Biology focuses on a single living organism at a time, examining the life stages, reproduction, morphology and range. In the case of fauna, there is considerable attention to the motor and social behavior of each species. For both animals and plants, biologists examine carefully the relationship of organisms to nutrient sources. Subject species may be microscopic as small as bacteria, or include the largest creatures ever known, such as present day cetaceans or extinct dinosaurs. Some biology studies focus on the reconstruction of events deep back into prehistory, while other research is preoccupied with events that are happening today and forward into the future.
A mutation is an alteration of the genomic sequence of DNA molecules. Mutations may cause altered function in the affected organism, or may cause alteration of inherited traits of...
Panamanian dry forestsLast Updated on 2013-11-04 17:59:07The Panamanian dry forests ecoregion occupies approximately 2000 square miles of coastal and near-coastal areas on the Pacific side of Panama, around portions of the Gulf of Panama.
Originally, the Panama dry forests were distributed exclusively in the lower and premontane portions of the Pacific versanta region of land sloping in one general direction (0-800 metres in elevation), around the Gulf of Panama;. This ecoregion has a dry climate and intermediate flora diversity, which is distributed in distinct areas, such as small residual deciduous and semi-deciduous forests and gallery forests along the rivers.
Habitat destruction of this ecoregion has been extensive, with overgrazing, agricultural conversion and urbanization and resultant fragmentation, strong pressure for cattle ranching, burning, and hunting.This process of habitat destruction began in earnest with the Spanish... More »
Windward Islands dry forestsLast Updated on 2013-11-01 10:33:27The Windward Islands dry forests ecoregion is sparsely distributed among the Windward Island Group of the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles. It is typically found as an intermediate gradient between the more mesichabitat characterized by moderate soil moisture, high-elevation forests and the xeric, coastal areas. Much of this ecoregion has been substantially altered by shifting cultivation. Many areas that were once dry evergreen or semi-evergreen seasonal forest, are now cultivated and dominated by farms, rural villages, roads, pastures and banana tree patches. This ecoregion shares flora and fauna with adjacent moist forests and, in some areas, with species native to coastal habitats. Arid coastal areas and inaccessible interior mountains put a disproportionate amount of human-related pressures (i.e., agricultural expansion, roads, buildings) on this ecoregion. Consequently,... More »
Florida Black BearLast Updated on 2013-10-29 16:30:17When the American black bear (Ursus americanus) in Florida was first scientifically described in 1896 by naturalist C. Hart Merriam, he thought its long skull and highly arched nasal bones distinguished it from black bears in other areas and classified it as a separate species (Ursus floridanus), which he called the Everglades bear. Subsequent analyses around 1960 revised the status of these bears to the Florida black bear (U. a. floridanus), one of 16 recognized subspecies .
Species:-- Ursus americanus Pallas, 1780
Black bears are... More »
Terai-Duar savanna and grasslandsLast Updated on 2013-10-24 16:27:14TheTerai-Duar savanna and grasslands ecoregion contains the highest densities of tigers, rhinos, and ungulates in Asia. One of the features that elevates it to the Global 200 is the diversity of ungulate species and extremely high levels of ungulate biomass recorded in riverine grasslands and grassland-forest mosaics.
The world's tallest grasslands, found in this ecoregion, are the analogue of the world's tallest forests and are a phenomenon unto themselves. Very tall grasslands are rare worldwide in comparison with short grasslands and are some of the most threatened ecoregion units. Tall grasslands are indicators of mesichabitat characterized by moderate soil moisture or wet conditions and nutrient-rich soils; most have been converted to agricultural use.
The Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands ecoregion sits at the base of the Himalaya Mountains, the world's youngest... More »
Zambezian Cryptosepalum dry forestsLast Updated on 2013-10-24 00:17:39The Zambezian cryptosepalum dry forests are found chiefly in Zambia, with this distinctive evergreen forest being confined to an area around the Kabompo River. Dominated by the native tree Cryptosepalum exfoliatum pseudotaxus, this is the largest area of tropical evergreen forest outside of the equatorial zone. Growing on infertile Kalahari sands and without permanent surface water, the Cryptosepalum dry forest has remained relatively uninhabited by humans. These forests represent a transition from Guineo-Congolian rainforest to Zambezian woodlands and are hence species-rich, but exhibit a low endemism. The avifauna is especially rich, with a mixture of moist evergreen species, woodland species and wide-ranging species. However, little research has been conducted in this inaccessible region and basic ecological and habitat use assessments are still needed.
This small but... More »
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