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ECOSnake Insights

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Archive for September, 2007

List of Most Endangered Wildlife Released


Santa Catalina rattlesnake is on the IUCN list of 2007 Most Endangered Wildlife:

Photo Gallery: Most Endangered Animals of ‘07 Announced

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Cobra guards shoes


London’s Harrods hires cobra to guard $120,000 shoes

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North Dakota yard


overrun with snapping turtles:

Betty Kratzke, right, peers Thursday, Sept. 6, 2007, into a box containing a clutch of newly hatched snapping turtles that emerged from the soil in her front yard in southeast Jamestown, N.D. Digging out the remaining turtles is Darrell Perry.  Looking on is Cliff Hanson with his dog, Sugar, and Judy Perry. (AP Photo/The Jamestown Sun, John M. Steiner)

Woman has yard full of snapping turtles

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Snakes in luggage


An assortment of preserved dead snakes was found in luggage:

Snakes found in luggage at Ga. airport

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Dinosaur asteroid exposed


More information on the asteroid which may have contributed to the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago…

Traced: The asteroid breakup that wiped out the dinosaurs

posted by EcoSnake, 05/09/07

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Endangered turtle nests found


Good turtle news:

Endangered turtle nests found in Texas

Posted by EcoSnake

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New frog species discovered


Great news from National Geographic concerning the discovery of a new frog species:

Photo in the News: “Golden” Poison Frog Discovered

posted by Frank

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Kempthorne Wins 2007 Rubber Dodo Award


According to the Environmental News Network (ENN), the Center for biological diversity has awarded Idahoan and current Interior Secretary, Dirk Kempthorne, its first annual Rubber Dodo Award. The award is for Kempthorne doing less than any Interior Secretary in U.S. history to protect endangered species.
posted by Frank

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Dinosaurs and Orchids


Orchids likely decorated dinosaur stomping grounds

By Julie SteenhuysenWed Aug 29, 3:41 PM ET

Fossilized orchid pollen on the back of a bee preserved in amber has offered the first evidence that these delicate flowers existed around the time of the dinosaurs, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

Biologists at Harvard University said the ancient pollen, found in a clump on a now-extinct worker bee, means orchids are much older than previously thought.

While orchids are the largest and most diverse plant family on Earth, they have been largely absent from the fossil record, said Harvard researcher Santiago Ramirez, whose study appears in the journal Nature.

Orchids package their pollen in structures called pollinia, which consist of masses of pollen grains. It was that structure that caught Ramirez’ eye.

“It is very distinct. Because of its shape and form, we were able to identify it right away,” Ramirez said in a telephone interview.

“Orchids were missing in the fossil record until this was found,” he added.

The absence of orchids from the fossil record has fueled debate over their age, with estimates ranging from 26 million to 112 million years ago.

The amber-encased bee was first discovered in the Dominican Republic by a private collector in 2000. It made its way to Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology in 2005.

The worker bee specimen is 15 to 20 million years old, but Ramirez and colleagues used its payload of pollen to analyze the orchid species. They used a molecular-clock method of analysis to estimate the age of the orchid family, which they date to about 80 million years ago.

The dinosaurs’ extinction occurred about 65 million years ago.

Ramirez said the find not only helps resolve a debate over the age of the orchid but it provides the first direct evidence of ancient pollination.

“This is one of the first fossil observations in which you can find both the pollinator and the plant together,” he said.

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