• The barnacle Amphibalanus improvisus (Darwin, 1854), and the mitten crab Eriocheir: one invasive species getting off on another!

      Naser, M; Rainbow, P; Clark, P; Yasser, A; Jones, D (Regional Euro-Asian Biological Invasions Centre, 2015-06-16)
    • Bear wasps of the Middle Kingdom: a decade of discovering China's bumblebees

      Williams, PH; Huang, J; An, J (Royal Entomological Society, 2017-04-01)
      Bumble bees are well known for being among the most important pollinators in the world’s north-temperate regions. Perhaps more surprisingly, half of the world’s bumble bee species are concentrated in just one country, China. With an area only slightly smaller than the U.S., China has almost three times as many species.
    • Bees, wasps, flowers and other biological records from Hartslock Nature Reserve, Berkshire UK: records made 2015-2016

      Notton, DG (Natural History Museum, 2018-07-20)
      Abstract: A list of records of bees, wasps, and the flowers they visit and other biological records recorded during 2015-2016 from Hartslock Nature Reserve, Berkshire UK and vicinity. Collections were made in order to provide fresh material for DNA sequencing for a national DNA barcode database of British Bees (Tang et al., 2017). Voucher specimens are preserved in the collection of the Natural HIstory Museum London. Hartslock is a Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) managed by the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT).
    • Beyond dead trees: integrating the scientific process in the Biodiversity Data Journal

      Smith, V; Georgiev, T; Stoev, P; Biserkov, J; Miller, J; Livermore, L; Baker, E; Mietchen, D; Couvreur, T; Mueller, G; et al. (2013-09-16)
    • Beyond the EDGE with EDAM: Prioritising British Plant Species According to Evolutionary Distinctiveness, and Accuracy and Magnitude of Decline

      Pearse, WD; Chase, MW; Crawley, MJ; Dolphin, K; Fay, MF; Joseph, JA; Powney, G; Preston, CD; Rapacciuolo, G; Roy, DB; et al. (2015-05-27)
    • Beyond the “Code”: A Guide to the Description and Documentation of Biodiversity in Ciliated Protists (Alveolata, Ciliophora)

      Warren, A; Patterson, DJ; Dunthorn, M; Clamp, JC; Achilles-Day, UEM; Aescht, E; Al-Farraj, SA; Al-Quraishy, S; Al-Rasheid, K; Carr, M; et al. (2017-07)
    • Bidirectional Introgressive Hybridization between a Cattle and Human Schistosome Species

      Huyse, T; Webster, BL; Geldof, S; Stothard, JR; Diaw, OT; Polman, K; Rollinson, D; Kazura, JW (PLOS, 2009-09-04)
      Schistosomiasis is a disease of great medical and veterinary importance in tropical and subtropical regions, caused by parasitic flatworms of the genus Schistosoma (subclass Digenea). Following major water development schemes in the 1980s, schistosomiasis has become an important parasitic disease of children living in the Senegal River Basin (SRB). During molecular parasitological surveys, nuclear and mitochondrial markers revealed unexpected natural interactions between a bovine and human Schistosoma species: S. bovis and S. haematobium, respectively. Hybrid schistosomes recovered from the urine and faeces of children and the intermediate snail hosts of both parental species, Bulinus truncatus and B. globosus, presented a nuclear ITS rRNA sequence identical to S. haematobium, while the partial mitochondrial cox1 sequence was identified as S. bovis. Molecular data suggest that the hybrids are not 1st generation and are a result of parental and/or hybrid backcrosses, indicating a stable hybrid zone. Larval stages with the reverse genetic profile were also found and are suggested to be F1 progeny. The data provide indisputable evidence for the occurrence of bidirectional introgressive hybridization between a bovine and a human Schistosoma species. Hybrid species have been found infecting B. truncatus, a snail species that is now very abundant throughout the SRB. The recent increase in urinary schistosomiasis in the villages along the SRB could therefore be a direct effect of the increased transmission through B. truncatus. Hybridization between schistosomes under laboratory conditions has been shown to result in heterosis (higher fecundity, faster maturation time, wider intermediate host spectrum), having important implications on disease prevalence, pathology and treatment. If this new hybrid exhibits the same hybrid vigour, it could develop into an emerging pathogen, necessitating further control strategies in zones where both parental species overlap.
    • Bidirectional Introgressive Hybridization between a Cattle and Human Schistosome Species

      Huyse, Tine; Webster, BL; Geldof, Sarah; Stothard, J Russell; Diaw, Oumar T; Polman, Katja; Rollinson, D (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2009-09-04)
      Schistosomiasis is a disease of great medical and veterinary importance in tropical and subtropical regions, caused by parasitic flatworms of the genus Schistosoma (subclass Digenea). Following major water development schemes in the 1980s, schistosomiasis has become an important parasitic disease of children living in the Senegal River Basin (SRB). During molecular parasitological surveys, nuclear and mitochondrial markers revealed unexpected natural interactions between a bovine and human Schistosoma species: S. bovis and S. haematobium, respectively. Hybrid schistosomes recovered from the urine and faeces of children and the intermediate snail hosts of both parental species, Bulinus truncatus and B. globosus, presented a nuclear ITS rRNA sequence identical to S. haematobium, while the partial mitochondrial cox1 sequence was identified as S. bovis. Molecular data suggest that the hybrids are not 1st generation and are a result of parental and/or hybrid backcrosses, indicating a stable hybrid zone. Larval stages with the reverse genetic profile were also found and are suggested to be F1 progeny. The data provide indisputable evidence for the occurrence of bidirectional introgressive hybridization between a bovine and a human Schistosoma species. Hybrid species have been found infecting B. truncatus, a snail species that is now very abundant throughout the SRB. The recent increase in urinary schistosomiasis in the villages along the SRB could therefore be a direct effect of the increased transmission through B. truncatus. Hybridization between schistosomes under laboratory conditions has been shown to result in heterosis (higher fecundity, faster maturation time, wider intermediate host spectrum), having important implications on disease prevalence, pathology and treatment. If this new hybrid exhibits the same hybrid vigour, it could develop into an emerging pathogen, necessitating further control strategies in zones where both parental species overlap.
    • Biesiespoort revisited: a case study on the relationship between tetrapod assemblage zones and Beaufort lithostratigraphy south of Victoria West

      Day, Michael Oliver; Rubidge, Bruce; Choiniere, J (University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg, 2018-12-01)
      The relationship between the tetrapod assemblage zones of the South African Karoo Basin and the lithostratigraphic divisions of the Beaufort Group is well-established, and provides an independent means of dating fossil occurrences. However, this relationship may not be consistent across the basin; a discrepancy exists between the historical tetrapod assemblages in the vicinity of Victoria West, Northern Cape Province, and the expected tetrapod assemblage zones based on mapped geology. In order to examine this disconnect, we collected fossils at two localities close to Biesiespoort railway station, a locality that was visited on a number of occasions by Robert Broom. Our fossil samples support the biostratigraphic determinations of Broom and thus confirm that the stratigraphic extent of the biozones at these localities differs from their type areas further south. The reasons for this are unclear but could be related to the northward younging of the lithological units, implying complex depositional processes, or result from difficulties in mapping. Nevertheless, caution should be exercised when using mapped geology near Victoria West as a guide to the age of fossils found there.
    • Biesiespoort revisited: a case study on the relationship between tetrapod assemblage zones and Beaufort lithostratigraphy south of Victoria West

      Day, M; Rubidge, BS (University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg, 2018-12)
      The relationship between the tetrapod assemblage zones of the South African Karoo Basin and the lithostratigraphic divisions of the Beaufort Group is well-established, and provides an independent means of dating fossil occurrences. However, this relationship may not be consistent across the basin; a discrepancy exists between the historical tetrapod assemblages in the vicinity of Victoria West, Northern Cape Province, and the expected tetrapod assemblage zones based on mapped geology. In order to examine this disconnect, we collected fossils at two localities close to Biesiespoort railway station, a locality that was visited on a number of occasions by Robert Broom. Our fossil samples support the biostratigraphic determinations of Broom and thus confirm that the stratigraphic extent of the biozones at these localities differs from their type areas further south. The reasons for this are unclear but could be related to the northward younging of the lithological units, implying complex depositional processes, or result from difficulties in mapping. Nevertheless, caution should be exercised when using mapped geology near Victoria West as a guide to the age of fossils found there.
    • BioAcoustica: a free and open repository and analysis platform for bioacoustics

      Baker, E; Price, BW; Rycroft, SD; Hill, J; Smith, V (2015-01-01)
    • Bioleaching of arsenic-rich cobalt mineral resources, and evidence for concurrent biomineralisation of scorodite during oxidative bio-processing of skutterudite

      Johnson, D Barrie; Dybowska, Agnieszka; Schofield, Paul; Herrington, Richard J; Smith, Sarah L; Santos, Ana Laura (Elsevier BV, 2020-06-19)
      Experiments were carried out to test the amenabilities of mineral deposits that contained cobalt deported in arseno-sulfide (cobaltite) and arsenide (skutterudite) minerals, to oxidative bioleaching at mesophilic temperatures and low pH. An ore sample from the Iron Mask deposit (Canada) and a mineral concentrate from a working mine (Bou Azzer, Morocco) were thoroughly characterised, both prior to and following bio-processing. A “top down” approach, using microbial consortia including (initially) 13 species of mineral-degrading acidophiles was used to bioleach the ore and concentrate in shake flasks and bioreactors. Cobalt was successfully liberated from both materials tested (up to 93% from the ore, and 49% from the concentrate), though the chemistries of the leach liquors were very different, with redox potentials being >200 mV lower, and concentrations of soluble arsenic about 7-fold greater, with the concentrate. Addition of pyrite to the arsenide concentrate was found to promote the biomineralisation of scorodite (ferric arsenate), which was detected by both XRD and SEM-EDX, but was not found in bioleached residues of the arseno-sulfide ore. A model was proposed wherein pyrite had three critical roles in facilitating the genesis of scorodite: (i) providing the catalytic surface to promote the oxidation of As (III) to As (V); (ii) acting as a putative “seed” for scorodite crystallisation; (iii) being a secondary source of iron, since the molar ratios of iron:arsenic in the concentrate itself (0.19:1) was well below that required for effective removal of soluble arsenic as scorodite (1:1). This work provided proof of concept that cobalt arseno-sulfide and arsenide ores and concentrates are amenable to bio-processing, and also that it is possible to induce concurrent solubilisation of arsenic from primary minerals and immobilisation in a secondary mineral, scorodite.
    • Biological archives reveal contrasting patterns in trace element concentrations in pelagic seabird feathers over more than a century

      Bond, AL; Lavers, JL (Elsevier, 2020-08-01)
      Contamination of diverse environments and wild species by some contaminants is projected to continue and increase in coming decades. In the marine environment, large volumes of data to assess how concentrations have changed over time can be gathered from indicator species such as seabirds, including through sampling feathers from archival collections and museums. As apex predators, Flesh-footed Shearwaters (Ardenna carneipes) are subject to high concentrations of bioaccumulative and biomagnifying contaminants, and reflect the health of their local marine environment. We analysed Flesh-footed Shearwater feathers from Australia from museum specimens and live birds collected between 1900 and 2011 and assessed temporal trends in three trace elements of toxicological concern: cadmium, mercury, and lead. Concentrations of cadmium increased by 1.5% per year (95% CI: +0.6, +3.0), while mercury was unchanged through the time series (−0.3% per year; 05% CI: -2.1, +1.5), and lead decreased markedly (−2.1% per year, 95% CI: -3.2, −1.0). A reduction in birds’ trophic position through the 20th century, and decreased atmospheric emissions were the likely driving factors for mercury and lead, respectively. By combining archival material from museum specimens with contemporary samples, we have been able to further elucidate the potential threats posed to these apex predators by metal contamination.
    • The biology of Death’s Head Hawkmoths, lepidopteran kleptoparasites of honey bees

      Kitching, I (Natural History Museum, 2006-06)
      This booklet gives basic information on the death's head hawkmoth, Acherontia atropos, including its feeding biology, life history, geographical distribution in the world, phylogenetics, and the evolutionary and behavioural relationship it has with honey bees.
    • A black page in the French partridge's history: the melanistic variety of Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa

      van Grouw, H; Besson, L; Mellier, B (The British Ornithologists' Club, 2018-12-14)
      The melanistic variety of Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa was described from a small population in western France around the 1850s. In this region, Red-legged Partridge population as a whole was hunted, but melanistic individuals were targeted for both private and museum bird collections, and by 1865 the variety was extinct in western France. An extensive search for extant specimens documented 13 melanistic birds in six museums, and their details are presented here. Remarkably, some of these specimens were collected in areas elsewhere in France or even in other countries. After 1915, the allele for melanism appears to have been lost within the Red-legged Partridge population as a whole, and we discuss possible reasons for this.
    • Blue Whale on the Move: Dismantling a 125 Year-Old Specimen

      Bernucci, A; Cornish, L; Lynn, C (museum fur naturkunde berlinBerlin, Germany, 2016)
      The Natural History Museum (London, UK) intends to suspend a 25 metre-long, blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) from its central Hintze Hall. Alongside other specimens which are to be put on open display in this space the environment was looked at in terms of sustainable improvements. Works are being undertaken to improve the conditions by utilizing natural ventilation and re-using existing duct work. This specimen, acquired by the Museum in 1891, was suspended from the ceiling of the Mammal Hall, where it has been on display since 1934. Conservators worked with a specialist specimen handling company to carefully dismantle and remove each of the 220 bones from its original mount. The skull required a special frame and a precise calculation of movement to dismantle it and remove it. Many complex decisions were made during this process – as each bone removal did not dictate what the next would bring. During the dismantling phase, the conservation team have had to address the many requirements of curators, researchers, senior management and the media.
    • Bone-Eating Worms Spread: Insights into Shallow-Water Osedax (Annelida, Siboglinidae) from Antarctic, Subantarctic, and Mediterranean Waters

      Taboada, S; Riesgo, A; Bas, M; Arnedo, MA; Cristobo, J; Rouse, GW; Avila, C; Kiel, S (2015-11-18)
    • Bones and genes: resolution problems in three Vietnamese species of Crocidura (Mammalia, Soricomorpha, Soricidae) and the description of an additional new species

      Jenkins, Paulina; Abramov, Alexei; Bannikova, Аnna; Rozhnov, Viatcheslav (Pensoft Publishers, 2013-07-02)
      Recent investigations of Southeast Asian white toothed shrews belonging to the genus Crocidura have revealed discrepancies between the results of morphological and molecular studies. The following study concerns three species of Crocidura occurring in Vietnam, namely Crocidura attenuata, Crocidura tanakae and Crocidura wuchihensis, and an undescribed fourth species revealed by molecular analysis. For many years Crocidura attenuata has been known to occur in Vietnam but, until very recently, the morphologically similar and comparably sized Crocidura tanakae was believed to be restricted to Taiwan. Following several molecular studies over the last few years, this species is now believed to be considerably more widespread and recognised as occuring also in Vietnam. The results of one of these recent molecular studies also revealed the presence of an undescribed species of Crocidura, similar in size and morphology to Crocidura wuchihensis, which is herein described. Data are provided on geographical variation in Vietnam and the problems of defining morphologically similar yet molecularly disparate species are discussed.
    • Boris Vasil’evich Skvortzov (1896–1980): notes on his life, family and scientific studies

      Williams, DM; Gololobova, M; Glebova, E (Taylor & Francis, 2016-08-15)
      A short account of the life of Boris Vasil’evich Skvortzov (1896–1980) is presented. Some details of his background, his family and his legacy are documented. A short summary of his achievements are included.