November 2020

In the research paper that was published in Marine Biotechnology Research Journal, Dr, Lior David, Dr. Daniel Golani and Dr. Roni Tamor-levi used genetic tools to study a specimen of Ablennes hians that was caught in the Mediterranean sea, off the shores of Ashdod and deposited in the fish collection. They analyzed the genetic composition of this specimen and compared it to more specimens from around the world. They found that genetic distances within this species are high, and possibly hint the occurrence of several separate cryptic taxa within this species. This study is another example for the way molecular genetic tools can aid taxonomic definitions of species.

Second article in the series in “Cuticula” – the Israeli pesticide magazine (Hebrew), in collaboration with Dr. Efrat Gavish-Regev, director of the National Spider Collection. In this article we will get to know in depth two families which could pose a danger to humans.

October 2020

Do we have anything to fear from spiders? First article in the series in “Cuticula” – the Israeli pesticide magazine (Hebrew), in collaboration with Dr. Efrat Gavish-Regev, director of the National Spider Collection.

September 2020

Herpetological Collection Manager Dr. Boaz Shacham was interviewed on air by Dudu Erez on the radio show “Three that know” (Sh’losha sh-‘Yod’im) on Kan Tarbut radio station (the National Broadcast Syndicate) on Monday, 21 September 2020. The short talk (Hebrew) focused on this strange case of “immaculate conception” in snakes and reptiles in general. Interview starts at approx. 1:03:10 (HR:MIN:SEC) into the broadcast.

Reptiles and Amphibians Collection Academic Curator, Prof. Dror Hawlena,  and Spiders Collection Associate Curator, Prof. Yael Lubin in an interview with The Jerusalem Post: The destruction of biodiversity in Negev.

August 2020

Herpetological Collection Manager Dr. Boaz Shacham was interviewed on air by Liat Regev on the popular radio show “Agenda” (Seder Yom) on Kan Bet radio station (the National Broadcast Syndicate). The short talk (Hebrew), aired 17 August 2020, focused on what is this ant, where did it come from, what damage does it cause and what are the options to cope with this nuisance. Interview starts at approx. 1:25:10 (HH:MM:sec) into the broadcast.

July 2020

A recently published study from the prestigious scientific journal Nature Physics has shed new light on the bio-physics of the gliding mechanism and abilities of “flying snakes”, a small and unique group of species of the genus Chrysopelea, family Colubridae, found in southeast Asia.
Herpetological Collection Manager Dr. Boaz Shacham was interviewed on air on by Dudu Erez on the radio show “Three that know” (Sh’losha sh-‘Yod’im) on Kan Tarbut radio station (the National Broadcast Syndicate). The short talk (Hebrew), aired 6 July 2020, focused on the discoveries and insights gained by the research team, led by Isaac J. Yeaton and colleagues. Interview starts at approx. 12:25 minutes into the broadcast.

Read the article about the study on the New York Times website.
Read the scientific article on Nature Physics website.

June 2020

A botanical discovery: a new wild plant was discovered in the Beit Netofa valley, with the assistance and support of Prof. Avi  Shmida, and literary fragments, provided by Hagar Leschner,  Herbarium manager .

May 2020

Listen to Herpetological Collection Manager Dr. Boaz Shachamm, about venomous snakes, people and what’s in between (Hebrew, 30:45 minutes).

Herpetological Collection Manager Dr. Boaz Shacham has been interviewed recently for an article in the orthodox newspaper “Yated Neeman”, focuses mainly on: how to prevent envenomation during the current season by venomous snakes, careful and safe behavior, why do snakes become so active with the onset of springtime and warm weather, and has the lockdown policy due to the COVID-19 crisis led to changes in snake behavior and the probability of us meeting them? Dr. Shacham focused on filtering the information that is being circulated online and via news media, highlighting the scientific facts and negating rumors and prejudice.

December 2019
The first conference of the Israeli Evolutionary Biology Association was held this month at the Tel Aviv Nature Museum. Prof. Ariel Chipman, one of the conference’s initiators, in an article on the subject (Hebrew).

November 2019
Watch an interview with Prof. Gila Kahila Bar-Gal, NNHC manger and curator of DNA Collection: A dog mummy found in Siberia may explain how and when the wolves were domesticated to dogs.


Prof. Ariel Chipman provides a background and context for new researches explain how new features develop in nature (Hebrew).


Researches have shown that the ancient snakes had legs. Listen to an interview with Prof. Rivka Rabinovich about this issue. (1:30 h’ onwards, Hebrew).


The early examples of visual illusion in past were found in an engraved bone and stone in the Golan Heights.   Read more in Haaretz.

June 2019
73 selected arthropods has new confirmed Hebrew names!
Dr. Efrat Gavish-Regev, Director of the Terrestrial Arthropods Collection, Prof. Yossi Heller, Chair of the Zoological Committee at the Academy of the Hebrew Language, and Dr. Gavish-Regev’s partners in spider researches in Israel – Igor Armiach, Shlomi Aharon, Assaf Uzan, Yoram Zvick and Eitan Recht were working together to complete the list.

Read more in YNET (Hebrew), in the Academy of the Hebrew Language website (Hebrew) and in an article by Igor Armiach in the Davidson Institute website (Hebrew).

See the dictionary of  Israeli spider names in the Academy of the Hebrew Language website (Hebrew).

Watch an interview with Dr. Efrat Gavish-Regev in the “Also Culture” program with Go’el Pinto in the Kan broadcast corporation. Listen from 1:06:42 (Hebrew).


June 2018
Herpetological Collection Manager Dr. Boaz Shacham leads, with PhD candidate Roy Talbi (Haifa University), a study showing that the venomous snake Palestine viper (Daboia palaestinae), has a tenfold higher presence in habitats linked to humans (for example, agricultural fields and urban edges) compared to natural habitats. A short article appeared in the Hebrew edition of National Geographic Magazine (June 2018), by Adi Weinberger.



May, 2018
Herpetological Collection Manager Dr. Boaz Shacham, explains on Channel 10 program “London & Kirshenbaum” the damages afflicted on the ecosystem by the recent wildfires in the southern coastal plain, caused by terrorist activity (“fire kites”)


May, 2018
A Symbolic Marker of a Prehistoric Society from 34,000 Years Ago
The earliest stages of the human story already included well-differentiated cultural entities, each with its own unique characteristics. Prehistoric research, similarly to historic research, studies the nature of these entities, their geographical dispersion, interrelationships and mutual influences. Most cultural characteristics found in prehistoric research are based on imperishable materials, such as stone and bone, although we are convinced that the material culture of these different groups had included also perishable, organic goods (made of plant matter, skin and bark). This paper deals with one of the cultural entities of the Levant (Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria): the Levantine Aurignacian, which had existed for a relatively short period in time (between 38,000-35,000 year ago). Its dispersion had been limited to the Mediterranean climate zone, and it is known solely from cave assemblages (e.g., El-Wad and Kabara caves in the Carmel, Manot cave in the Galilee, Ksar Akil on the Lebanese coast). In several sites, its appearance in our region truncates the sequence of local cultures, some of which continued to exist in parallel, and is replaced by their successors. Its cultural remains (tools made of stone, bone and antler) are very similar to these of the European Aurignacian entity, which had existed in western and central Europe, starting earlier and ending later than the Levantine Aurignacian. Therefore, it is assumed that the Levantine Aurignacians had arrived from Europe, had survived for a (relatively) short time and then had disappeared or had merged into the local entities.
Studies of the bone tools of the Levantine Aurignacian from Hayonim Cave in the western Galilee pointed out another cultural marker of this entity –scapulae (shoulder bones) of gazelle, shaped in a specific way and incised in a particular area of the bone (see image). This object could hardly have had a practical use (hunting, food preparation, skin processing, etc.). It is likely that this is a particular object of the local Aurignacian culture, possibly a marker of a group, worn attached to an item of clothing or as a pendant, differentiating the bearer from other cultural entities of that time in the Levant.
This research was lead by Dr. Tejero (France), in cooperation with Profs. Belfer-Cohen and Rabinovich from the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University, Prof. Bar-Yosef (emeritus, Harvard University) and Dr. Gutkin from the Hebrew University center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.


June 2016

Movement correlates of lizards’ dorsal pigmentation patterns, by Dror Hawlena’s lab, in the British Ecoogical Soceity