Animal Life news stories

Backyard Critters Get Celebrity Treatment with Glam Photoshoots
10th October 2017 | newscientist.com | Animal Life

This is how to give the bugs, birds and bees in your backyard a celebrity makeover. With glamorous photo shoots on brilliantly lit but plain white backdrops, the Meet Your Neighbours project plucks these beasts from obscurity and gives them the star treatment.

Lord Howe Island Tree Lobster Insect Not Extinct After All
10th October 2017 news.nationalgeographic.com | Animal Life

After a ship wrecked on Lord Howe Island in Australia, a rat population invaded and eradicated a species of giant stick insect—or so researchers thought.  For decades the insect, also known as a tree lobster, appeared to be extinct, but new DNA research reveals that may not be the case.

Tasmanian Shy Albatross Embrace Artificial Nests in Bid to Boost Population
9th October 2017 | theguardian.com | Animal Life

The Tasmanian Shy Albatross has embraced the idea of settling down in a specially constructed artificial nest, according to scientists who are trying to boost the population of the endangered seabirds.  They reproduce only on three remote islands in Bass Straight, and are listed as vulnerable with just 1,500 breeding pairs remaining

Conservation of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles in Costa Rica
8th October 2017 | theguardian.com | Animal Life

Olive ridley turtles, like all marine turtles, are threatened with extinction because of us. The natural world is reeling from our global impact, and for turtles, like so many other species, it’s only getting worse. What does it really matter if we lose a bunch of animals we hardly even see?  Humanity’s relationship with the natural world is a complicated one – to understand our current extinction pattern, we need to look at the way our human lives and livelihoods, as well as our desires and motivations, are enmeshed within the complex global environment.

Time Running Out for Puerto Rico’s Monkey Island, Devastated by Hurricane Maria
8th October 2017 | telegraph.co.uk | Animal Life

A monkey sanctuary in Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico used by scientists for decades to conduct groundbreaking evolutionary research has been completely devastated by Hurricane Maria.  A colony of 1000 rhesus macaques, many of whom survived the storm, are in dire need of food and water after the island’s vegetation and freshwater have been destroyed.

Trained US Navy Dolphins Help Capture Mexican Vaquitas to Save Them From Extinction
7th October 2017 | the-scientist.com | Animal Life

A quartet of female bottlenose dolphins—Andrea, Fathom, Katrina, and Splash—and their trainers will use their sea mine-finding skills to capture endangered vaquita porpoises in the Gulf of California. The goal is to gently herd the last of the devastated population of smaller Mexican vaquitas into a protected pen.  Only about 30 of them exist in the wild.

How to Feed an Invading Army Thousands of Miles From Home
7th October 2017 phys.org | Ancient, Animal Life

Conquering Romans relied on resources from near and far to sustain their forces at the legionary fortress Caerleon against the native tribes in Wales, according to new research by Cardiff University archaeologists.

Giving Dead Animals a Second Life: The Art of Skeleton Articulation
6th October 2017 | smithsonianmag.com | Ancient, Animal Life

Smithsonian article focusing on the team who reassembled the 100 year old blue whale skeleton in its new home in London this past January.  Flexibility is required alongside creativity, because manipulating large skeletons requires cleverly constructed metal and wire frames. Expert DeRoos has his experience in construction and can apply those skills to his new articulation work. He compares it to being an engineer and finding the most elegant solutions to problems of display.

Neonicotinoids Showing up in Honey Samples Worldwide
6th October 2017 blogs.discovermagazine.com | Animal Life, Humans

From 2012 to 2016, citizen scientists gathered 198 honey samples from local producers located on every continent except Antarctica. Scientists then tested the samples for five commonly used neonicotinoids.  According to a paper published in Science, 75 percent of those honey samples were contaminated with at least one neonicotinoid.

Hurricane Irma Washed Away Thousands of Sea Turtle Nests in Florida
6th October 2017 | sciencedaily.com | Animal Life, Earth

Marine biologists have released estimates of sea turtle nests lost to Hurricane Irma, finding that 56 percent of green turtle nests and 24 percent of loggerhead turtle nests were lost within Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Both are endangered species, and the losses put a damper on what had been a record year for green turtle nesting.

Massive Cloud of Butterflies Lights up Denver Weather Radar
6th October 2017 | atlasobscura.com | Animal Life

A lacy, cloud-like pattern drifting across a Denver Colorado area radar screen turned out to be a 70 mile wide (110 kilometer) wave of Painted Lady butterflies, forecasters say. Painted ladies normally migrate south for the winter, but this blob appeared to be going north instead.  The butterflies were trying to go south, but had been buffeted by headwinds, which pushed them northwest.

Archaeologists Find Rare Ancient Egyptian Pet Cemetery
5th October 2017 | forbes.com | Ancient, Animal Life

At the site of Berenike on the Red Sea coast of southern Egypt, archaeologists discovered the burials of nearly 100 complete animal skeletons dating to about 75-150 AD, making it one of the earliest known pet cemeteries.  Although a few dogs and monkeys were found at Berenike, the majority of the skeletons are of domesticated cats.

From Feral Camels to Cocaine Hippos: Immigrant Megafauna Are Re-Wilding the World
5th October 2017 phys.org | Animal Life

Throughout history, humans have taken plants and animals with them as they travelled the world. Those that survived the journey to establish populations in the diaspora have found new opportunities as they integrate into new ecosystems. These immigrant populations have sometimes come to be regarded as “invaders” and “aliens” that threaten pristine nature. But for many species, migration may just be a way to survive the global extinction crisis.  Article contains a video showing what has become of hippos once owned by Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar.

Drones Are Keeping Watch on Arctic’s Polar Bear Population
5th October 2017 blogs.discovermagazine.com | Animal Life, Tech

In the past, helicopters have been used to spot the bears, but those aircraft are both costly and disturbing to the wildlife. However, drones are a low-cost, less invasive alternative. On a recent Arctic mission, drones helped gather data about polar bears that will help researchers get a better idea of how climate change in the region, and around the world, affects wildlife.

Ireland Constructs its First Ever Bat Bridge in Galway
5th October 2017 greennews.ie | Animal Life, Tech

Ireland’s first-ever bat bridge has been constructed over Galway’s new motorway in an effort to conserve an internationally important colony of Lesser Horseshoe Bats.

Getting Inside Your Head: The Science of Skulls
5th October 2017 | newsminer.com | Ancient, Animal Life

Informative article from the Fairbanks News-Miner:  Skulls are a classic symbol of Halloween, which make them a good choice for this month’s theme at the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North. But skulls are valuable scientific records, telling us many things about how animals lived and how they are related to each other.  Skulls of Pleistocene mammals such as the northern horse, steppe bison, American lion, and saber-tooth cat are on display, as well as a cast of a Pachyrhinosaurus dinosaur skull.

News stories covering Animal Science, bacterial life, DNA.