The recent bleaching of coral reefs serves as a terrifying reminder that the threat of global warming is upon us. The increase in water temperature, along with other factors like the acidification of the oceans, has left its ghostly mark on reefs off Australia, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania and the Seychelles.
But why has it affected some areas and not others? A study carried out by scientists from the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research (Ncar) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (Aims), reveals that it may have to do with an built-in ocean thermostat that prevents the sea surface temperature from exceeding 31 degrees Celsius. Lead author Joan Kleypas explains: “Global warming is damaging many coral but it appears to be bypassing certain reefs that support some of the greatest diversity of life on the planet.” The upshot? “In essence, reefs that are already in hot water may be more protected from warming than reefs that are not; this is rare hopeful news for these important ecosystems.”
Everyone loves a good yard sale. It’s practically an American tradition to pull your car over on a Sunday afternoon and scour through a stranger’s belongings on a personal scavenger hunt for the best priced item to add to your collection. But has this American tradition gone too far?
The federal government has decided to hold its own sale. Their yard is a chunk of ocean floor in Alaska just smaller than the size of Pennsylvania, and the items for sale are the futures of Arctic animals like polar bears, walruses and whales. That’s right…the federal government is auctioning off 46,000 square miles off Alaska’s coast to petroleum leases starting next month. Gas companies, step right up.
The saline and mineral residue of the Pan and moisture from the summer rains attract an immense number and variety of game animals from the highly endangered black rhino to the elusive tiny damara dikdik and the rare endemic black faced impala.
The dense vegetation of the northern sector of the famed Sabi Sand Reserve provided the perfect cover for the wildlife and it requires all our tracker’s skills to find them as we track elephant and rhino on foot.
The name comes from the african word for two lions.
Evolution is a fascinating thing. It’s amazing to think that animals can physically breed out organs their bodies deem unnecessary, while some “scarred for life” humans can’t even seem to shake traumatic events from their lives. Granted, the evolution of animals happens over a much longer period of time, but it’s still an amazing concept. And it makes you wonder if there’s something we could learn from the smaller creatures that share our planet.
Clearly, we couldn’t survive without lungs. But a frog called the Barbourula kalimantanensis that can was recently found in a cold-water stream on the island of Borneo in Indonesia. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
I’m really sick of this story: animal needs food but can’t get it because man is hording it for evil purposes. It’s like taking candy from a baby, except that instead of simply crying, the animals in question are dying.
The latest potential casualty is this seemingly never ending saga is the red knot. This medium sized bird lives on the shore, breeds in tundra and has an enormous migration pattern that takes them from the lower parts of South America all the way to the Arctic. Along its journey the red knot pit stops in Delaware to feast on its food of choice — the eggs produced by horseshoe crabs.
But the red knot has unfair competition in the way of commercial fisherman, who scoop up the horseshoe crabs and use them as bait. And the proof of the results is in the pudding: over the last two decades, horseshoe crabbing has gone up while the red knot’s population has gone down. Way down.
On this edition of African Odyssey, we travel to the African city of Dares Salaam which sounded interesting and mysterious. A fascinating city, a fusion of African and Arabic cultures. The city is on the way to one of the last truly wild life reserves in Africa, the Salaam / Selous. Join us on this photo safari.
We’ve all got our emotional vices. Some people love a good chick flick. Others get turned on by the exhilaration of a hockey game. For me, the best feel-good stories are animal stories. Real ones. Especially ones featuring an underdog (or, in this case, undergoat) that bucks the odds and ends up living a good life. Like this one from the New York Times.
Last August, a stray goat was picked up from a park near Woodstock, New York and taken to an animal sanctuary run by a woman named Jenny Brown. The former television producer turned animal rights activist named the goat Albie (after Albert Schweitzer). The poor malnourished and sickly animal had been hogtied, she surmised from the injuries on his limbs, and his left leg was so infected from the injuries that it had to be amputated.
Not sure what concerns me more: the sad, seemingly hopeless plight of the Yangtze River Porpose or the fact that in China, this beautiful animal is referred to as the “river pig”.
Obviously, I’m more concerned about the former. Especially after reading a study published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, which reveals that “the Yangtze River Porpoise, the only freshwater finless porpoise in existence, is in danger of becoming extinct”. The porpoise, which lives in the mid to lower reaches of the Yangtze and in the Poyang and Dongting lakes, is feared to soon suffer the same fate as the “baiji” or Yangtze River Dolphin. The cause of the encroaching extinction can be attributed to high concentrations of man-made chemicals found in the tissue samples of this aquatic mammal.
Cheney Preferred Type of Right Whale – Hanging from the museum ceiling. Photos by Cryptonaut
Should it really come as any surprise that Dick Cheney is using misinformation and sheer disregard for real science to block protection for one of the most endangered species on the planet? Not to me. After 7 ½ years, I understand that business for these guys is more important than anything else. Whether it’s negotiating an energy policy in secret or requiring “sound science” before doing anything about climate change, Bush – Cheney, actually – and his cronies are simply not interested when it comes to doing anything that might prevent big business from raking in huge profits. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
On this edition of African Odyssey, we head to Kruger National Park. We follow some of the adventures of some of the parks wild residents. The African lion rules here and the prey species like Zebra know how to stay clear of this dangerous predator.
Join us as we take a photo safari in one of the last great wild places on this Earth.
Remember when you first saw stories about the clubbings of baby seals? Remember that nasty business? Well, now I’m reading — though it seems to have been popular for a while — that people are eating horses as dinner.
Horsies? Like Mr. Ed? You can’t you eat Mr. Ed.
Allow me to paint you a picture of the travesty in question. Let’s say Mr. Ed’s family decides they don’t love him anymore. Either he’s gotten too expensive to take care of, times are tough, and let’s face it, Ed was kind of an arrogant asshole for a while there. So, his family decides to auction him at market to be sold as meat, so he can be shipped thousands of miles until he is outside the U.S. borders where he can be inhumanely slaughtered and sautéed into waffles, pasta or crepes.
When I first read about Mr. Ed unceremoniously being turned into a Horsie Dynamite Roll, I wondered what third world nation could possibly be behind this. But to my surprise, it turns out these horse auctions take place right here in the U.S. In Indiana, to be precise. That’s Ford Country. Leave it to the heartland to give us the most disturbing news yet.