Humans Are Overzealous Whale Morticians
We hastily dispose of dead whales, ignoring the ecological significance of their carcasses.
What Oceanographers Can Learn From Their Animal Colleagues
When you need good data in rough seas, send in the elephant seals.
Florida’s Special Sponge for Soaking up Pollution: Fish
In the swampy center of Florida, 15 miles northwest of Orlando, lies Lake Apopka, a 30,000-acre monument to the transformative power of fish. Apopka may be almost exactly the same size as nearby Disney World, but it’s far from a tourist attraction. For decades the lake served as an agricultural dumping ground for adjacent citrus […]
Biologists’ Clever Way to Detect Animals They Can’t Find
A hellbender at the National Zoo in WashingtonBrian Gratwicke via Flickr Wildlife doesn’t get much weirder than the hellbender, a frilly, crayfish-gobbling salamander, about the length of a baby alligator, whose bizarre aliases include “snot otter,” “devil dog,” and “grampus.” The giant amphibian stalks rocky streambeds throughout the eastern United States—or at least it did, […]
This Tool-Using Sniper Changed What We Think About Fish
An archerfish lets fly at its unsuspecting prey.Ingo Rischawy / Schuster lab, University of Bayreuth Few animals have had their cognitive abilities maligned like fish. Myths about their dullness abound—no doubt you’ve heard the one about goldfish’s three-second memories. But have you also heard the one about gobies memorizing the location of rock pools? Or coral […]
Searching for Disappearing Species in the US’ Deepest Wilds
Michael Lucid photographs samples found during the Multispecies Baseline Initiative (MBI).Ben Goldfarb In 2010, Michael Lucid, a biologist with the Idaho Department of Fish & Game, captured a surprise in a beer-baited gastropod trap—a slug that didn’t genetically resemble any of the ones he’d caught before. On a hunch, Lucid sent the mysterious invertebrate to […]