozoan could prove deadly in some whales.

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Researchers Reveal Evolution of Jawed Vertebrates from Jawless

Researchers Reveal Evolution of Jawed Vertebrates from Jawless

With the help of micron resolution X-ray imaging technique and analyzing the series of fossils, researchers at the European Synchrotron (ESRF) in Grenoble, France have been able to understand evolution of jawed vertebrates from the jawless.

The research team analyzed the fossil skull of Romundina fish, found in arctic Canada, an invaluable intermediate example of fossil with both jawed and jawless vertebrate.

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DNA Samples of Ancient Baby Reveals Ancestry of Native Americans

DNA Samples of Ancient Baby Reveals Ancestry of Native Americans

After analyzing DNA samples and genome structure of baby boy which was discovered in May 1968, researchers revealed that it closely relates to the Native Americans. The skeleton of the boy was buried on Northeast of Livingston, Montana about 12,600 years ago when the boy was less than two years old.

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Construction Workers Find Fossil Tusk of Mammoth in Seattle

Construction Workers Find Fossil Tusk of Mammoth in Seattle

The Burke Museum of Natural history and Culture revealed that fossil of a mammoth tusk has been unearthed by construction workers digging in Seattle's south Lake Union area. Since, the fossil has been found on private property, the Burke museum experts said that they will excavate the fossil if the landowner will provide access to them.

On analyzing the fossil, museum experts claimed that the relatives of the ancient mammoth were the natives of Washington about 10,000 years back. They said that the rare fossil tusk of Woolly Mammoth could date back to the Ice Age.

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Some Crocodiles Species Climb Trees: Herpetology Notes

Some Crocodiles Species Climb Trees: Herpetology Notes

First ever study conducted by Vladimir Dinets, a research assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville Department of Psychology, throws light on tree climbing and basking behaviors of crocodiles.

After studying behavior of crocodile species from three continents, Australia, Africa and North America, researchers found that four species of crocodiles climbed trees. The height to which crocodile species climbs up depends on the size of the animal, said Dinets and his colleagues.

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