The lizard-like tuatara already was an oddball. Its superpowers include a century-long lifespan, resistance to many diseases and a unique tolerance (for a reptile) to the cold. Now, it turns out, a part of the animal’s genetic instruction book is as weird as its life history — and may help explain its ability to withstand extreme temperatures. Tuatara have two distinct copies of the genetic instruction manual for making mitochondria, researchers report January 29 in Communications Biology. Leer más.


In this study, we focus on interventions in the Scottish Highlands to improve the availability and suitability of breeding ponds for local amphibian assemblages. We collected and analysed data based on 129 ecological variables across 88 reference ponds to quantify the local habitat preferences. We used the findings from these analyses to inform the construction or restoration of 25 intervention ponds co‐developed in partnership with stakeholders (landowners, foresters, citizen scientists and government agencies). Leer más.


We found a total of 16 anuran taxa with Afrotropic affinities, and two genera and four species were added for the amphibian list of Mauritania. Potential cryptic diversity was detected in Hoplobatrachus occipitalis. Amphibian richness was positively correlated with proximity to savannah, gravel floodplains, and with presence of seasonal wetlands, and negatively with proximity to dunes. Major diversity hotspots were predicted in southern Mauritania. Marta Sampaio, Guillermo Velo-Antón, Fernando Martínez-Freiría, Alberto Sánchez-Vialas, Juan Manuel Pleguezuelos, Philippe Geniez, Pierre-André Crochet & José Carlos Brito. Conservation Genetics (2021) . Leer más.