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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'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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Olive Sunbirds, Wood Mice and the Race to Save African Wildlife (Gallery)
Gabon bird, biodiversity
December 12th, 2014
Cataloguing chimps, berries and other life in Africa, researchers race to protect biodiversity on a warming planet.
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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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Half of Earth's Wildlife Lost Since 1970, Report Finds
September 30th, 2014
The number of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish on Earth dropped by 52 percent from 1970 to 2010, according to the World Wildlife Fund's newly released Living Planet Report.
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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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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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Balancing the Good and Bad: News for Coral Reefs
reefs cape in the Philippines
January 25th, 2015
Marine ecologist Paul Sikkel discusses his passion for and work with coral reefs and the best ways to protect them.
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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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