Agriculturally altered vegetation, especially oil-palm plantations, is rapidly increasing in Southeast Asia. Low species diversity is associated with this commodity, but data on anuran diversity in oil-palm plantations are lacking. We investigated how anuran biological diversity differs between forest and oil-palm plantation, and whether observed differences in biological diversity of these areas is linked to specific environmental factors. Leer más.

We describe a new species of the genus Cyrtodactylus based on five adult specimens from Dai Lanh Cape, Tuy Hoa District, Phu Yen Province, southern Vietnam. Cyrtodactylus kingsadai sp. nov. is distinguished from the remaining Indochinese bent-toed geckos by a combination of the following characters: maximum SVL of 94 mm; dorsal pattern consisting of a dark nuchal loop, continuous or partly interrupted neck band and four in part irregulartransverse body bands between limbs; internasal single; dorsal tubercles in 17–23 irregular transverse rows; ventrals in 39–46 longitudinal rows at midbody; lateral skin folds present, without interspersed tubercles; precloacal pores 7–9 plus in total 3–7 femoral pores in males (1-4 femoral pores on each side) with precloacal and femoral pore series separated from each other by 7–9 poreless scales; enlarged femoral scales and precloacal scales present; postcloacal spurs three;subcaudal scales transversely enlarged. This is the 29th species of Cyrtodactylus known from Vietnam. Leer más.

Everything new this week was old. Paleontologists in Utah discovered a cowlike species of dinosaur (about 65 million years old), and archaeologists in Scotland found what may be the world’s first lunar calendar (10,000 years old). Meanwhile, astronomers tell us that all of Earth’s gold was formed by ancient stars colliding (4.5 billion years ago) and that there is a moon orbiting Neptune we all somehow failed to notice (also quite old). Leer más.