When the Rhizostoma luteum jellyfish was discovered at the beginning of the 19th century in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar, only nine specimens were identified. For years, it was so inconspicuous that later, in the 20th century, it failed to turn up for six decades. A team of scientists, with the help of a citizen initiative, has now confirmed that it is not really as difficult to find as previously believed.
Tobacco is one of the main sources of toxic substances in the human body. Many people opt for the alternative, the electronic cigarette, to avoid health risks. But a new study reveals that vaping entails the inhalation of inorganic elements, especially rare earth elements, whose toxicity is still unknown.
The persecution of wolves in order to remove them from human settlements has culminated in their near-disappearance in numerous European countries, like Spain and Sweden. Following a recovery of the species, a team of scientists has determined what geographic areas in the Scandinavian country would be most suitable for a redistribution of the specie’s range, in the interests of increasing the social acceptance of wolves.
The pangasius, originally from Vietnam, is one of the most consumed fish in the world for its low cost, mild flavor and fillet presentation without skin or thorns. It is especially requested in school canteens and senior centers. But the toxicological evaluation carried out by a team of Spanish scientists now shows that the mercury content in some samples exceeds all limits, so the consumption of other fish in the child population is recommended.
The bicycle is a cheap and ecological way of transport, and it is also a healthy option. This is why the number of cyclists in cities has increased in recent years, but so has the accident rate. A study confirms that these incidents are caused by a combination of inadequate infrastructures and risk behaviour on the part of drivers and cyclists.
Foxes are one of the main predators of rabbits in Spain, but instead of going to hunt them where they abound, these carnivores prefer roads to find run-over animals or trash. The result is that the foxes themselves are overrun. A team of scientists analyzes the cascading effects that occur on Spanish roads with carnivorous mammals.
In recent years, egg production has been in the spotlight for animal welfare issues. While in most European countries the number of farms with free-range hens increases, in Spain 93% of laying hens are still caged. Added to this are the effects that the industry generates on the environment. A team of Spanish scientists reveals the environmental cost of egg production in a typical farm in Spain.
The Andes mountain range hides many biological treasures between its altitudes. One of them is the great diversity of frogs that is coming to light little by little thanks to the work of a Spanish researcher, among others. The biologist has discovered many new amphibian species in the last decade, including a new genus. Its latest finding is that of a small brown frog in the Cordillera Real de los Andes of Bolivia, which due to its limited distribution area should be considered 'vulnerable'.
If a high-speed train runs at 185 m/h through little urbanized areas, it is possible that some animals will be surprised in their path. This is the case of birds such as magpies, pigeons, crows or buzzards, whose death due to run over has not been scientifically analyzed or quantified so far. A study has now allowed obtaining the first estimates in Spain.
About 95 million years ago, a river turtle adapted to marine environments and made an extraordinary migration from the ancient continent of Gondwana, which grouped what is now Africa and South America, to Laurasia, the Northern continental mass of which Europe, Asia and North America were part. Its remains, found in the town of Algora in Guadalajara (Spain) and in Portugal, are the evidence of the first known dispersal event of a turtle from Gondwana.