Pollination: it's vital to life on Earth but largely unseen by the human eye. Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg shows us the intricate world of pollen and pollinators with gorgeous high-speed images from his film "Wings of Life," inspired by the vanishing of one of nature's primary pollinators, the honeybee.
Today is Penguin Awareness Day. Truth be told, this is an incredibly silly holiday. We should be honoring this majestic beast every day of our lives. Alas, we have just Penguin Awareness Day in January and World Penguin Day in April.
Wolves are at least as tolerant and socially attentive as dogs.
Dogs are man's best friend and partner. The origins of this dog-human relationship were subject of a study by behavioural scientists from the Messerli Research Institute at the Vetmeduni Vienna and the Wolf Science Center. They showed that the ancestors of dogs, the wolves, are at least as attentive to members of their species and to humans as dogs are. This social skill did not emerge during domestication, as has been suggested previously, but was already present in wolves.
The Cat House on the Kings is the largest no-kill, no-cage cat sanctuary in California, housing over 700+ cats on a 12 acre property right alongside the Kings River in Parlier, CA. Each week, as a regular volunteer, I get the chance to help photograph cats, kittens, and even some puppies to help bring awareness to the sanctuary and aid in the adoption of the animals.
If you like starling murmurations you'll get a mental orgasm with this stunning video filmed by Alpacamedia in Utretch, Netherlands. Just sit back, take it to full screen, hit play, and the rest of the world will fade away while you watch thousands of birds dance to a mysterious silent song.
Golden orb-web spiders (Nephila clavipes) are sit and wait hunters that accumulate prey larders on their webs. These larders are sometimes stolen by other spiders. If prey items are removed from their webs, golden orb-web spiders search for them.
Each country has its own invasive species and rampant plants with a tendency to grow out of control. In most, the techniques for dealing with them are similar - a mixture of powerful chemicals and diggers. But in the US a new weapon has joined the armoury in recent years - the goat.
In a field just outside Washington, Andy, a tall goat with long, floppy ears, nuzzles up to his owner, Brian Knox.
The aquarium looks empty, but there is something in it. A pair of eyes stick out from the sandy floor, and their owner is easily scooped up into a glass bowl. At first, the creature looks like a hazelnut truffle — small, round and covered in tiny flecks. But with a gentle shake, the flecks of sand fall off to reveal a female Hawaiian bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes), about the size of a thumb. As she jets furiously around the bowl, discs of pigment bloom and fade over her skin like a living pointillist painting.
There are no other animals in the bowl, but the squid is not alone. Its undersides contain a two-chambered light organ that is full of glowing bacteria called Vibrio fischeri. In the wild, their luminescence is thought to match the moonlight welling down from above and cancel out the squid's shadow, hiding the animal from predators. From below, the squid is invisible. From above, it is adorable. “They're just so beautiful,” says Margaret McFall-Ngai, a zoologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. “They're phenomenal lab animals.”
Few things excite McFall-Ngai more than the partnership between the bobtail squid and V. fischeri — and that is after studying it for more than 26 years. Over that time, she has shown that this symbiotic relationship is more intimate than anyone had imagined. She has found that the bacterium out-competes other microbes to establish an entirely faithful relationship with one host. It interacts with the squid's immune system, guides its body clock and shapes its early development by transforming its body.
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