animals

Dr. Tse-Lynn Loh, Postdoctoral Research Associate John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago in partnership with Project Seahorse (University of British Columbia & Zoological Society of London) I’m writing from foggy and drizzly Haiphong, where I’ve been meeting with our country hosts at the Research Institute for Marine Fisheries (RIMF) and organizing the logistics for the next...

For some lovebirds in the animal kingdom, every day is Valentine’s Day. But how do mates win each other over? A little flirting can go a long way … and frankly, it’s a heck of a bonding agent with a long-term partner, too. See if some of these amorous animals have any tips you can...

While parts of the U.S. bundle up for extreme winter weather, the animals on American Prairie Reserve (APR) have enjoyed several warm weeks in January. Since my last trip to the Reserve earlier this month, our staff and volunteer adventure scientists have spotted bison, mule deer, and large groups of pronghorn moving with ease across the...

A controversial shark cull claimed its first casualty this weekend in Western Australia, when a commercial fisherman shot and killed a tiger shark off of Old Dunsborough (map) in the southwest region of Western Australia. In a move late last year that has since sparked protests, Western Australia premier Colin Bennett announced a shark cull...

Victoria Hillman is a National Geographic Explorer and Research Director for the Transylvanian Wildlife Project overseeing research on carnivores and biodiversity of Europe’s last great wilderness. Follow the expedition here on Explorers Journal through updates from the team. —–— The Carpathian mountains are home to two species of wild cat, the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) and the European...

Scientists in Brazil proposed a new species of river dolphin this week, the first such designation for the highly endangered group in a century. The proposed new species of river dolphin, the Araguaian boto (Inia araguaiaensis), was found in the Araguaia River Basin in central Brazil. The marine mammals were found to be isolated from other...

When scouting for extremely rare species probably the last place you’d think to check would be “the store.” And yet it was at a store of sorts–a public fish market in Kuwait to be exact–where marine researchers rediscovered the smoothtooth blacktip shark (Carcharhinus leiodon) in 2008. The species was thought to be extinct, or not even a...

Like the fuzzy tinsel used to deck Christmas trees, this jellyfish relative—known as Apolemia—looks soft enough to cuddle. But keep in mind that it’s also armed with tiny poison-filled needles, which it shoots into animals unfortunate enough to blunder into it. Apolemia is part of a group called the siphonophores, which are related to jellyfish....

So theatrical, so blazing with color, so much larger than life—are we talking about Lady Gaga or a sea slug? Despite being one of the most creatively outfitted performers of all time, Lady Gaga has some competition in the animal world. Nature’s show-stoppers include everything from insects with balls on their head to psychedelic frogfish. And...

Driving on a Friday night from the idyllic campsite to a local farm for an after-dark game count, Action for Cheetahs (ACK) lead researcher Cosmas Wambua navigates a treacherous highway. The notorious Mombassa Road is a twisting, turning, death-ridden mess of an international highway. Bitterly joking we’re on a ‘lorry safari’, sightings include burned-out overturned...

Wild cats are charismatic creatures, so you’d think we’d know them all pretty well by now. Just how little we understand—at least in some cases—is reflected in the identification of a new species of cat known as a tigrina in northeastern Brazil. Scientists have discovered that two populations of tigrina previously thought to be one species do...

Guest blog by Dr. Amanda Vincent, Director and Co-founder of Project Seahorse  It’s been an incredibly difficult few weeks for the central Philippines. Following a 7.2 magnitude earthquake last month that caused considerable loss of lives and homes, the Visayas region was hit on Nov. 7th by Typhoon Haiyan (a.k.a. Yolanda), one of the very strongest...

Although we can’t always perceive them, vibrations provide a critical way of communicating for many animal species. Scientists think vibrational communication is an ancient sensory mode—one that is still widely used throughout the animal kingdom. Animals from tiny insects to jumbo-size elephants talk to each other using vibrations for many different purposes, from mating and...

This week, wildlife photojournalist Steve Winter’s story about cougars appears in the December issue of National Geographic. He’s become the big cat guy—it’s the fourth species he’s covered for the magazine. This is a also a big week for him and me: our new book, Tigers Forever: Saving the World’s Most Endangered Big Cat, published...

Forget circumnavigating the globe in 80 days—an albatross can do it in a mere 46! These world travelers are among the largest flying birds, weighing up to 25 pounds (11 kilograms), and with a wingspan of 11 feet (3 meters). But hefting such huge bodies off the ground takes a lot of energy. If albatrosses...