Jul 3

Arkive’s Week in Review — Wildlife News

ICYMI: Arkive has compiled some of the biggest and most interesting headlines from this week.

Article originally published on Friday, Jun 26, 2015

More endangered pygmy sloths discovered in Panama than previously estimated


Pygmy three-toed sloth

Researchers estimate that there are between 500 – 1500 pygmy sloths residing on the Isla Escudo de Veraguas. At this time, the sloth’s island habitat is only partially protected.

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Article originally published on Saturday, Jun 27, 2015

First lions to return to Rwanda after two decades


Asiatic lion and lioness

Seven lions, two males and five females, are being transported to Rwanda’s Akagera National Park from South Africa. The lions were chosen based on their future reproductive potential and ability to contribute to social cohesion.

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Article originally published on Sunday, Jun 28, 2015

Will animals of the future only be safe in captivity?


Indri infant clinging to branch

In the future, perhaps lemurs, rhinos, and tigers will only survive with constant surveillance and protection. While it may seem excessive, it has already happened for the last remaining northern white rhinos. However, it may not work for all animals, like the indri that has a complex diet of leaves eaten at different times.

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Southern white rhinoceros getting up off ground

Article originally published on Monday, Jun 29, 2015

The truth about tarantulas: not too big, not too scary


Curlyhair tarantula

Tarantulas are often erroneously believed to be big, deadly and prone to attacking humans. In actuality, the original tarantula (Lycosa tarantula) is actually a small, innocuous wolf spider. The spiders mistakenly called tarantulas belong to the family Theraphosidae.

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Article originally published on Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Meet Hades, the centipede from hell


Amazonian giant centipede on branch

A newly discovered centipede has been named Geophilus hadesi, after the mythological god of the underworld. The centipede spends it entire life in its dark, underground environment. One specimen was collected from a depth of 3,609 feet.

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Article originally published on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2015

Australia commits to saving the Great Barrier Reef – but still plans to mine more coal


Catalaphyllia jardinei colony

Australia has made a 35 year agreement with the United Nations to restore the Great Barrier Reef. Corals have diminished by 50 percent in the last three decades. Despite the agreement, Australia is still attempting to become the world’s leading producer and exporter of coal, which has led to the reef’s decline.

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Article originally published on Thursday, Jul 2, 2015

Climate change: Lizards switch sex


Dwarf bearded dragon

It appears that increasing temperatures have led male central bearded dragons to change their gender and become females. These new females can produce twice as many eggs as standard females. These lizards belong to the genus Pogona that includes the dwarf bearded dragon.

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Enjoy your weekend!

William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA


Mar 2
Photo of Ctenella chagius in coral reef habitat

Ctenella coral (Ctenella chagius)

Species: Ctenella coral (Ctenella chagius)

Status: Endangered (EN)

Interesting Fact: Ctenella chagius is the only coral species in the Meandrinidae family to occur in the Indian Ocean rather than in the Caribbean Sea.

Ctenella chagius forms hemispherical colonies which are green, cream or light brown and have wavy ridges across their surface. As in other corals, the colonies of this species are composed of numerous small, anemone-like animals known as polyps. The polyps secrete a hard skeleton which over many generations helps to form a coral reef. Ctenella chagius is found only in the Chagos Archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, where it lives on reef slopes and in lagoons at depths of up to 45 metres.

Like other corals, Ctenella chagius is threatened by climate change, which is likely to cause increased sea temperatures and more frequent, damaging storms. Rising carbon dioxide levels are also making the ocean more acidic, making it harder for corals to produce their hard skeleton, while other threats to corals include human development, overfishing, pollution and invasive species. Fortunately, much of the range of Ctenella chagius is now protected in the world’s largest marine reserve, the Chagos Archipelago Marine Protected Area. This area now needs to be effectively enforced, and further research is needed into Ctenella chagius and the threats it faces.

Find out more about conservation in the Chagos Archipelago at the Chagos Conservation Trust.

Find out more about coral conservation at Reef Check and The Coral Reef Alliance.

See images of Ctenella chagius on ARKive.

Corals feature in ARKive’s new online game – play Team Wild here!

Liz Shaw, ARKive Text Author


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