August 2006 Archives

As the rush to discover new species continues, several scientists recommend that consideration be made to government protection before a scientific journal article is published. In a letter to the journal Science (Science 26 May 2006), scientists from the United States and Laos provide an interesting and relevant discussion on how the information found in the journals provide spatial information for poachers to aid in the collection of these new and often rare species for the pet trade. The article mentions how one species of salamander, Paramesotriton laoensis, previously not known to be within the pet trade, started being collected and sold following journal publication which included locations of where the salamander could be found.
The August issue of the journal Geology has an article on soft tissue found in 10 Ma (10 Million years old) amphibians. Adult salamanders of the genus Triton were found to have preserved organic tissue including highly decay-prone bone marrow. While the bone marrow maintained some original color and texture, it is unlikely that any DNA has been preserved making a Jurrasic Park for extinct salamander unlikely, at least, within this specimen. Other fossilized specimens may contain preserved organic material much more often than once believed.
I found this online comic, found it rather amusing and thought I'd share. Check out The Black Mudpuppy. A note to the author - If I were you, I'd stop referring to anything associated with this as the "BM" as the acronym BM means something else to most of the English speaking world.