Jul 102013
 
Free-tailed funnel cloud (reprint from June 2011)

When Doppler radar first arrived in the area known affectionately to Texans as the Hill Country, the local television station meteorologists were understandably eager to show off the weather forecasting capabilities of their newest toy. Unfortunately, they got off to a less than impressive start. Night after night that summer, evening thunderstorms were forecast but […]

Jun 022013
 
Whales teach each other new feeding behavior

Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), popularly known for their majestic and alluring underwater mating songs and acrobatic breaches, have shown that they can adapt to changing prey variability by passing on new hunting techniques to each other. According to new findings in the journal Science, a team of researchers have revealed the cultural spread of new […]

Jun 012013
 
Snowy tigers and giant owls: conservation against the odds in Russia's Far East

The Russian Far East is one of the wildest places on Earth: where giant tigers roam snow-covered forests and the world’s biggest owls stalk frozen rivers. Bordering northern China and North Korea, the forests of Primorye are known for the diversity of habitats, including coastal forests along the Sea of Japan, vast coniferous forests in […]

May 262013
 
Famed bird reappears after 400,000 miles of flight

A migratory shorebird that has flown more than 400,000 miles has reappeared once again. The bird, dubbed “B95” after the number on his leg band or “Moonbird” for the distance he has flown over his lifespan, is a rufus red knot (Calidris canutus rufus) that scientists have been tracking for 19 years. Each May his […]

May 232013
 
Are seagulls killing whales in Patagonia?

It sounds ludicrous, but it could just be true: scientists say seagulls may be responsible for hundreds of southern right whale moralities off the Argentine coastline. Since 2003, scientists have documented the deaths of 605 southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) near Península Valdés which the whales use as a nursery. Notably, 88 percent of these […]

May 202013
 
A Tale of Two Elephants: celebrating the lives and mourning the deaths of Cirrocumulus and Ngampit

On March 21st, the organization Save the Elephants posted on their Facebook page that two African elephants had been poached inside a nearby reserve: “Sad news from the north of Kenya. Usually the national reserves are safe havens for elephants, and they know it. But in the last two weeks two of our study animals […]

May 132013
 
Hibernating primates: scientists discover three lemur species sleep like bears

Bears do it, bats do it, and now we know lemurs do it too: hibernate, that is. Since 2005, scientists have known that the western fat-tailed dwarf lemur hibernates, but a new study in Scientific Reports finds that hibernation is more widespread among lemurs than expected. At least two additional lemur species—Crossley’s dwarf lemur and […]

Apr 152013
 
An insidious threat to tropical forests: over-hunting endangers tree species in Asia and Africa

A fruit falls to the floor in a rainforest. It waits. And waits. Inside the fruit is a seed, and like most seeds in tropical forests, this one needs an animal—a good-sized animal—to move it to a new place where it can germinate and grow. But it may be waiting in vain. Hunting and poaching […]

Apr 102013
 
Proposed coal plant threatens Critically Endangered Philippine cockatoo

One kilometer off the Philippine island of Palawan lays the Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary; here forest grows unimpeded from a coral island surrounded by mangroves and coral reefs. Although tiny, over a hundred bird species have been recorded on the island along with a major population of large flying foxes, while in the waters below […]