Every winter, hundreds of humpback whales migrate long distances from their high latitude feeding grounds in the Arctic and Antarctic to warmer tropical regions to breed and give birth. The newborn calves, which consume over 52 gallons of milk on a daily basis, have only a few months to pack on the body fat needed to survive the long trek back to cooler waters in summer. How the babies signal hunger and avoid predators during these formative months has always been a mystery to scientists.
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Thailand’s free-roaming monkeys are a huge tourist draw. The primates, mostly macaques, are known to boldly visit with tourists who lure them with food. One of these monkeys, in particular, has recently become a worldwide sensation for both its gargantuan size and unique social status among his peers.
Tim Caro, Professor of Wildlife Biology at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), has made it his mission to understand the evolution of coloration in mammals. The researcher spent twenty years investigating why zebras sport black and white stripes (to ward off flies) and even wrote a book, Zebra Stripes, about his epic discovery. Now, Caro has solved the age-old mystery of why giant pandas also sport the dual coloration.
On April 29, officials at the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) received a tip from the local police chief that some villagers in Indonesia’s West Kalimantan province were holding a Bornean orangutan captive. When the rescue team arrived at the Tanggirang village they discovered that instead of the signature orange-reddish brown hair, the great ape had white hair, a paler skin color, and blue eyes. The mammal was also very sensitive to light.
On Sunday, April 23, almost 50,000 athletes took to the streets to compete in the 37th London Marathon. While few were able to get even close to Daniel Wanjiru’s 2:05:48 winning time, none were as slow as Tom Harrison, who literally crawled to the finish line, six days later, on April 30.
About 130 years ago, Harry Govier Seeley, a paleontologist trained in Cambridge, classified dinosaurs into two distinct groups, or clades, based on the shape of their pelvic bones. The “reptile-hipped” saurischians included carnivorous theropods like the Tyrannosaurus Rex (T-Rex), while the “bird-hipped” ornithischians comprised herbivores such as the Stegosaurus and Triceratops. As more dinosaur fossils were discovered, a third group, dubbed sauropodomorphs, was established. In 1887, Seeley concluded that the long-necked herbivorous sauropods, like the Brontosaurus, were related to theropods and classified them as saurischians.
All canine owners know that feeding their pets regular ice cream can result in serious health issues. Many dogs are lactose intolerant and consumption of dairy upsets their digestive systems. Moreover, just like in humans, eating large amounts of sugar causes dogs to become hyper and unfocused, and can also result in dental cavities, diabetes, and obesity. Now, thanks to Mauricio Montoya, some lucky dogs in Mexico City are finally able to enjoy the frozen treat without their owners worrying about any harmful side effects.
Like the rest of their species, the Southern Hemisphere humpbacks, or Megaptera novaeangliae, are not social animals. The baleen whales typically prefer to remain solo or amalgamate in small groups which disperse quickly. However, since 2011, researchers from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town have been observing a new phenomenon off the coast of South Africa — large swarms of whales, comprising anywhere from 20 to 200 individuals. Professor Ken Findlay and his team reported seeing 22 instances of the large groups on three different occasions in 2011, 2014, and 2015.