Sciencetelling Stories

Imagine a coral reef, bone white as far as the eye can see, lacking in fish and other marine life. Now imagine spending three years diving around the world, seeing virtually nothing but reefs like this. You start to think to yourself, where do we find hope for coral reefs? Imagine after those years of…

Changing Planet

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Los insectos generalmente no son muy atractivos a los ojos de muchos, fuera de las coloridas y “carismáticas” mariposas y escarabajos. ¿Cómo mostrar a las moscas y “gusanos” de una manera interesante y atractiva? El secreto está en exponer las vidas secretas de los insectos. ¿Sabías que puedes usar “gusanos” para ver si el agua del río es buena…

Changing Planet, Human Journey, Wildlife

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  Insects are not generally appealing to most, outside the “charismatic” colorful butterflies and beetles. How can flies and “maggots” be presented in an interesting and appealing way? The secret lies in exposing the insects’ secret lives. Did you know that you can use “maggots” to see if the water from a stream is good to…

Changing Planet, Human Journey, Wildlife

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(Patagonia’s Untold Stories)   Scraping sand grains and pebbles for nutrients, it has wandered the river bed for ten months.  After hiding from predators under submerged rocks it is time to leave the safety of the river behind. Among the rarest species of insects in the world, Araucoderus gloriosus belongs to one of four primitive crane…

Changing Planet, Wildlife

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(Patagonia’s Untold Stories) While packrafting the southeastern edge of the Northern Patagonia Ice Field along Chile’s largest river, the Baker, in search of primitive crane flies, Anand Varma and I came across an exciting find. In a fragmented location only accessible via water, among a lichened-covered forest, we discovered a single wing of the genus…

Changing Planet, Wildlife

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By Tsiory Andrianavalona

Nosy Makamby is a gem for paleontologists working on Miocene sedimentary formations in Madagascar. This small island is geologically rich, its sedimentary layers are very fossiliferous, and our discoveries until now are very encouraging. The proximity of the sea also brings in fresh breezes which are very welcome under the hot sun of August. I do love my job–it allows me to work with amazing teammates and discover my country from North to South. As a scientist, I tend to be objective and rational, but through my paleontological field experiences, I was exposed more than once to unusual situations that are tightly tied to people’s beliefs….

Human Journey

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Hummingbirds are tiny (and I mean, tiny) birds.

They use up energy very quickly and barely store any fat, so they really don’t have a backup generator to rely on if they come close to running out of fuel. I’m really interested in how they manage this limited energy over short time scales. That’s why I am obsessed with their pee and torpor. Learn why….

Wildlife

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As amazing as it would be if they did, animals don’t help save animals. People do…or don’t. In Africa I have learned that working with communities alongside Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park has led to some interesting experiments involving “spicy beehive fences” — and perhaps more importantly, a changing perception that there are ways for local people to help resolve their conflict with wildlife….

Wildlife

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There’s no such thing as a seagull, according to certain pedants. How can that be?

Because it’s a gull—actually, one of about fifty gull species living in habitats all over the world, oceanic and otherwise. They range from the size of a dove to the size of an osprey, with all sorts of differences in appearance and behavior. Three of those species live here in New Zealand—including the river-dwelling black-billed gull, the most endangered gull in the world….

Wildlife

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Two hundred years ago a couple of young explorers set sail on what was to become one of the greatest scientific expeditions of all time. In 1817 Johann Baptist Ritter von Spix and Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius joined a naval excursion to Brazil and were given a humongous task—documenting the biodiversity and culture of that poorly known and largely exotic country. What they found during their three-year field trip would help lay the foundations of biodiversity research in South America. The importance of their scientific legacy is undeniable—hundreds of species discovered and detailed accounts on Brazilian indigenous cultures and habitats that have either vanished or been extensively altered through time….

Wildlife

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As a child, the idea of finding a long-lost dinosaur was my greatest fantasy. As I grew older and learned more about our amazing biodiversity, the idea of rediscovering a more recently lost species took over. While stumbling across a thylacine or dodo in my home nation of South Africa was unlikely, I was lucky…

Wildlife

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 Supposedly I didn’t show any fear during my first abseil, down a 70-meter seacliff south of Dunedin, New Zealand. Thank you, poker face. But in truth, it was amazement more than fear that I felt while hanging vertiginously over the ocean, descending past surfaces sculpted like unfired urns, to find a wild, winged treasure…

Wildlife

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I’ve had the life-altering experience of living in Galapagos for two months while volunteering on the communications team at the Charles Darwin Foundation. But rather than detailing the ins and outs of my daily tasks, I thought I would share some of the loco, mindboggling facts I have learnt about this enigmatic archipelago (and the planet) while living here….

Wildlife

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Where the Glaciers Vanish (Patagonia’s Untold Stories) Halfway buried in the sand lays the forgotten skull of a whale. Its flesh has been removed by the gentle erosion sustained by the pulsating sea. Its white form contrasts the dark sand layer covering the beach. Its rostrum points towards the only island in the middle of…

Changing Planet, Wildlife

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