Animal Life news stories
A colony of about 40,000 Adélie penguins in Antarctica has suffered a catastrophic breeding event. All but two chicks have died of starvation this year. It is the second time in just four years that such devastation – not previously seen in more than 50 years of observation – has been wrought on the population.
Mass extinctions were followed by periods of low diversity in which certain new species dominated wide regions of the supercontinent Pangaea, reports a new study.
Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico. With sustained winds of 155 miles per hour, much of the US territory has been without power for weeks. Many residents lack running water, hospitals have been limping along on backup generators, and the island’s agriculture has been essentially flattened. The toll on local wildlife remains far from appreciated, but it’s clear from Maria and other hurricanes that some animal populations suffer from big storms—while others thrive.
Marine species survived rafting thousands of kilometers on debris swept into the water by the giant wave off Japan in 2011, scientists say. Having traversed roughly 7,000 kilometers across the Pacific, the material carried with it living animals from 289 Japanese coastal marine species.
Worldwide, about 4.5 trillion cigarettes are littered on streets each year. A Dutch company is training crows to drop cigarette butts in a ‘Crowbar,’ which scans the item to confirm it’s a cigarette butt, and then gives the crow a food reward to reinforce the behavior.
Britain is in for an influx of rare and spectacular moths over the next few days as warm continental weather draws hungry insects looking for ivy to feed on. The scarce Silver-Striped Hawk-Moth and Radford’s Flame Shoulder have already been seen in recent days but are likely to be joined by species such as the giant Convolvulus Hawk-Moth and Hummingbird Hawk-Moth.
Of all the oddities in St. Augustine, Florida, the Moorish Alhambra palace-inspired Villa Zorayda Museum may possess the oddest. Legend holds that a mummified foot wrapped in a rug was acquired from a pyramid in Egypt sometime prior to 1913. The rug itself, which depicts a large stylized feline much like an African wildcat is on display inside the castle. Experts determined the textile to be over 2,400 years old, making it arguably one of the oldest rugs in the world. An examination of the rug confirmed that it is woven entirely from cat hair.
What at first appeared to be a flock of sheep turned out to be at least 230 of the animals converged on the carcass of a beached bowhead whale on the northern coast of Siberia to feast on the bounty.