My picks from ScienceDaily

New Species Of Prehistoric Giants Discovered In The Sahara:

Dinosaur hunters on a month-long expedition to the Sahara desert have returned home in time for Christmas with more than they ever dreamed of finding. They have unearthed not one but two possible new species of extinct animals. Their success marks one of the most exciting discoveries to come out of Africa for 50 years.

Goose Eggs May Help Polar Bears Weather Climate Change:

As polar bears adapt to a warming Arctic--a frozen seascape that cleaves earlier each spring--they may find relief in an unlikely source: snow goose eggs. New calculations show that changes in the timing of sea-ice breakup and of snow goose nesting near the western Hudson Bay could provide at least some polar bears with an alternative source of food. This new analysis appears in Polar Biology.

United States Death Map Revealed:

A map of natural hazard mortality in the United States has been produced. The map gives a county-level representation of the likelihood of dying as the result of natural events such as floods, earthquakes or extreme weather.

Ocean-bearing Planets: Looking For Extraterrestrial Life In All The Right Places:

Scientists are expanding the search for extraterrestrial life -- and they've set their sights on some very unearthly planets. Cold "Super-Earths" -- giant, "snowball" planets that astronomers have spied on the outskirts of faraway solar systems -- could potentially support some kind of life, they have found.

Tiny Ecosystem May Shed Light On Climate Change:

MIT researchers have created a microbial ecosystem smaller than a stick of gum that sheds new light on the plankton-eat-plankton world at the bottom of the aquatic food chain.

Toxic Brown Recluse Spiders Pose Danger As They Look To Move In For The Winter:

As the cold weather creeps in, so do brown recluse spiders. True to their name, the brown recluse is a shy, reclusive spider looking for a warm home. Drawn to clutter, closets and complex storage environments, the spiders actually want to stay away from humans. But, if care is not taken, people could find themselves sharing their home with one of 'the big three,' according to a University of Missouri entomologist.

Hawaii's Bird Family Tree Rearranged:

A group of five endemic and recently extinct Hawaiian songbird species were historically classified as "honeyeaters" due to striking similarities to birds of the same name in Australia and neighboring islands in the South Pacific. Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution, however, have recently discovered that the Hawaiian birds, commonly known as the oo's and the kioea, share no close relationship with the other honeyeaters and in fact represent a new and distinct family of birds--unfortunately, all of the species in the new family are extinct, with the last species of the group disappearing about 20 years ago.

'More Cavalier' Plants Could Counter Effects Of Climate Change:

A leading UK plant scientist has called for the application of new in-depth data analysis of plants' natural control systems to enable plant breeders to develop varieties that are naturally less conservative.

First Portable System Enabling In Situ Detection Of Cetacean Hearing Loss Developed:

A research project led by Michel André, director of the Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics at the UPC (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya) has developed the world's first portable system for measuring cetacean hearing sensitivity.

Loggerhead Turtle Territories Defined By Salinity of Sea Water In Western Mediterranean:

Spanish researchers have shown that the salinity of sea water could act as a "barrier", preventing the turtles from moving between the areas of the Western Mediterranean. This is why loggerhead turtles from the south and north of the Western Mediterranean do not mix as juveniles. This finding could help in the development of measures to protect this migratory species.

New Movement Models Tested In Panama:

Feeling threatened? Hungry? Looking for a mate? Move! Tracking and remote sensing data are making it easier to locate organisms and find out what they are up to. However, general theories of movement are lacking. In a special feature on Movement Ecology in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers present integrative models for movement of organisms as diverse as gut bacteria, tree seeds, ants, marine larvae and cheetahs.

Mistaken Identity Leads Researchers To Two New Extinct Species Of Coral:

What began as an homage to achievement in the field of coral reef geology has evolved into the discovery of an unexpected link between corals of the Pacific and Atlantic. Dr. Ann F. Budd from the University of Iowa and Dr. Donald McNeill of the University of Miami named a new species of fossil coral found on the Island of Curaçao - some six million years old - after renowned coral reef geologist and University of Miami Rosenstiel School professor, Dr. Robert N. Ginsburg.

Answers To Huge Wind-farm Problems Are Blowin' In The Wind:

While harnessing more energy from the wind could help satisfy growing demands for electricity and reduce emissions of global-warming gases, turbulence from proposed wind farms could adversely affect the growth of crops in the surrounding countryside.

'Follow The Elements' To Understand Evolution In Ancient Oceans:

In the search for life beyond Earth, scientists 'follow the water' to find places that might be hospitable. However, every home gardener knows that plants need more than water, or even sunshine. They also need fertilizer - a mixture of chemical elements that are the building blocks of the molecules of life.

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Hunters Are Depleting Lion And Cougar Populations, Study Finds: Sport hunters are depleting lion and cougar populations as managers respond to demands to control predators that threaten livestock and humans, according to a study published in the June 17 issue of PLoS One. The study was led by…
Dinosaur Bones Reveal Ancient Bug Bites: Paleontologists have long been perplexed by dinosaur fossils with missing pieces - sets of teeth without a jaw bone, bones that are pitted and grooved, even bones that are half gone. Now a Brigham Young University study identifies a culprit: ancient insects…
Bunch of new, cool stuff in PLoS ONE today - here are the titles that piqued my curiosity (and you know the spiel: rate, note, comment, trackback): Australia's Oldest Marsupial Fossils and their Biogeographical Implications: We describe new cranial and post-cranial marsupial fossils from the early…
From the Wildlife Conservation Society: Unless major conservation measure are enacted, Madagascar's turtles and tortoises will continue to crawl steadily toward extinction, according to a recent assessment by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and other groups. With their habitat shrinking and…