Given their reputation as solitary creatures that come together only to mate and hibernate, the notion of snakes hanging out in groups with their "best friends" may sound a little far-fetched. However, a recent study conducted by researchers from Canada's Wilfrid Laurier University asserts that the reptiles not only actively seek out socialization with their peers, but are also extremely particular about who they spend time with.
Since early May, visitors to the Padre Island National Seashore off the coast of South Texas have been discovering specimens of the rare blue dragon, or Glaucus atlanticus. Though the name evokes images of flying, fire breathing monsters, the delicate creatures are a type of sea slug that spend their lives in the temperate and tropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
The negative health impacts of plastic on both wildlife and humans have been well-documented. However, the versatile material, which is used for everything from grocery bags to drink bottles to food packaging, is hard to avoid. Experts estimate that of the 359 million tons of plastics produced annually worldwide, about 150–200 million tons end up in landfills or the environment. To make matters worse, the material derived from the small percentage of plastic that is recycled is of lower quality and can only be used a few times for items like clothing or carpets before it has to be discarded.
NASA's ambitious plans to land humans on the Moon by 2024 just got one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to the first comprehensive map of our satellite's surface. Unveiled on April 23, 2020, the colorful 1:5,000,000-scale "Unified Geologic Map of the Moon" is the result of decades of painstaking work by scientists from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), NASA, and the Lunar and Planetary Institute.
Earth Day, which is celebrated annually on April 22, is usually commemorated with outdoor activities demonstrating support for environmental protection. These include planting trees, collecting roadside or beach trash, and conducting, or participating in, recycling and conservation programs. While the coronavirus lockdowns will restrict some of the usual activities, organizations, educators, and activists worldwide have devised numerous ways to mark the 50th anniversary of this all-important holiday, which is dedicated to climate action this year, without leaving the comfort of your homes. Here are a few of the digital Earth Day celebrations planned for 2020.
Though many single-celled lifeforms have evolved to survive without oxygen, multicellular organisms have always been believed to need it to live. Now, scientists in Tel Aviv, Israel, have found that Henneguya salminicola, a parasite, which spends its life attached to the muscle tissue of fish, has adapted to living without oxygen.
Since the beginning of 2020, the East African country of Kenya has been battling the nation's worst desert locust outbreak in over 70 years. The destructive swarms, some as big as three times the size of New York City — an estimated 192 billion insects — are eating their way through thousands of acres of crops and animal pastures, decimating livelihoods in the process. Even worse, the locusts, which arrived from neighboring Somalia and Ethiopia, are now spreading to other countries, including Uganda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Congo.
California's Yosemite National Park is home to numerous stunning waterfalls. However, from mid-to-late February each year, the unlikely star of the pristine preserve is Horsetail Fall — a small, nondescript waterfall that forms over the eastern edge of the park's famous vertical rock formation, El Capitan, every winter. That's because, during the two-week-period, the temporary 1,000-foot fall frequently transforms into a spectacular "firefall" for about ten minutes a day during sunset.