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Category archives for Animals

Rapa Expedition: Fish Finding Their Footing

The Pristine Seas Expedition gets its first dive in at Rapa, and brings us photos from beneath the waves of the far-flung island.

Is Your Salmon Small Because of Hungry Cavemen?

Stone Age fishermen in northern Spain selected the biggest whoppers, leaving us with a smaller catch, a new study claims.

Rapa Expedition: An Ancient Secret for Protecting the Future

People have survived for centuries on the tiny island of Rapa, carefully managing their resources through an ancient system known as rahui. What lessons does it hold for the rest of the world today?

Industrial-Scale Tiger Farms: Feeding China’s Thirst for Luxury Tiger Products

Young, healthy tigers jump through rings of fire, sit upright on cue, clawing at the air, and perform other well-choreographed circus tricks. Enthusiastic crowds cheer. After the show, some pay extra to hold small, cuddly cubs. But those who visit these tiger attractions in China have no idea of the suffering behind the scenes or the dark commerce that keeps them afloat.

October 19, 2014: Creating Electricity From Food Waste, Arresting Poachers and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend radio, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they unearth the habits of the world’s largest-ever carnivore, digest kitchen waste to cook dinner, eat like a 500 year old king, stalk Chernobyl’s ruins, trace tree rings’ roots, write a novel about elephants with a plot twist, kayak to protest dams, prosecute poachers in Mozambique, and see the unseen as a large format film.

Puppy-Size Tarantula Found: Explaining World’s Biggest Spider

The world’s largest spider has crept back into the spotlight, thanks to a scientist who described harrowing arachnid encounters on his blog.

Why a Swordfish’s Sword Doesn’t Break

A swordfish’s “sword” is its most prominent feature, but scientists have only now discovered the unusual properties that keep the sword strong and ready to slash.

CITES and confiscated elephant ivory and rhino horn – to destroy or not destroy?

Over the past 24 months we have seen a number of countries, including Belgium, Chad, China, Hong Kong SAR, China, Czech Republic, Gabon, France, Philippines, and the USA, destroy stockpiles of illegally traded elephant ivory and rhino horn that have been seized and confiscated. I have been invited by national CITES authorities to witness several…

Roads Benefit People But Can Have Massive Environmental Costs

Road-killed tapir in Peninsular Malaysia (photo © WWF-Malaysia/Lau Ching Fong) By William F. Laurance Located in the wrong places, roads can open a Pandora’s Box of problems, says William F. Laurance In a recent Opinion in National Geographic News (“Want to make a dent in world hunger? Build better roads”, 14 October 2014), U.S. Ambassador Kenneth…

Why Did Thousands of Venomous Spiders Swarm a House?

Thousands of brown recluse spiders that forced a family from their home may have been mostly males looking for mates, scientist says.

Weird Animal Question of the Week: A Fungus That Looks Like Strawberries and Cream

This Weird Animal Question of the Week focuses on the odd world of fungi, which can resemble wiffleballs, bird’s nests, and strawberries and cream.

Why We “Celebrate” Threatened Species

Yesterday I met Lonesome George. He was the last of his kind and he is now displayed in taxidermy at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He’s tucked away under a glass case in an alcove on the 4th floor amidst other extinct species, but, none of their extinctions are nearly as…

Report Estimates Enormous Economic Value of Living Elephants

When a young elephant dies at the hands of an ivory poacher, according to a recent report, the commercial loss to the tourism industry is more than $1.6 million–­–the amount the animal would have contributed to the economy had it lived a full and happy life.

Watch: Kickboxing Kangaroos and 4 of Nature’s Most Impressive Fighters

After video of kickboxing kangaroos went viral last week, we take a closer look at more of nature’s impressive fighters.

Putin’s Tiger – Caught in the Act!

By Zoe Jewell of Wildtrack  Last week Vladimir Putin released Kuzya, complete with electronic tracking device, but forgot to tell her she was to stay in Russia. Shortly after she swam across the freezing Amur river into China where she stopped for supper at a Chinese chicken farm take-away.  She left nothing but a few…