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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Tarantula in Black: Dark, Hairy Spider Named After Johnny Cash
February 4th, 2016
Tarantulas take a starring role in a new study that reorganizes their group, reclassifying the majority of 55 known tarantula species and adding 14 new ones.
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Photos: Hidden Cameras Find Diverse Animals in Tropical Forests
camera trap biodiversity images
January 25th, 2016
Camera trap images represent birds and ground-dwelling mammals living in highly diverse ecosystems in protected areas.
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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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Peering Inside a Leech Named for Author Amy Tan
February 2nd, 2016
Acclaimed writer Amy Tan — author of numerous best-selling novels, collections of essays and children's books — will now also be known for inspiring the name of Chtonobdella tanae, a ground-dwelling leech from Australia.
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Manatees Are Making a Comeback
January 14th, 2016
The future is looking brighter for manatees — the gentle, roly-poly marine mammals once mistaken by sailors for mythic mermaids.
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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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Animal 'Selfies' Reveal Amazing Biodiversity in Tropical Forests
January 25th, 2016
A network of motion-activated cameras monitored by conservationists is capturing millions of photos of unsuspecting wildlife, helping scientists to glimpse the big picture of worldwide biodiversity in protected areas.
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Lions Gain New Endangered Species Protections
December 21st, 2015
African lions will be protected by the Endangered Species Act, according to an announcement made Dec. 21, 2015, by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
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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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