New shark species described

An Atlantic sixgill pup found off the coast of Belize. Credit: Ivy Baremore/MarAlliance Colleagues around the world are finding new species every day showing us how much we still have to learn about our planet's biodiversity. That being said, it is fairly rare that a new species of shark is described or resurrected based on additional evidence. Scientists of the Florida Institute of Technology confirmed after decades of uncertainty that sixgill sharks residing in the Atlantic Ocean are…

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Extinction cascades

Current species extinction rates are at unprecedentedly high levels. While human activities can be the direct cause of some extinctions, it is becoming increasingly clear that species extinctions themselves can be the cause of further extinctions, since species affect each other through the network of ecological interactions among them. There is concern that the simplification of ecosystems, due to the loss of species and ecological interactions, increases their vulnerability to such secondary extinctions. It is…

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Intent to Kill and the Forensics of Hang Fire

There has been a ton of debate online in the wake of the latest shootings in the States. One thing no one argues about is whether or not the shooters intended to commit murder, because of course they did. Canadians, on the other hand, have been debating the question of intent – in the Gerald Stanley/Colten Boushie case. Did Stanley shoot to kill, or did his gun experience a rare malfunction? Called hang fire, it…

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Who’s Your Favourite Fantasy Author?

Confession: I’ve been hoarding Terry Pratchett novels ever since he first announced he had Alzheimer’s disease. I’ve been doling them out to myself as rare and hard-to-earn rewards because I knew there would come a day that he wouldn’t be able to write any more. And on that day, I would lose forever the joy of reading one of his works for the very first time. I read Snuff as my treat for finishing the…

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Weekend reads

In time for the weekend this time - here in Canada a long one. Lots of interesting and diverse topics.Temporal changes in arthropod activity in tropical anthropogenic forestsArthropod communities in the tropics are increasingly impacted by rapid changes in land use. Because species showing distinct seasonal patterns of activity are thought to be at higher risk of climate-related extirpation, global warming is generally considered a lower threat to arthropod biodiversity in the tropics than in…

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