Nestled in a valley between two volcanoes, Donald Varela-Soto heard something unfamiliar. For six months, he searched for the source of a shrill frog call along the edge of a wetland in Tapir Valley Nature Reserve, a former cattle ranch in northern Costa Rica. “I kept hearing this different sound in the wetland but was […]
Tag: Liz Kimbrough
Seeing through the swarm: How hawks hunt bat prey
Raptors are famous for their ability to home in on prey and attack with precision. But how does this work when they hunt animals that flock, school or swarm, forming bewildering displays that appear to move everywhere all at once? A study published today in Nature Communications reports that Swainson’s hawks (Buteo swainsoni) and some […]
Shade-grown coffee won’t support all birds, but adding a forest helps: Study
Organic, shade-grown, bird-friendly: coffee comes with a lot of labels these days, certifications that tell the consumer their beans were farmed in a way that supports the people who grow them and the ecosystems that sustain them. And with coffee now growing on more than 1 million square kilometers (386,000 square miles) of agricultural land […]
Spiny new chameleon species described from Bale Mountains of Ethiopia
Researchers have described a new chameleon species from the Bale Mountains of south-central Ethiopia, and say the biodiversity hotspot may harbor even more. Named Wolfgang Böhme’s Ethiopian chameleon (Trioceros wolfgangboehmei), in honor of the senior herpetologist at the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig (ZMFK) in Bonn, Germany, the chameleon is around 15 centimeters (6 inches) […]
Two new species of endangered screech owls identified from Brazil
Two new species of tiny screech owls from the Amazon and Atlantic rainforests in Brazil have been described by science. “They’re cute little owls, probably five or six inches long [13-15 centimeters], with tufts of feathers on their heads,” said John Bates, curator of birds at the Field Museum in Chicago and one of the […]
As forests shrink, mammals are stressed out— with possible fallout for humans
Humans aren’t the only ones feeling anxiety about environmental destruction. As forests shrink, small mammals are also feeling stressed, and we can tell by their fur. A team of scientists collected fur samples from 106 small rodents and marsupials in six forest fragments in the Atlantic Forest of Paraguay. After grinding each fur sample into […]
Death by 1,000 cuts: Are major insect losses imperiling life on Earth?
Chances are, the works of the world’s insects touch your lips every day. The coffee or tea you savor, both are insect pollinated. Apples, oranges, cabbages, cashews, cherries, carrots, broccoli, watermelon, garlic, cinnamon, basil, sunflower seeds, almonds, canola oil — all are insect pollinated. Honey, dyes, even some vaccines require insects to come to fruition. […]
As the Amazon burns, what happens to its biodiversity?
The number of fires burning in standing Amazon rainforest spiked dramatically in recent weeks, threatening the forest’s biodiversity — a richness of flora and fauna not adapted to withstand the flames. Of all major fires detected in the Amazon this year, 43% were in standing forests, as of Sept 21, (up from only 13% in […]