Whether you’ve been waiting a year, a month, or a week, the time has nearly come. Tomorrow, August 21, 2017, many people in the United States will be in the direct path of a total solar eclipse, and many more people outside of this path of totality will be able to experience the phenomenon in some way or another.
If you’ve seen a butterfly land on a flower, you mostly likely witnessed something amazing—pollination, the transfer of pollen from one plant to another for fertilization. Since plants can’t get up and pollinate themselves, pollinators like birds, bees, butterflies, bats, and small mammals do it for them.
Solomon David once considered becoming a medical doctor. He spent time in college as a pre-med student, but his deep-rooted interests in biology ultimately won out after he took ichthyology (the branch of zoology dealing with fishes) in his senior year. That’s when Solomon discovered his true path. As he puts it, “my future was with the fishes.” He decided to pursue a PhD in aquatics resource ecology and management.
We’ve got babies on the brain, maybe because it’s springtime, or maybe because we’re expecting a baby ourselves! As humans, we can all more or less agree on what it takes to raise a human baby. However, outside of our species, the parenting experience varies drastically.
We donned our striped thermals, rubber boots, and helmets and tramped down a muddy hillside to the entrance to Mangarongapu Cave. If we wanted to see glowworms in their natural environment, we were going to have to work for it. Most bioluminescent organisms live in the sea, particularly in the deep. On land, bioluminescent species include glowworms, a catch-all term that refers to luminescent insects like fireflies (winged beetles) and the fungus gnat of New Zealand, among others.
Ten years ago, the crew of the San Aspiring fishing vessel, which was on the hunt for Antarctic toothfish, pulled in a longline and discovered they had caught something unexpected. It was a huge, red blob—a deep-sea-dwelling colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) that had also been hunting for toothfish more than a mile below the surface. Recognizing they had something unique on their hands, the crew hauled the now-deceased squid onboard and froze its body.
It’s International Red Panda Day! Let’s learn more about these unique and, let’s face it, adorable animals.
Back in October 2014, Asha de Vos, a Sri Lankan marine biologist, took the stage at TEDGlobal to deliver a 6-minute speech called “Why you should care about whale poo.” She spoke passionately about the devastating effects 200 years of whaling had on global whale populations. She argued that these animals’ importance extends far beyond their charismatic beauty. Rather, as “ecosystem engineers,” she said whales play an important role in maintaining the health of Earth’s oceans.
Imagine being the very first person to stumble upon a giraffe, a blue whale, or a panda. What would you think about a giraffe’s 6-foot-long neck, a blue whale’s humongous body, or a panda’s striking black-and-white fur? These would be startling sights indeed!
Some creatures make a living by pretending to be something they’re not. (Like Halloween, every day!) In one high-flying example, zone-tailed hawks fool prey down on the ground by mimicking the way turkey vultures fly, and sometimes even disguising themselves by flying among turkey vultures.