Historically, more than 90 million acres of what is now the southeastern United States were covered by longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) savanna; today, only 3.4 million acres remain and most are fragmented and in poor condition. Scattered from Virginia in the north to the Florida peninsula in the south and Texas in the west, longleaf pine forests are some of the world’s most biologically diverse ecosystems, and provide critical habitat for 29 threatened and endangered species, including the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus). Leer más.

Un equipo de investigadores estadounidenses y chinos ha revelado el color y el diseño de las plumas de Microraptor, un dinosaurio de cuatro alas, del tamaño de una paloma, que vivió hace unos 130 millones de años. El plumaje fosilizado del dinosaurio, de matices azul y negro, es el registro más antiguo del color de las plumas iridiscentes. Los hallazgos, que sugieren la importancia de la exhibición en la evolución temprana de las plumas, han sido publicados en la revista ‘Science’. Leer más.

A brief post this week because I was in Portugal for a few days earlier in the week spending most of my time in Lisbon. While I was there, I took the opportunity to visit the Musêu Nacional de História Natural which is currently featuring a special exhibition called Allosaurus: One Dinosaur, Two Continents that focusses on the remarkable discovery of Allosaurus sp remains from Upper Jurassic sediments in Portugal. Leer más.

Exotic snakes are regular visitors to Laura’s farm, a mere 500 yards from the edge of Everglades National Park. Last summer, when she called Miami-Dade county rescue service to report an eight-foot python, however, she didn’t realize she was contributing to a scientific discovery. The snake on her property would reveal to biologists a totally new behavior in the invasive snakes wreaking havoc in the Everglades ecosystem. Leer más.