In a reversal of roles, a humpback whale calf was recently seen nudging its stranded mother to safer, deeper waters off the east coast of Australia. The chain of events leading to the heartwarming rescue unfolded near North Stradbroke Island, 62 miles southwest of Brisbane, on Friday, October 7.
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Polish explorer Krzysztof Starnawski’s fascination with the Hranická Propast, or Hranice Abyss, an underwater cave in the Czech Republic, began in 1999. The diver, who once held the record for the deepest dive (283-meters) with a closed circuit rebreather, says the cave’s limestone unusual formation led him to suspect that it was a lot deeper than his dives had taken him.
The first clue that the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season would be an active one came in January, when Alex, a Category 1 hurricane, arrived six months before the season’s official June 1st start date. Since then, there have been 13 named storms and three hurricanes. However, none have been as devastating as Hurricane Matthew, which has left a trail of destruction all the way from Haiti to North Carolina.
Mourning the loss of a loved one was initially thought to be just a human characteristic. However, over the years, experts have observed similar behavior in terrestrial social animals like gorillas and elephants. In one case, a herd of wild elephants spent hours trying to lift the body of their dead matriarch. After accepting her death, the elephants covered the body with leaves and tree branches and kept vigil for two days before finally dispersing. Now, scientists have discovered that even whales undergo tremendous sorrow when they lose an offspring or companion.
The great frigatebird, a species of seabird found across the world’s tropical seas, has a 7 foot wingspan — the largest of any bird species its size. Past research had indicated that these adept pilots could stay aloft as long as a week at a time. It turns out, that the experts and even Christopher Columbus, who noticed the birds on his 1492 voyage to the Americas — and remarked “does not alight on the sea nor depart from land 20 leagues (70 miles)” — had vastly underestimated the magnificent bird’s flying prowess and smarts!
Like most bees, the ground nesting Anthophora squammulosa, that are native to parts of North and Central America, are a solitary species. The females lay their eggs in little underground nests and then head out to search for nectar to feed their developing larvae. This process usually takes place in environments with plenty of flora, to ensure a reliable supply of food.
Any member of the five species of the Prasinohaema (Greek: “green blood”) skinks that that live on the island of New Guinea in the South West Pacific, would have been a shoo-in for J.K. Rowling’s wildly imaginative Harry Potter book series. That’s because besides being the only known land vertebrates to have “vivid lime green” blood, the reptiles also sport green bones, green muscles, and even a green tongue!
The fact that the increasingly large amounts of plastic debris in our oceans is ending up inside the stomachs of marine animals is well-known However, experts had assumed that it was because the creatures mistook the colorful floating debris for food. Now, a team of researchers led by Oona Lönnstedt, a marine biologist at Sweden’s Uppsala University, has found that some baby fish may actually be choosing to eat plastic over regular food!