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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Ancient Toothy Mammal Survived Dino Apocalypse
Ancient mammal illustration
October 5th, 2015
A furry, beaverlike mammal that survived the apocalyptic dinosaur-killing space rock that crashed to Earth 66 million years ago hid out in what is now New Mexico, grinding up leafy meals with its enormous molars.
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Surprise! Newfound Venomous Spider Drops in on Scientists
The new funnel-web spider.
September 10th, 2015
Do you love surprises? What about surprises involving venomous spiders?
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'Base Jumping' Spider Soars from Rainforest Treetops
The "flattie" spider.
August 18th, 2015
Certain spiders have evolved a novel way of gliding through their rainforest habitat.
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King Crabs Arrive in Antarctic, with Claws Out for Biodiversity
A king crab.
September 30th, 2015
The king crab could soon take over a whole new kingdom, and it has global warming to thank for the conquest.
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The Rare and Exotic Animals of Russia's Far East (Photos)
Beauty abounds in Russia
September 4th, 2015
The Russian Far East hosts some of the world's most exotic creatures, many represented by just a few hundred remaining animals that exist nowhere else.
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Wild Beauty: Winning Ecology Photos Feature Sunbirds and Zebras
bmc photos, waterlilies in madagascar
August 3rd, 2015
The winning photos from a recent ecology photo contest prove that Mother Nature is always ready for her close-up.
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New Sea Dragon Species Flaunts Ruby-Red Skin
sea dragon images
February 18th, 2015
For the first time in 150 years, researchers have found a new species of sea dragon, a marine creature with "unusual red coloration," according to a new study.
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'Doomsday' Seed Vault: The Science Behind World's Arctic Storage Cube
September 24th, 2015
The ongoing civil war in Syria has led to the first-ever withdrawal from the Svalbard "doomsday" Global Seed Vault.
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Kermit the Cannibal? Frogs Sometimes Eat Each Other
A frog eating another frog.
September 4th, 2015
It's a frog-eat-frog world out there.
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Cartwheeling Spider, Corpse-Hoarding Wasp Among Bizarre New Species
This agile spider (<em>Cebrennus rechenbergi</em>) cartwheels its way out of danger.
May 21st, 2015
A morbidly maternal wasp, a crop-circle-creating pufferfish and an acrobatic arachnid are among the bizarre and awe-inspiring new species named in 2014, according to a new ranking.
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