The “Connecticut Vampire”: Using genetics to identify the dead

In 1990, local children in Griswold, Connecticut, USA, accidentally uncovered the bones of a peculiar set of graves dating back to the 19th century. Amongst these remains, one skeleton – that bore the marker “JB55” – stood out. The skeleton was arranged in a skull and crossbones formation which signified that whoever had buried the deceased believed them to be a vampire.Read the rest

The Survival of the Sloth Bear – The next species to fall victim to human activity

The world is in the midst of a sixth mass extinction: current vertebrate loss is at a rate higher than any other extinction event in history. Even ecologically resilient species like the sloth bear aren’t safe from this human-caused crisis.

The sloth bear, Melursus ursinus, is a member of the Ursidae family and is instantly recognisable by the crescent marking that adorns its chest.… Read the rest