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How the West was Lost

Just as the settling and development of the arid American West was fueled by harnessing its available fresh water, the growing lack of water availability may well be its undoing. California’s epic drought is just the latest example of what is shaping up to be the new normal out west.  Last year was the driest…

Are Crows Smarter Than Children?

One clever young bird solved a problem that has stumped six-year-old children, according to a new study.

Green Snails: Valuable Aliens

By Alison Barrat and Alex Dempsey You don’t have to look too far to find a horror story about an invasive species that has completely disrupted a natural ecosystem. Cane toads in Australia come to mind or pythons in the Everglades or even lionfish in the Caribbean.  But what about introductions that have gone well?…

#okavango14: Over Africa’s Wetland Wilderness

Africa’s newly-minted UNESCO World Heritage Site, Botswana’s Okavango Delta, from the air and from space… This emerald green oasis buzzes with life during the summer months when grand thunderstorms sweep across the delta…

Drought Hastens Groundwater Depletion in the Texas Panhandle

Persistent drought in northwest Texas is leading farmers to pump more water from the Ogallala Aquifer, hastening the depletion of this crucial water supply. Over the last decade, from 2004-2014, average underground water levels across the 16-county High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) have dropped 8.83 feet (2.69 meters), with three counties seeing average…

The Places We Love VI: Grenada on the Cusp

One of the last authentically Caribbean islands seeks to become a leader in sustainability. But can Grenada sustain its own unique character?

A Tahitian Welcome for the Worldwide Voyage

The Worldwide Voyage received a colorful and memorable welcome to Tahiti, which Hōkūle‘a crew member Ana Yawaramai writes about from her own perspective.

Mysterious Fossils in 3D

Emily Hughes brings us tales of adventure and discovery from the Australian Outback as she and her mother search for unbelievably ancient fossils. Pteridiniums are ancient organisms full of mystery—and those found in the Outback prove these life forms to be much older than previously thought.

Western Mediterranean Island Conservation

I am visiting the Iberian Peninsula this week en route to the 14th Rodens et Spatium conference in Portugal. Today in Valencia I am looking out over the Western Mediterranean basin. This area is steeped in human history, including upon its hundreds of islands. Romans colonised these parts over 2,000 years ago, and like everywhere…

Team “Uniting Nations” Wins 2,400-Mile Great Pacific Race

Winners of the inaugural Great Pacific Race, team Uniting Nations just arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii, having contributed to marine research as they rowed more than 2,400 miles across the Pacific.

Dogs Get Jealous, Too

Jealousy in canines probably evolved to protect important social bonds in the pack, according to a new paper.

Places, Experiences and Objects to Dream About

This post is the first in the series Places, Experiences and Objects to Dream About, which profiles marvelous locations, unique life experiences and objects of interest to modern explorers that Kike discovers during his travels.   The idea for this new column came up as I was staring at a small fur seal puppy playing…

The Night Belonged to Ozzie

The world’s largest land creature stood on me last night—two giant feet over my head, putting me at a disturbing eye-level vantage with a dripping elephant phallus in the dark. It has occurred to me over the course of my research that an untimely end could happen to anyone studying these larger-than-life animals, but it’s not something I ever thought I’d live to tell about.

Elephants Have 2,000 Genes for Smell—Most Ever Found

The large mammals have 2,000 genes related to smell, the most ever discovered in an animal, a new study says.

Bats Set Their Internal Compass at Dusk—A First Among Mammals

Bats may be known for their stealth in the dark, but a new study shows they need light from the setting sun to navigate.