Animals

Food
7:52 am
Mon July 21, 2014

To Save These Pigs, Ky. Farmer Says We Have To Eat Them

Kentucky hog farmer Travis Hood with Luther, a young Red Wattle boar. Hood started raising Red Wattles five years ago after cuts to his job, and began turning a profit on the meat in February.
Courtesy of Hood's Heritage Hogs

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 2:54 pm

Robertson County has the smallest population of any county in the state of Kentucky, and it's the only one, word has it, without a stoplight.

So it's an unlikely place to find a campaign to keep the food system more genetically diverse. But that is exactly what's happening on a small farm owned by Travis Hood, called Hood's Heritage Hogs.

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Science
5:31 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Sixth-Grader's Science Fair Finding Shocks Ecologists

Scientists previously underestimated the ability of the lionfish to live in less salty water.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 8:09 am

When 12-year-old Lauren Arrington heard about her sixth-grade science project, she knew she wanted to study lionfish. Growing up in Jupiter, Fla., she saw them in the ocean while snorkeling and fishing with her dad.

Her project showed that the lionfish can survive in nearly fresh water. The results blew away professional ecologists. The invasive species has no predators on the Florida coast, so if they were to migrate upstream in rivers, they could pose a threat to the ecosystem.

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Sat July 19, 2014

400,000+ Sign Petition To Move 'Sad Bear' To Better Life In Canada

Arturo, the only polar bear in Argentina, lives in captivity at a zoo in Mendoza. The plight of the "sad bear" has spawned more than 400,000 signatures on a petition to get him moved to a "better life" in Canada.
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 1:33 pm

Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET.

Social media has dubbed Arturo, a polar bear living in an Argentinian zoo, the "world's saddest animal," and more than 400,000 people have signed an online petition asking that he be moved to a "better life" in Canada.

Photos of Arturo, 29, looking distressed and lying flat out on his stomach that have circulated online prompted the petition. The bear's enclosure mate, Pelusa, died two years ago, the BBC says.

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Science & Technology
10:55 am
Thu July 17, 2014

'Love Motel For Insects' Opens for Business In RTP

Love Motel for Insects: Eining Variation
Credit Foto Mayer

There's a new establishment opening for one night only in Research Triangle Park. It's a Love Motel for Insects. Imagine several teepees lit up against the night sky - attracting area insects from far and wide.

It's a voyeuristic space. Once the ultraviolet light attracts the insects, people can look closely at them. Brandon Ballengée is the scientist/artist behind the project. An article in American Scientist Magazine provides some background:

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Environment
5:15 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Noted Biologist, Naturalist E.O. Wilson Releases Cutting-Edge iBook Textbook

This is an example of the style of graphic in the textbook.
Credit E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation

Attention teachers and lifelong learners: noted naturalist and biologist Dr. Edward O. Wilson has a new product out that just might make you swoon. It's a gorgeous high-tech interactive textbook series with full-color photos, 3D animations and interviews with working scientists. It's aligned with educational standards and it's free.

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Environment
11:50 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Bear Spotted In Raleigh, 'Looking For A Place To Live'

Credit Casey Brown / Flickr/Creative Commons

Early Monday, officials were tracking a bear in the Five Points area of Raleigh. WRAL reported that information about the bear began to come in after midnight.

A mailman working in the area told WRAL News that a couple reported seeing the bear near a home under construction at the corner of Carroll and Whitaker Mill Road.

 

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Environment
7:52 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Scientists Rush To Find (And Name) Species To Save Them

Scientists are racing to catalog as many new species as possible before they go extinct. The data can be useful in preserving key habitat.
Credit Juan Rendon / Saving Species

Species are going extinct about 1,000 times faster than they should be because their habitat is being destroyed. That's according to new research led by Duke University.

Conservation Ecology Professor Stuart Pimm said the worse news is that nearly 90 percent of the species are unknown to scientists.

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Environment
12:53 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Broken Flipper, Collapsed Lung; Nichols The Sea Turtle Finally Back In NC Waters

Loggerhead sea turtle
Credit Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, Topsail Island

In the fall of 2012 a severely injured loggerhead sea turtle was rescued off the coast of North Carolina.

The loggerhead was brought to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Topsail Island, and then was transported to North Carolina State University School of Veterinary Medicine where a team worked on her injuries. The team named the turtle Nichols and began to figure out the extent of the damage.

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Environment
3:05 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Two Young Gorillas Must Leave NC Zoo, Here's Why

The gorilla family unit at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro
Credit wunc

This fall the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro will ship its five gorillas away.  The decision was made after a recommendation from the members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Gorilla Species Survival Plan. 

Here’s the problem—wild gorillas exist in groups that include one male, two or three females and their offspring.  Two baby male gorillas were born at the North Carolina Zoo this fall, Apollo and Bomassa, and all was well.

But then the father, Nkosi, died in November, which left no adult male role model for the two young gorillas.   

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The State of Things
9:46 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Rain Forest Diversity

spittlebug
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Scientist discuss rain forest diversity and conservation

Rain forests are home to an incredible variety of species. From cute olinguitos to slimy spittlebugs, scientists are discovering creatures all the time. The exhibit "Rainforest Adventure" at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences educates kids on rain forest diversity and conservation.

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