Hurdia victoria was originally described in 1912 as a crustacean-like animal. Now, researchers from Uppsala University and colleagues reveal it to be just one part of a complex and remarkable new animal that has an important story to tell about the origin of the largest group of living animals, the arthropods.
People have always been fascinated by bats, but the scope of that interest generally is limited to how bats fly and their bizarre habit of sleeping upside down. Until now, no one had studied how bats arrive at their daytime perches. A Brown University-led research team is the first to document the landing approaches of three species of bats -- two that live in caves and one that roosts in trees. What they found was surprising: Not all bats land the same way.
The prevailing belief to date has been that the streams of south eastern Spain contained nothing of interest. However, a research project by the University of Murcia has shown that these ecosystems, which are unique in Europe, are home to great plant and animal biodiversity. This has enabled the research team to explode the myth that arid systems do not contain any organisms of interest, and to call for them to be protected because of their ecological value.