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Fulton T.L.,Pennsylvania State University | Wagner S.M.,Pennsylvania State University | Fisher C.,World Museum | Shapiro B.,Pennsylvania State University
Annals of Anatomy | Year: 2012

Passenger Pigeons (Ectopistes migratorius) were once the most abundant bird in North America, with flock sizes estimated in the billions. However, by the turn of the 20th century, this previously abundant species had been driven to extinction. Morphological analyses linked the Passenger Pigeon with the New World mourning doves of the genus Zenaida. However, mitochondrial analyses strongly support its placement within the group of typical pigeons and doves (New and Old World pigeons, cuckoo-doves, turtledoves). Here, the first nuclear DNA sequence obtained for this extinct species confirms the placement of the Passenger Pigeon as sister to the New World pigeons, Patagioenas. These findings have implications for the colonization of North America by pigeons and doves. © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. Source

Reid G.,World Museum | Williams D.M.,Natural History Museum in London
Diatom Research | Year: 2010

A review of the genus Semiorbis is given, including its taxonomie history, a discussion of its current taxonomie position and morphological descriptions. One new species is described and one new combination. Comments on the relationships of Semiorbis with the family Eunotiaceae are made. Semiorbis rotundus sp. nov., is known only from North America; Eunotia catillifera is transferred to the genus Semiorbis. Source

Watanabe T.,Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology | Watanabe T.,Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute | Tanaka J.,Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology | Reid G.,World Museum | And 2 more authors.
Diatom Research | Year: 2013

Delphineis Andrews is a marine araphid pennate diatom genus belonging to the family Rhaphoneidaceae Forti, which has three distinct subgeneric groups around D. lineata Andrews, D. ovata Andrews and D. surirella (Ehrenberg) Andrews, respectively. Living cells and frustules of three taxa in the D. surirella group were studied using light and scanning electron microscopy. Delphineis minutissima (Hustedt) Simonsen is characterized by small, circular to elliptical valves in which the sternum is as narrow as the virgae. The valve outline of D. surirella is broadly elliptical to lanceolate and the straight sternum is laterally expanded at the apices. Delphineis australis comb. nov. has broadly elliptical valves and a sternum that is slightly narrower at the middle of the valve. Delphineis minutissima and D. surirella share the following fine structure features; no granules, plated rota with two spokes, two rimoportulae per valve and two small pores at each apex. The epicingulum of D. minutissima and D. surirella is composed of several open bands; the first and second bands open at opposite ends, the more distal bands are short. © 2013 The International Society for Diatom Research. Source

News Article | February 3, 2016
Site: http://www.techtimes.com/rss/sections/science.xml

After becoming the first UK-born astronaut to carry out a spacewalk, International Space Station crew member Tim Peake took on his next challenge while in space: a question-and-answer session with a group of schoolchildren. The European Space Agency astronaut participated in a live chat event held at the World Museum in Liverpool on Tuesday, where he was quizzed by 25 students from 10 schools in the United Kingdom. One of the students taking part in the interview was 8-year-old Rhys Maguire-Stokes from Blaenymaes Primary. He sent his question to Peake through a tweet because there was no more time left to ask his question live. "How did it feel to walk in space?" Maguire-Stokes said in his message. Amy Smith, a class teacher from Maguire-Stokes' school said that while they were not able to throw their question during the live video feed, they've already tweeted the message and are waiting for Peake's reply. She said that the children had a wonderful time at the event, and when they were able to see Peake on the video screen, their faces lit up. Blaenymaes Primary was among the schools chosen by the Times Education Supplement to take part in the "Cosmic Classroom" event. The school named Maguire-Stokes as its representative, according to Smith. Another student asked Peake about the things that he could see from the ISS's windows. "I have got a window right behind me – let me go take a look," Peake said as he turned from the camera and floated toward one of the windows to see what was outside. This caused the children to burst into laughter. "At the moment we are in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean coming up to the coast of Africa with the beautiful colors of the Sahara Desert." Ten-year-old Matthew Savage from St. Anne's Fulshaw CE Primary in Cheshire asked Peake if he has ever been by meteors while on the ISS. Peake said that they do experience getting hit by small objects, some of which even cause damage, but that "clever people on earth" helped make sure that astronauts like him were safe while in space. Aside from being able to answer the children's questions, the live event also allowed Peake to engage with other students online through the use of an Astro Pi computer. This device was designed and built by British students using Raspberry Pi boards and the Python program as part of the Astro Pi Programming Competition. Two Astro Pi computers were delivered to the space station on Dec. 6 for Peake's use during his six-month stay on the orbital facility.

Howe M.A.,Countryside Council for Wales | Knight G.T.,World Museum | Clee C.,World Museum
Journal of Coastal Conservation | Year: 2010

Although most UK sand dune systems are now fossilized, with little mobility and reducing amounts of bare sand, they support important populations and assemblages of terrestrial invertebrates. Offering open conditions, warm substrates and a range of habitats and habitat structures, they have become increasingly significant as other coastal habitats have been lost. In Wales, 680 Red Data Book and Nationally Scarce species have been recorded from dunes. 109 species in the UK are restricted to dunes, and in Wales there are an additional 145 species confined to dunes and 208 species strongly associated with dunes. Of these, 172 species are dependent upon bare and sparsely-vegetated sand, in grey dunes and early-successional dune grassland, at some stage of their life cycle, rising to 292 species if those associated with the strandline, foredunes, yellow dunes and pioneer dune slacks are included, equating to 63% of the 462 dune species. Bees and wasps are particularly well represented, with 278 species (68% of the Welsh fauna) recorded on Welsh dunes, including 17 obligates and 44 species with a strong dependence, 52 of which are associated with bare and sparsely-vegetated sand. Key to maintaining invertebrate populations on UK dunes is the provision of bare sand but in Wales, bare sand accounts for only 1.7% of the total sand dune resource. As a more appropriate bare sand threshold is likely to range between 10 and 30%, radical action is required to re-mobilize at least the key sand dune systems. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

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