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April 6, 2014: Riding Horses Across Continents, Swimming in the Arctic Ocean and More

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. Please check listings near you to find the best way to listen to National Geographic Weekend on radio, or listen below! Hour 1 - Filipe Masetti left Calgary, Alberta on horseback nearly two…

A Dome for Turtles and More

This week, Armando Ubeda, Mesoamerican Program Manager for LightHawk traveled to Costa Rica as part of an expedition to promote the conservation and governability of the Central American Dome. LightHawk is in Costa Rica supporting this initiative led by MarViva, donating flight to the expedition and helping raise the profile of this effort. The Central…

Electronic Tagging and Tracking Marine Animals Supports Conservation

Understanding and predicting animal movement is important as it is central to establishing effective management and conservation strategies [1]. Until relatively recently, studying the movements and behaviors of highly migratory marine species (turtles, sharks, whales, penguins, seals and billfish) have been challenging due to the logistical and technological constraints of working in aquatic environments. However,…

New Caledonia Expedition: Turtle Lovin’

Written by Manu San Félix Today we had a difficult day of diving, navigating far away from our ship with dive boats in rough seas. In spite of the bad conditions we were able to complete three dives in beautiful reefs and coral gardens with groupers, sharks and more. Afterwards, we went back to our…

The Ocean’s Unsung Heroes – Hooray for the Little Guys & Just Keep Swimming!

When most people think about ocean creatures, they picture large charismatic species like whales, penguins, polar bears, sharks and turtles. These magnificent animals are the “celebrities” of the oceans and tend to received significant public and scientific attention. In fact, they are even play starring roles in Hollywood movies, such as Happy Feet, Dolphin Tale,…

The Turtle and the Town: Freshwater Species of the Week

  The northern map turtle (Graptemys geographica) is a relatively large aquatic turtle that is native to North America. It is named for the lines on its shell, which resemble the contour lines on a map. Map turtles show extreme sexual size dimorphism, which means the genders grow to different sizes. Northern male map turtles…

Saving Other Turtles from George’s Lonesome Fate

For turtle species numbering in the hundreds or less, we may only have a few years before we lose these marvels of evolution forever. We have the ability to make a difference, and we have the ethical responsibility to respond. We must act now to ensure that future generations have the opportunity to spot a turtle in the wild and that no species finds itself reduced by human greed or mismanagement to one last, lonesome representative.

Australia’s Menopause-Busting Turtles: Freshwater Species of the Week

  Australia’s unique freshwater turtles (like the Eastern longneck pictured) may hold promise for medical breakthroughs. The reptiles can live longer than a century and they don’t seem to go through menopause, suggesting that they may have anti-aging properties. Freshwater turtle expert Ricky Spencer of the University of Western Sydney told Australian media that, paradoxically,…

Alligator Snapping Turtle: Freshwater Species of the Week

  I had been standing still for at least a half hour, counting and identifying the birds that landed on a large snag — a standing dead tree — on the edge of a small wetland in rural southern Indiana, as part of undergraduate research. Sweating in my waders on that steamy summer day, I…

The Black Turtle Project

The good news: the black turtles are back. The bad news: so are the poachers.

Cold Sea Puts Stunned Turtles in South Carolina Aquarium ‘Hospital’

The unusually cold weather is stranding scores of distressed sea turtles along the southern U.S. Atlantic coast. “More than 100 turtles have washed up cold stunned on North Carolina beaches in the past week,” the South Carolina Aquarium said in a news statement. When sea turtles are in cold water for long they have a hypothermic reaction, the…

Lost World: The Marine Realm of Aldabra & the Seychelles

Seen from orbiting spaceships as little more than specks of rock and coral in a remote part of the Indian Ocean, the 115 islands of the Seychelles are in many ways an unknown or forgotten corner of the planet. That’s probably why they have survived as one of the world’s least touched ocean habitats and a sanctuary for marine animals. Clicking…

Turtles rescued from Gulf released into Atlantic

The first group of hatchlings from endangered sea turtle eggs brought from beaches along the northern U.S. Gulf Coast was released into the Atlantic Ocean off NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 11, NASA said in this video released on YouTube. “Twenty-two Kemp’s ridley turtles were set free on a Kennedy Space Center/Canaveral…

The crocodiles that hang around a nuclear power station

Biscayne National Park–What’s the difference between a crocodile and an alligator? It’s a common question visitors ask National Park Service rangers. There are very clear differences in skull shape and coloring–and surprisingly, according to some experts, the American crocodile is less aggressive than the American alligator. The American croc is evidently a lot more genteel…

Making the oceans turtle-friendly by eating well

By Bryan Wallace During their decades-long lives, sea turtles must endure a ceaseless gauntlet of predators–beaked, toothed, clawed, and thumbed–and human-made hazards like coastal development and plastic trash posing as prey. Unfortunately, even if they succeed in evading these threats, millions of sea turtles worldwide are unable to avoid falling victim to the most serious,…