GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Many ancient crustaceans went extinct following a massive collapse of reefs across the planet, and new University of Florida research suggests modern species living in rapidly declining reef habitats may now be at risk.
Available online and scheduled to appear in the November issue of Geology, the study shows a direct correlation between the amount of prehistoric reefs and the number of decapod crustaceans, a group that includes shrimp, crab and lobster. The decline of modern reefs due to natural and human-influenced changes also could be detrimental, causing a probable decrease in the biodiversity of crustaceans, which serve as a vital food source for humans and marine animals such as fish, said lead author Adiël Klompmaker, a postdoctoral researcher at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the UF campus who started the study at Kent State University. (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History scientists have received a three-year, $458,104 National Science Foundation grant to research a common, but often misidentified, butterfly group.
The diverse subtribe Euptychiina is found throughout the Americas, with most species occurring in grasslands and forests from the U.S. to Argentina. Its classification, however, is highly disorganized. Recent research shows at least 20 percent of the group’s species have no scientific name and about 65 percent of the genera are invalid. Museum collections serve many important roles, including helping scientists better understand where species occur and how the environment changes over time.
With hundreds of thousands of Euptychiina specimens stored in museum collections worldwide, (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Discover the many species inhabiting your yard, home and body at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s first “Science Café” of the fall series on Sept 30.
The program begins at 6:30 p.m. at Saboré, 13005 SW First Road, Suite 129, Town of Tioga. The restaurant opens at 6 p.m. and offers a limited menu for attendees. University of Florida guest speakers Andrea Lucky, assistant research scientist for the entomology and nematology department and Jiri Hulcr, assistant professor at the School of Forest Resources and Conservation will describe “The Beauty and Complexity of Insects, Fungi and Microbes Under (and on) Your Feet.”
“Biodiversity is all around us, including our own backyards, not just in faraway places,” Hulcr said. “There is so much we are still discovering about the wildlife that lives around us, and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Don your beachwear and join the Florida Museum of Natural History for a “surf’s up fun for all ages” celebration of its newest temporary exhibits, “Surfing Florida: A Photographic History” and “Surf Science: Waves and Wildlife,” Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The free family-friendly event celebrates the significance of Florida’s coastal waters and its role in the ecosystem. Learn about beach and sea animals while discovering the biology of bioluminescence through an interactive display. Guests can test their surfing skills on “Robo-surfer,” an inflatable mechanical surfing simulator operated and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The migration of mature female tiger sharks during late summer and fall to the main Hawaiian Islands, presumably to give birth, could provide insight into attacks in that area, according to a University of Florida scientist.
In a new seven-year study, researchers from UF and the University of Hawaii used new techniques to analyze the predators’ movements in the Hawaiian archipelago, where recent shark incidents have gained international attention, including a fatal attack in August. The study revealed different patterns between males and females – less inter-island movement was seen in males, while about 25 percent of mature females moved from the remote French Frigate Shoals atoll to the main Hawaiian Islands during late summer and early fall. The peer-reviewed authors’ manuscript is available online and tentatively scheduled to appear in the November print issue of Ecology. (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will celebrate its eighth annual ButterflyFest Oct. 19-20.
The free event celebrates the importance of backyard wildlife and its role in the ecosystem and includes the largest butterfly plant sale of the year beginning Friday, Oct. 18.
Visitors will have the opportunity to view Lepidoptera specimens normally not displayed and speak with representatives from groups including the Florida Bluebird Society, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Lubee Bat Conservancy, and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — When it comes to public access, the tree of life has holes.
A new study co-authored by University of Florida researchers shows about 70 percent of published genetic sequence comparisons are not publicly accessible, leaving researchers worldwide unable to get to critical data they may need to tackle a host a problems ranging from climate change to disease control.
Scientists are using the genetic data to construct the first comprehensive open-access tree of life as part of the National Science Foundation’s $5.6-million Assembling, Visualizing and Analyzing the Tree of Life project. Understanding organismal relationships is increasingly valuable for tracking the origin and spread of emerging diseases, creating agricultural and pharmaceutical products, studying climate change, controlling invasive species and establishing plans for conservation and ecosystem restoration.
The study appearing today in PLoS Biology describes a significant (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — “Catch the wave” at the Florida Museum of Natural History as it opens two new temporary surfing exhibits Aug. 31.
“Surfing Florida: A Photographic History” explores the sport’s rich cultural history in Florida, while “Surf Science: Waves and Wildlife” mixes museum specimens with interactive stations to provide interesting details about animals that live at the beach, some of which also surf. (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Explore the rich archaeology of St. Augustine through an all-day trip Aug. 3 with the Florida Museum of Natural History and University of Florida Creative B program.
Gain an all access pass to the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, Colonial Quarter, Castillo de San Marcos and Government House Museum. The trip also includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the Florida Museum’s upcoming exhibit “First Colony: Our Spanish Origins,” which highlights St. Augustine as the nation’s oldest permanent European settlement. The exhibit is scheduled to open to the public in October.
“This trip provides an experience only the museum can offer,” said museum education assistant Tiffany Ireland. “Participants have the opportunity to visit important sites led by the scientists and researchers who have excavated and study artifacts detailing the 500-year-old culture and history of St. Augustine. (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History is continuing its popular “A for Science” free admission program for K-12 students statewide.
Students who receive an “A” or “E” grade in a science can provide their most recent report card at the front desk and receive a free admission with the purchase of a paid regular price adult admission.
The offer is valid for the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit, the “Titanoboa: Monster Snake” exhibit open through Aug. 11, or a value admission for both exhibits. Beginning Aug. 31, the offer is valid for the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit, the new “Surfing Florida: A Photographic History” and “Surf Science: Waves and Wildlife” exhibits, or a value admission (more…)