A 20-year assessment of Nicaragua’s legal, artisanal green sea turtle fishery has uncovered a stark reality: greatly reduced overall catch rates of turtles in what may have become an unsustainable take, according to conservation scientists. Growing up to 400 pounds in weight, the green turtle is the second largest sea turtle species next to the leatherback turtle. In addition to the threat from overfishing, the green turtle is at risk from bycatch in various fisheries, poaching of eggs at nesting beaches, habitat deterioration and loss due to coastal development and climate change effects, and pollution.

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An ornithologist has found that the capacity of a bird’s gut to change with environmental conditions is a primary limiting factor in their ability to adapt to the rapidly changing climate. And he believes that most other animals are also limited in a similar way.

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The abundant Puerto Rican coqui frog has experienced changes since the 1980s that are likely due to global warming, biologists report. The call of the male coqui became shorter and higher pitched, and the animal itself has become smaller. The study is the first to show the effect of temperature change on a species of frogs in the tropics over a period of more two decades.

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Scientists have challenged a long held belief about the way certain species of vertebrates evolved. They found that genes evolve more rapidly in species containing germ plasm. The results came about as they put to the test a novel theory that early developmental events dramatically alter the vertebrate body plan and the way evolution proceeds.

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Conservation of coastal rivers of the northern Gulf of Mexico is vital to the survival of the alligator snapping turtle, including two recently discovered species, scientists say. A new study shows the alligator snapping turtle, the largest freshwater turtle in the Western Hemisphere and previously believed to be one species, is actually three separate species.

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The reconstruction of an extinct meat-eating marsupial’s skull, Nimbacinus dicksoni, suggests that it may have had the ability to hunt vertebrate prey exceeding its own body size.

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Dramatic distribution losses and a few major distribution gains are forecasted for southwestern bird and reptile species as the climate changes, according to new research. Overall, the study forecasted species distribution losses — that is, where species are able to live — of nearly half for all but one of the 5 reptile species they examined, including for the iconic chuckwalla.

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Scientists have studied the widely distributed freshwater turtle, Mauremys rivulata. In spite of geographical barriers, the turtles are genetically very similar throughout their vast  distribution range. This would indicate that that animals cross hundreds of kilometers of sea.

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It is often difficult to decide whether two animals belong to the same or two distinct species. This can be especially challenging for animals which externally look very similar. In a recent study, scientists use genetic data and calls analysis to test if treefrogs from West and Central Africa belong to different or the same species.

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Scientists have found the oldest definitive fossil evidence of modern, venomous snakes in Africa. The newly discovered fossils demonstrate that elapid snakes — such as cobras, kraits and sea snakes — were present in Africa as early as 25 million years ago. Elapids belong to a larger group of snakes known as colubroids, active foragers that use a variety of methods, including venom, to capture and kill prey.

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Most satellite tagging studies of leatherbacks have focused on adult females on their tropical nesting beaches, so little is known worldwide about males and subadults, the researcher point out. But now, tagging and satellite tracking in locations where leatherbacks forage has allowed the scientists to get a much richer picture of the leatherback’s behavior and dispersal patterns on the open ocean.

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Animals ‘do the locomotion’ every day, whether it’s walking down the hall to get some coffee or darting up a tree to avoid a predator. And until now, scientists believed the inner workings of movement were pretty much the same. But in a first-of-its-kind study on wild green anole lizards, biologists have discovered that the link between muscle function and movement is a lot more complicated than anyone realized.

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Working on a remote and protected beach in Indonesia, conservationists recently celebrated the release of rare animal hatchlings into the wild, part of a plan to save the olive ridley sea turtle and an extraordinary bird called the maleo. “The joint release of maleos and olive ridleys on the same day is a boost to the conservation of both species in Sulawesi,” said the scientists. “The protection of the beachfront lands which are critical nesting grounds for both species will help safeguard this part of Indonesia’s natural heritage.”

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Small satellite-tracking devices attached to sea turtles swimming off Florida’s coast have delivered first-of-its-kind data that could help unlock they mystery of what endangered turtles do during the ‘lost years.’

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They slither, they hiss, they… fly? Don’t let their wingless bodies fool you —- some snakes can glide as far as 100 feet through the air, jumping off tree branches and rotating their ribs to flatten their bodies and move from side to side. New research investigates the workings behind the flight and whether they can be applied to mechanical issues.

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