Flamingos In The Men’s Room: How Zoos And Aquariums Handle Hurricanes

While people can flee in the face of a hurricane, zoos and aquariums don’t have that luxury. They can’t abandon the animals which they care for, and the trauma of an evacuation might harm more animals than it would save.

How do they deal with it? Read about it here. One solution, keep the Flamingos in the men’s room…

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Dinosaur Babies are a Bit on the Slow Side

Since birds are dinosaurs, we have long assumed the quick way that birds exit their shell was mimicked in their much larger and significantly more extinct brethren.

However, it turns out that it takes much longer (3-6 months) for a dinosaur to exit its shell.

Why does that matter? Well it might have put them at a disadvantage relative to faster producing animals, like mammals and modern birds.

Curious how scientist figured it out (No, they didn’t clone dinosaurs like Jurassic Park… yet)? Check it out over at Science.

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Big Picture of the Little Bones in Tuatara

Tuatara are a “living fossil” found in New Zealand. And it turns out it is also an excellent system to study the evolution of sesamoid bones (typically small bones found in tendons and near joints.

Want to know more about these awesome creatures, and what this can tell us about human and lizard anatomy?

Read about it here! 

Or enjoy these photos.

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Fossilized Leaves Solve Decades Old Death

The 58-year-young King Albert I of Belgium died while rock climbing in 1934. His body was found lifelessly hanging from a rope from the crags at Marche-les-Dames and it was a scandal to the tune of JFK like conspiracy.

82 years later we have a new clue into the cause of the Belguim royals death! And it comes from… plants.

Read about it over at Smithsonian. 

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Discovering a new species of whale

We discover new species of insects often. We’re discovering new bacteria at such an alarming rate, it’s getting difficult to count and name them all.

But it’s odd when we find new charismatic megafauna. And yet, researchers think they have identified a new species of whale.

You don’t get much more megafaunal or charismatic than that.

Read about it over at National Geographic!

New species of whale, making a splash!

New species of whale, making a splash!

Museums: The endangered dead

Across the world, natural-history collections hold a multitude of species, some of which have never been identified. In fact, scientists are currently finding more new species by sifting through decades-old specimens than by surveying tropical forests and remote landscapes.

Additionally, museum collections are becoming increasingly valuable thanks to newly developed techniques (ancient DNA anyone?) and databases.

But just as these collections are increasing in value, they are falling into decline.

Read about it over at Nature!

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Ricardo Moratelli examines bat specimens in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. (Photo by Chris Maddaloni/Nature)