Connect to share and comment

Escargot could follow the dodo, scientists warn

Snails, one of France's signature dishes, could be off the menu if the country fails to stem an invasion by a slimy worm from Southeast Asia, scientists warned on Tuesday. The warning is being sounded over a voracious species called the New Guinea flatworm. It is already on a list of the 100 most dangerous invasive species in the world as it has a relentless appetite for native snails and earthworms in places where it has been introduced.

Mollusc shells inspire super-glass

Engineers intrigued by the toughness of mollusc shells, which are composed of brittle minerals, have found inspiration in their structure to make glass 200 times stronger than a standard pane. Counter-intuitively, the glass is strengthened by introducing a network of microscopic cracks, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications on Tuesday.

Endangered Philippine eagle killed by falling branch

A rare Philippine eagle, whose species is on the brink of extinction, was killed inside a conservation group's breeding centre when a branch fell on its cage, the centre said Saturday. The 15-year-old male bird, named 'Arakan', was one of about 250 adult Philippine eagles remaining according to the Swiss-based International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which lists the species as "critically endangered".

Over 8,000 pig-nosed turtles rescued in Indonesia

Indonesian officials said Friday they have rescued more than 8,000 baby pig-nosed turtles hidden in suitcases and thought to be destined for China and Singapore. A total of 2,968 were discovered in four suitcases at the airport serving the capital Jakarta after arriving from the remote eastern Papua region, said Zaenal Abidi, quarantine official. "The suitcases were full of plastic boxes holding 15 to 20 turtles each. Sadly, 14 of them were dead on arrival," he said.

Over 8,000 pig-nosed turtles rescued in Indonesia

Indonesian officials said Friday they have rescued more than 8,000 baby pig-nosed turtles hidden in suitcases and thought to be destined for China and Singapore. A total of 2,968 were discovered in four suitcases at the airport serving the capital Jakarta after arriving from the remote eastern Papua region, said Zaenal Abidi, quarantine official. "The suitcases were full of plastic boxes holding 15 to 20 turtles each. Sadly, 14 of them were dead on arrival," he said.

Japan transfers 7 crested ibises to China

Japan handed to China on Wednesday seven crested ibises that were born in central Japan to birds provided earlier by China. The Japanese Environment Ministry transported the seven ibises -- picked from a group of 13 born at the Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Conservation Center in Niigata Prefecture from last year -- from Sado Island to Niigata airport where a handover ceremony was held.

Scorpions, beetles on menu at Paris bar

At a tiny bar in Paris's Montmartre district, chef Elie Daviron is happy to admit his new menu has disgusted some clients while others need two or three drinks before they can face it. Amid the guacamole, chicken tikka and chili hotdogs, the young chef is conducting a "gastronomical experiment" with what he calls a selection of "insect tapas". Grasshoppers, beetles, scorpions and two different types of worm -- sango and silk -- are the latest additions to his fare.

Philippines probes death of rare eagle released in wild

Wildlife authorities said Saturday they are investigating the death of a rare Philippine eagle, one of the world's largest and most endangered raptors, shortly after it was captured by a local resident. The carcass of the giant bird, belonging to a species that is threatened with extinction, was recovered from a resident of Gingoog city on the southern island of Mindanao, the Philippine Eagle Foundation said. It had only been released into the wild by conservationists two months earlier.

Earliest nervous system shows split in species' tree

Palaeontologists on Wednesday said they had uncovered the earliest known complete nervous system, found in an unusual fossilised creature that lived 520 million years ago. Measuring just three centimetres (slightly over an inch) long, the animal belongs to the megacheirans, a group of clawed marine animals that lived during the Cambrian, a time of riotous biodiversity. Found in the Chengjiang formation, a treasure trove of fossils in southwestern China's Yunnan province, the museum specimen shows the spine, eyes, brain and ganglia in exquisite detail, the scientists said.

Rare mosquito fossil shows female's blood-filled belly

A unique 46-million-year-old mosquito fossil with a belly full of dried blood has been found in a Montana riverbed, US researchers said Monday. "It is an extremely rare fossil, the only one of its kind in the world," said Dale Greenwalt, lead author of the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Cutting-edge instruments detected the unmistakable traces of iron in her engorged abdomen, but just what creature that blood came from is a mystery since DNA cannot be extracted from a fossil that old.
Syndicate content