Elephant Refugees Flee to Last Stronghold in Africa

We’re not talking about refugees. Not the kind that are flocking to Europe from Syria, but the four legged kind that are being over hunted.

A national park in Botswana is struggling to support the staggering number of animals fleeing from poaching in other countries.

Read about it over at National Geographic!


Computers discover how to talk to other Computers… without humans…

Alice and Bob were trying to talk to each other without allowing anyone to eaves drop. Eve’s job is to figure out what Alice and Bob are saying to each other. Seems like the usual love triangle, likely the next chick flick movie due out this fall, right?

But Alice, Bob and Eve are all artificial intelligences. And Alice and Bob were not given a program to keep their conversation encrypted. They wrote it themselves. And no one knows how it works, except Alice and Bob.

I’m not saying that this is the beginning of Skynet, but it is pretty creepy. Do we consider AI biological research? Should we?

Read about it here.terminator_28453_4db5a1135e73d67af40067b5_1303953272-640x360

The Elusive Arctic Bumblebee

A group of UC Riverside professors are driving thousands of miles across Alaska, looking to better understand bumble bee populations in the arctic and their response to climate change.

And to find the elusive Bombus polaris, the arctic bumble bee in all their furry glory.

Read about it over at New York Times!



Life with the most dangerous bird on the planet

“Imagine an ostrich as described by H.P. Lovecraft, or maybe a turkey fused with a velociraptor” excellent words to describe the Cassowary. Alternatively: six-foot-tall murdermachines.

These birds are glaringly representatives of their dinosaur heritage, and they couple stunning beauty with murderous intent. Read about taking care of these birds over at National Geographic.


Side note: I was at the Evolution meetings this summer, and spoke to a few biologist who have in the past studied birds. I asked them, given that we now know that birds and dinosaurs are the same group, should we change the names of ornithologists to neo-ornithologists and paleo-ornithologists. This sparked a discussion about what to call people who study the evolution of birds. The conclusion we came to? You call them “Evolutionary Biologists”.