Wildlife

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Thalia, it’s called, this upscale neighborhood in Virginia Beach that’s lined with red brick ranches shaded by tall loblolly pines. The community is a few short miles from the mouth of Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. Bounded on the west by Thalia Creek and on the north by the eastern branch of the…

Changing Planet, Wildlife

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Grasslands are the world’s most altered ecosystem, frequently being converted for cropping, pastures or urbanisation. When grasslands are transformed by humans, this often pushes out sensitive grassland birds, for example the Great Indian Bustard, now listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Fortunately some grassland birds, like the Eastern Meadowlark, are adaptive and…

Wildlife

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Sounds kinda weird.. but studying nearly identical coral reef systems off Australia, my collaborators and I discovered something unusual on the reefs subjected to nearly exclusive fishing of sharks—fish with significantly smaller eyes and tails. This provides evidence of body shape changes in fish due to human-driven shark declines from overfishing. In the study, our…

Changing Planet, Shark Week 2018, Wildlife

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Bhutan: a hotspot of wild cat diversity Did you know that Bhutan is a hotspot of wild cat diversity? It is home to 11 species of wild cats which is about 30% of all wild cat species found in the world. Considering that Bhutan only covers .03% of the earth’s surface, that number seems even…

Wildlife

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Scavenging birds play a vital role in our ecosystems, they clean up carcasses before they have time to rot. Without scavengers, rotting carcasses would become hubs for harmful pathogens. Vultures specialise in eating carrion and are highly efficient at cleaning up a carcass. But many other birds, like crows and eagles, will also scavenge if…

Wildlife

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Los Diez Mejores Consejos La conservación es un desafío tanto social como biológico. Durante cinco años llevando a cabo un proyecto participativo de investigación de ballenas en un pequeño pueblo mexicano, aprendí tanto sobre el comportamiento humano como sobre los mamíferos marinos. Recopilamos datos innovadores sobre ballenas jorobadas y delfines durante nuestro estudio de 1600…

Changing Planet, Human Journey, Wildlife

I spent the past five years running a participatory whale research project in a tiny village in SW Pacific Mexico. We collected groundbreaking data on humpback whales and dolphins during our 1600-hour study, but the real success was inspiring and supporting the 600-person community to take ownership of their struggling marine environment’s health. After five years, the community…

Changing Planet, Human Journey, Wildlife

Red plumage is quite common in the bird kingdom, especially in males, who use their red feathers to attract females. Scientists have recently pinpointed how a bird’s genetic code allows them to produce red feathers. Birds take in yellow pigments, called carotenoids from their diet, then an enzyme called ketolase allows the bird to convert these…

Wildlife

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By Marlene Cimons There have been numerous wake-up calls about the effects of climate change on marine life. As ocean waters heat up, they are bleaching corals. Growing levels of carbon dioxide are acidifying seawater, which is degrading the shells and skeletons of sea organisms. The rising temperatures are prompting fish to migrate to colder waters, even causing them…

Changing Planet, Wildlife

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The steep ravine of Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania lies behind me. Ahead are the plains of the Serengeti, grasses reaching toward the far horizon in a wavering line that finally bends into the curvature of the Earth. It is June, and the Serengeti’s “long rains” have just ended. The air is washed clean by the storms…

Wildlife

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By Rhett Bennett Sharks have been cruising the world’s oceans for millions of years. We know them as ferocious hunters, built for the kill. And some are. However, most shark and ray species have somewhat less aggressive feeding behaviour and, of course, many end up as food themselves. These magnificent creatures have adapted to an…

Wildlife

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