When a university intern stumbled upon a seven-foot fish washed up on the beach at the University of Santa Barbara's (UCSB) Coal Oil Point Reserve on February 19, 2019, scientists assumed it was the mola mola sunfish. One of the world's heaviest known bony fishes, the species, found in tropical and temperate waters around the globe, is common in the Santa Barbara Channel.
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In early February 2019, 51-year-old Rainer Schimpf and his team set out to film South Africa's famous Sardine Run off the coast of Point Elizabeth. The annual migration of billions of Sardinops sagax, more commonly known as South African pilchards or sardines, is a big draw for predators, especially the Cape gannet, a beautiful, cream-colored seabird, and the common dolphin. The two species work together to herd the large group of fish and separate them into smaller shoals known as bait balls, which are then scooped up by not just the birds and the dolphins, but also other hunters such as copper sharks and Bryde's whales.
Shelby, who plays Bella in the recent Sony Pictures release A Dog’s Way Home, has all the traits of a celebrity pooch: bright, golden eyes, expressive eyebrows, and a big, brown nose. However, the pit bull mix did not always seem destined to be a movie star. About two years ago, Shelby was a stray puppy who lived on the streets and spent her days digging through trash for food scraps.
A walnut-sized bee with a wingspan of two and a half inches – about the length of a human thumb – may seem like something straight out of a science fiction movie. However, the Megachile pluto, or Wallace's Giant Bee, is not a figment of a movie writer's imagination, but a real insect that dwells in the Indonesian forests. While a few dead specimens of the bee have been discovered over the years, researchers have not seen a living one since 1981. Now, thanks to a team of dedicated American and Australian biologists, the magnificent bee has been photographed live in its natural habitat for the first time.
The severe winter storm that pummeled parts of Washington, D.C. with as much as six inches of snow on February 20, 2019 had most residents scrambling for the safety and warmth of their homes. However, Smithsonian's National Zoo's giant panda Bei Bei was not among them. The adorable three-year-old had the time of his life playing in the mounds of fresh powder that helped Washington, D.C. retain its stature as the snowiest major city on the US East Coast this year.
While any sighting of the critically-endangered leopard deserves mention, that of a black leopard is particularly newsworthy. What makes the specimen, recently captured on camera in Central Kenya by San Diego Zoo researchers and British wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas, unique is that it is the first scientific documentation of such a creature in Africa in nearly a century. Prior to this, the only confirmed sighting was a 1909 photograph taken in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Thanks to its harsh environment, Antarctica remained largely untouched by humans for many millennia, allowing a thriving ecosystem to evolve. However, since the 1990s, the last true wilderness on the planet is becoming an increasingly popular destination for adventure-seeking tourists. Now, a new study asserts that the visitors may be leaving behind harmful bacteria which could devastate the area’s native bird population.
While elephants born without tusks are not unheard of, they normally comprise just 2 to 6 percent of the herd population. However, that is not the case at Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, where an astounding 33 percent of female elephants born after the country’s civil war ended in 1992, are tuskless. While that may appear to be just a coincidence, Joyce Poole, an elephant behavior expert and National Geographic Explorer, has another theory. The researcher thinks we may be witnessing an unnaturally induced evolution of the species due to the incessant poaching of the mighty mammals for their valuable tusks.