Biodiversity

Biodiversity is a contraction of the phrase "biological diversity," and refers to the variability of life within a species (judged by the variations in its genetic makeup), an ecosystem, a region and even across the planet. The biodiversity of the Amazon, one of the most biodiverse places on Earth, would include the terrestrial species found in the rainforest, the birds that fly in its skies and the aquatic creatures that swim in the Amazon River. But one could also examine the biodiversity of the Amazon River itself. Biodiversity varies widely across the globe, from places of high biodiversity, such as rainforests and coral reefs, and areas of lower biodiversity, such as agricultural fields. High biodiversity is often considered a sign of a healthy ecosystem, and many conservation efforts are aimed preserving biodiversity. Read below for stories on studies of biodiversity.
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Lonesome No More: George the Giant Tortoise on Public Display in NYC
lonesome George, tortoises, pinta island tortoise subspecies, endangered species
September 19th, 2014
The famous giant tortoise, Lonesome George, holds his head high, even in death.
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Amazon's Biggest Fish Faces Threat of Extinction
Arapaima Fish
August 12th, 2014
Measuring 10 feet long and weighing in at more than 400 pounds, it's hard to imagine that the arapaima, the largest fish in the Amazon River basin, could ever go missing. But these huge fish are quickly disappearing from Brazilian waterways.
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Strange Stone Spheres Top List of New World Heritage Spots
Mysterious stone spheres dot the Pre-Colombian Chiefdom Settlements of the Diquis in Costa Rica, which is now a World Heritage site.
June 23rd, 2014
Mysterious stone spheres in Costa Rica and white chalk cliffs in Denmark are among the newest World Heritage Sites designated by UNESCO. The sites are chosen for their universal value and natural and historical importance.
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6th Mass Extinction? Humans Kill Species Faster Than They're Created
Sumatran rhino
September 8th, 2014
Species are dying off thousands of times faster than they are being created, according to new research that highlights the planet's looming biodiversity crisis. The study also suggests humans are on the verge of causing a sixth mass extinction on Earth.
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Coffee Genome Reveals Why Your Java Smells So Good
Unripe coffee berries still on the branch.
September 5th, 2014
Not all caffeine is created equal. Researchers recently sequenced the genome of the coffee plant and found that the caffeine in your morning cup evolved independently from caffeine found in other plants.
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Predicting How Biodiversity Affects Disease
collecting samples from skin
July 16th, 2014
With the increase of cross-species disease it is important to understand how disease, species-interactions and biodiversity interact.
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