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Stories by Becky Crew


New carnivorous harp sponge discovered in deep sea

You may remember the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) from such discoveries as the Yeti crab, the squid with elbows and my personal favourite, the pigbutt worm, and now they're back with footage of a new species of carnivorous sponge.Seventeen years ago, Jean Vacelet and Nicole Boury-Esnault from the Centre of Oceanology at France's Aix-Marseille University provided the first real evidence that a sponge could be more than, well, a sponge...

November 8, 2012 — Becky Crew

World's rarest whale seen for first time: Spade-toothed whale

We've got an actual photograph of it too, but it's not pretty, so you might want to stop eating before you scroll down...Considered the least known and rarest species of whale, and one of the world’s rarest living mammals, the spade-toothed whale ( Mesoplodon traversii ) has been seen for the first time after a mother and her male calf beached and died on a New Zealand beach.Not only are beaked whales of the family Ziphiidae rare, their ability to dive down to exceptionally deep areas of the ocean in search of squid and other deep-sea fish means they are also very elusive...

November 5, 2012 — Becky Crew

New species of night monkey, porcupine and shrew opossum found in Peru

This week, researchers have announced the discovery of a handful of new species in Peru, including a night monkey, common shrew opossum and porcupine, and the extra great news is that they're all storybook levels of adorable.In September 2011, ecologist Gerardo Ceballos from the Instituto de Ecología at the National Autonomous University of Mexico was part of a team of researchers who conducted a biological inventory of the species living in the Tabaconas Namballe National Sanctuary, which is located on the Atlantic slope of the Peruvian Andes, near the Peru-Ecuador border...

October 2, 2012 — Becky Crew

Ancient digging mammal is a `scaly anteater' relative

Palaeontologists have taken a closer look at the fossilised remains of a rare, 57-million-year-old mammal to discover that this dogged digger was more closely related to the modern-day pangolin, or 'scaly anteater', than we thought.The creature is Ernanodon antelios , an extinct placental species of mammal from Asia that grew to around the size of a badger, with powerful limbs and large, specialised claws for scratch-digging its meals and shelter out of the dry earth...

August 29, 2012 — Becky Crew
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