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Avocado Pollinators Need Weeds and Wildflowers…

One of my favourite plants (after cacao that produces chocolate!) is the avocado. They truly are one of the most delicious and nutritious fruits around… Mmmmm… tasty avocado! Avocado trees are one of the many different crops that depend on wild insects pollinators. I recently spent some time in the Kerio Valley in northwestern Kenya…

Q&A: Inside the Fight Against Wildlife Trafficking in Brazil

Conservation biologist Juliana Machado Ferriera talks about her work to halt illegal wildlife trade in Brazil, which affects nearly 40 million animals each year.

Vampire Bats Gain the Taste of Blood, Lose Their Taste of Bitter

When vampire bats acquired their taste for blood, they lost their ability to sense bitter flavors, according to a new study.

Lionfish Flare Their Fins to Hunt Together

A new study finds that lionfish—those venomous, striped invaders of reefs in the Caribbean and off of Florida—fan their fins to gather a posse while hunting prey.

The High-Flying Ant With a Bite Like a Bear Trap

There’s an invasive species conquering new territory in the southeastern United States. It has gnarly jaws, a formidable sting, and the ability to launch itself into the air like a bottle rocket. These insects are known as trap-jaw ants, and they could be heading to a backyard near you. Most trap-jaw ants belong to the…

Q&A: What Animal Mental Illness Tells Us About Humans

Mental illness doesn’t only affect humans: Animals like dogs and cats suffer from anxiety, dementia, and even phobias, according to a new book.

The Top of the IUCN Red List

The 61 Most-Threatened Species: Identifying a definitive list of the most threatened species is a difficult and sensitive exercise. Although lists are popular and useful, a comprehensive list of the Most Threatened Species depends on what you think makes a species most at risk of extinction and could conceivable contain all 4,286 Critically Endangered species…

Why Don’t Octopuses Tie Themselves in Knots?

A self-recognition system ensures octopus arms remain tangle-free, according to a new study.

Q&A: What Animals Tell Us About Love and Dating

Jennifer Verdolin’s new book Wild Connection reveals how our relationships and courtships often mirror those of other species in the animal world.

Rare Goblin Shark Caught in Gulf of Mexico

A rare goblin shark makes a surprise appearance in a fishing net south of Key West, Florida.

Fishing in the Gene Pool for New Species

  By Matthew Frank  One day last summer, Michael LeMoine, a Ph.D. candidate in fisheries biology at the University of Montana, carried a nondescript cardboard box into the Missoula FedEx office. Inside it was a jar of ethanol containing a single specimen of a new species of a type of fish called a sculpin. The…

Chickens and Dogs and Bears, Oh My (DNA)

Why did the chicken cross the road? We may never know. But since it did, and it carried its DNA, we can now say something about both chicken and human migration. Yes, using DNA to trace migration and history is not limited to just humans. A new paper on polar and brown bear DNA suggests…

From Night Vision to Heaters, 3 of the Ocean’s Most Remarkable Eyes

This post is reprinted, with permission, from The Extreme Life of the Sea, by Stephen Palumbi and Tony Palumbi, Princeton University Press 2014. Evolution throws countless designs at the proverbial wall and steps back to see what sticks. All that evolution really needs is a big, variable population to experiment on and a lot of…

Some Ancient Sloths Ventured Into the Ocean, Study Says

A new study finds that dense bones enabled aquatic sloths to sink to shallow seagrass beds in order to graze.

Volunteers Needed to Study American Eels

This week, a trio of organizations have asked the public to help gather data on one of New York City’s more slippery residents: the American eel (Anguilla rostrata). (We previously profiled the American eel as a Freshwater Species of the Week in August 2012.) Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium, the New York State Department…