I’m always amazed by scientists who LOVE their organisms. And bird people really take this to a whole new level.
In 1918 Congress passed the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to protect birds from wanton killing. To celebrate the centennial, National Geographic is partnering with the National Audubon Society, BirdLife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to declare 2018 the Year of the Bird.
To start the year off right, read this impassioned story by Jonathan Franzen about how much he loves birds and why.
And celebrate, the year of the bird!
It’s Friday, and it’s been a long week. So here is an underwater treasure that will make you go “awww!”
Costasiella kuroshimae (also referred to as “leaf sheep” and “Shaun the sheep”) is a species of sacoglossan sea slug whose beady eyes and flat face make it look like an adorable cartoon sheep.
Want to know more about this adorable little guy? Read about it here.
The frilled shark has been around awhile. Fossils date back at least 80 million years, largely unchanged. So imagine the surprise when said fossil was found swimming and thriving off the coast of Portugal.
This almost literal “living fossil” was discovered off the Algarve coast by researchers who were working on a European Union project in the area, the BBC reported. The aim of the project was to “minimize unwanted catches in commercial fishing,” the researchers told SIC Noticisas TV, as the BBC noted. but the team unknowingly unearthed one of the rarest and most ancient animals on the planet.
Read about it here!
There’s a theory that giant crabs overwhelmed Amelia Earhart, dismembered her and carried her bones underground.
Speculative, at best. Sounds crazy, we know.
But so has almost every other horrifying rumor about the so-called coconut crabs — until science inevitably proves them true.
They grow to the size of dogs. They climb trees, and tear through solid matter with claws nearly as strong as a lion’s jaws.
And now we know what they eat (spoiler alert: basically anything they want).
Here. And watch the video…
Biologist who study experimental evolution will tell you that they get to see species evolve all the time. However, for the first time, scientists have been able to see the evolution of a completely new species, in the wild, in real-time. And it’s not something rapidly evolving like bacteria.
It’s a new species of Darwin’s finch, endemic to a small island in the Galápagos, Daphne Major. And it evolved in just two generations.
Read about this awesome study, and gather fodder for that argument that “evolution isn’t true” that you might be having over your Thanksgiving weekend, here!
I giggle a little every time people ask about the dinosaur extinction (on the inside because giggling in peoples’ faces is rude (so I’ve been told… repeatedly)). Dinosaurs, in the strictest sense, are not extinct. They are walking and flying around us everyday.
And this week, they are sitting in the middle of the table.
But, in all fairness, I should mention that this is an ongoing debate. Not whether or not Thanksgiving is going to be delicious (that should be settled soon), but whether dinosaurs still walk amongst us (and will soon be in your belly).
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! ENJOY YOUR DINOSAUR!