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Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

As a crowd-pleasing family film, Dolphin Tale takes few risks but will still most likely be enjoyed by its target audience.

It tells the “based on true events” story of Winter, a dolphin that lost its tail after getting caught in a crab trap off of the Florida Gulf Coast. After rescue and recovery, Winter learns to swim anew, in part thanks to a first-of-its-kind prosthetic dolphin tail. (more…)

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A couple days ago we hopped into our car and pulled out of the driveway. Moments later, I saw an interesting looking insect clinging to our windshield. I thought it looked like a praying mantis, and sure enough Alicia thought it was too. (more…)

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I will make it no secret. I’ve been asking my wife for years if we could get a glow-in-the-dark ant farm. Now that our daughter is 3, the moment is imminent when I will probably enjoy our new pets more than she will.

So when I saw news today that Milton Levine had died, “the co-creator of ant farms,”  I felt sad. (more…)

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These photos are from one of my family’s recent visits to the National Zoo. During the winter, the Zoo’s Amazonia building is a warm, humid, and enchanting refuge from the cold outside.

A good summary from the National Zoo’s website:

Amazonia, the largest and most complex exhibit ever built at the National Zoo, opened to the public in 1992. The 15,000-square-foot rainforest habitat of the exhibit includes a cascading tropical river and a 55,000-gallon aquarium for the display of Amazon River fish.

Within Amazonia’s dome, visitors find a living tropical forest with more than 350 species of plants, including 50-foot-tall trees, tropical vines, and epiphytes. This habitat is also home to dozens of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects typical of the Amazon Basin, all moving throughout the exhibit. Smooth-sided toads and silver-beaked tanagers breed freely, titi monkeys jump from branch to branch, a two-toed sloth hides behind large leaves, white-bellied hummingbirds zip about.

It really is as good as the description makes it out to be. But without further ado, more photographs. (more…)

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The Aequorea Victoria species of jellyfish has already helped provide one major scientific breakthrough. Will it lead to another?

A Wisconsin based biotechnology company claims that one of their clinical studies has shown that a protein extracted from a unique species of bioluminescent jellyfish helps improve the memories of Alzheimers patients.

Using a randomized controlled trial, Quincy Bioscience reports interim results indicating that participants who took an experimental drug with the jellyfish protein tested 14% higher on cognitive tests than those who received a placebo.

Continue reading on Greenopolis (link)

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I was searching through an old desk drawer earlier this morning and I found a cool photo of artwork from my nephew David. He made this drawing about 4 years ago when he was much younger, but I had luckily scanned it along with some of his other work. I was able to find the files on my computer and I thought I would share them and make some comments.

Cabalito (Little horse)

Cabalito is the first one I found, and I think it is a really beautiful example of childrens’ artwork. I really like how the 3 animals on the left are balanced with the tall plant and duck on the right. It’s really clear that David has the potential to be a professional artist, because his animals are so charming and distinct. (more…)

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There have been a number of times when I have wondered which states are the most biodiverse in the nation. I was surprised to discover that this information is not easily found, so I set out to make my own map and resource that would help people to easily obtain this information. And, yes, I am a proud nerd.

Before I provide more commentary about my map and a precise list of the most biodiverse states, I first should explain that “biodiversity” is a term that has no 100% agreed upon scientific definition.

Click here to continue reading on Ecopolitology and view the map.

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