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NG Weekend: Congo Chimps

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On National Geographic Weekend radio this week, host Boyd Matson speaks with guests about chimpanzees, jellyfish, salamanders, polygamists, sea kayaking, coral sex, and more.

Hour 1

  • WCS Conservation Fellow Dave Morgan and his partner Crickette Sanz study chimpanzees in the Congolese rain forest. But a few years ago, the tables were turned when the couple ran into a group of chimps that had never seen humans before. The chimps built nests directly above Sanz and Morgan’s camp so they could keep an eye on them all night long. Suddenly, the researchers were the ones being scrutinized. Morgan and Sanz join Boyd to talk about the incident and the article “Congo Chimps” in the February 2010 issue of National Geographic magazine.
  • Most of us swim the opposite direction when we see a jellyfish. Not Monterey Peninsula College biology professor Kevin Raskoff. The alien looking creatures attract Raskoff, who not only studies jellyfish but also takes stunning photographs of them.
  • Smithsonian Institution biologist Mary Hagedorn is the Dr. Ruth of coral. Hagedorn studies the sex habits of coral in an attempt to save the threatened animals. As Hagedorn tells Boyd, scientists didn’t even know coral could reproduce sexually until the 1980s. (Read more.)
  • National Geographic News editor David Braun joins Boyd to talk about newly discovered salamanders and mountains.

Hour 2

  • Joe Jessup has 5 wives, 46 children, and 239 grandchildren. Jessup in an elder of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) and is one of the polygamists Scott Anderson writes about in the exclusive article for National Geographic magazine’s February 2010 issue called “The Polygamists.” Anderson joins Boyd to talk about the FLDS religion and how he gained unprecedented access to the group for his story.
  • J.J. Kelley and Josh Thomas spent 96 days paddling from Skagway, Alaska to Seattle, Washington through the Inside Passage in sea kayaks that they crafted by hand. The two recently finished a film about the journey titled “Paddle to Seattle.” Kelley and Thomas join Boyd to talk about the difficulties of making and naming the film.
  • Ever wonder how many organisms you’ll find in a cubic foot of soil or sea? National Geographic photographer David Liittschwager decided to find out, taking a 12-inch cube around the world, from an island in the South Pacific to the Duck River in Tennessee. Liittschwager tells Boyd about what he found. It may surprise you.
  • Got the winter blues? National Geographic Traveler magazine has suggestions for surprising getaways that will let you leave the cold and the crowds behind. Senior editor Norie Quintos joins Boyd to talk about “Great Winter Escapes” found in the January/February 2010 issue of the magazine.
  • Boyd says he knows from experience that chimpanzees are a potent combination of brains and brawn.

Tune in to National Geographic Weekend on the Salem Radio Network or on XM/Sirius satellite radio (XM channel 133 Sundays at noon), subscribe to the iTunes podcast, or get it streamed to your iPhone, Blackberry, Palm, or Android OS phone with Stitcher Radio.

Photograph of a Congolese rain forest chimp by Ian Nichols