Ecologist Chris Morgan travels to the jungles of Northern Sumatra to document the work being done to save its population of wild orangutans. Asia’s most intelligent ape once roamed across the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java, but today, fewer than 7,000 Sumatran orangutans remain in the wild. The film cites rapid deforestation — clearing the land for vast palm oil plantations — as the chief reason for the species’ declining population.
But as Morgan shows, conservationists are trying to reverse that trend by teaching orphaned orangutans the survival skills they’ll need for release back into the jungle. He also accompanies researchers deep into a remote and protected peat swamp forest to study wild orangutans up close to learn about their culture and behavior.
Known for their beautiful singing duets, plain wrens of Costa Rica perform precise phrase-by-phrase modifications to the duration between two consecutive phrases, achieving careful coordination as their songs unfold, according to a new study...
The asymmetrical flight feathers of their wings are among the most distinctive features of living birds. But how are these feathers actually constructed, and when did they first appear in evolutionary history?
Peaches, a Moluccan Cockatoo, was previously owned by a couple that had divorced. There must have been some heated arguments, as Peaches now mimics a couple arguing, even dramatically moving her head as if pointing aggressively at the other person. She is hilarious!
A new study has revealed the fun-loving side of crocodiles; the reptiles, generally regarded as ferocious and aggressive, are reported to surf waves, play ball and engage in piggyback rides to have fun.
Honeybees and bumblebees are favorite subjects in the study of learning and memory because they rely on color, scent and taste to help them find flowers and, therefore, food. They forage, so they are also good at using sensory cues to map their surroundings. In the new study, U.K.-based researchers tested bumblebees’ false memory formation using differently colored fake flowers.
High-speed cameras reveal when insects become self-organizing.
To most people, a cloud of midges is an annoyance. To Nicholas Ouellette it is the key to a mysterious animal behaviour — the swarm.
Ouellette, who works on complex systems at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and his colleague James Puckett, have found that swarms of these insects become self-organizing when their numbers reach just ten individuals.
Their paper, published on 13 August in Journal of the Royal Society Interface1, is part of a small but growing area of research producing data from real swarms to inform models of this behaviour.
Ouellette and Puckett set up laboratory colonies of Chironomus riparius midges, which live for only a few days after reaching adulthood and tend to fly only at dawn or dusk.
“A lot of people will say a swarm is just a whole bunch of insects,” says Ouellette. “I would like to say a swarm is somehow collective and self-organizing.”
A University of Michigan-led study of penguin genetics has concluded that the flightless aquatic birds lost three of the five basic vertebrate tastes—sweet, bitter and the savory, meaty taste known as umami—more than 20 million years ago and never...
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