Using DNA barcodes against the wildlife black market

While recent news of giant clams (Tridacna gigas) being harvested in the disputed Scarborough Shoal drew massive outrage online, it was only the latest low point in the dark history of wildlife exploitation in the region. A poignant series of cases also happened here in 2013 and 2014, this time involving pangolins or “scaly anteaters,” which have been described as the most trafficked animals in the world.

Adaptive radiation of venomous marine snail lineages and the accelerated evolution of venom peptide genes

Olivera B.M., Watkins M., Bandyopadhyay P., Imperial J.S., de la Cotera E.P., Aguilar M.B., Vera E.L., Concepcion G.P., Lluisma A.O.

An impressive biodiversity (>10,000 species) of marine snails (suborder Toxoglossa or superfamily Conoidea) have complex venoms, each containing approximately 100 biologically active, disulfide-rich peptides. In the genus Conus, the most intensively investigated toxoglossan lineage (∼500 species), a small set of venom gene superfamilies undergo rapid sequence hyperdiversification within their mature toxin regions.