Environment

New bug species discovered in world’s deepest cave

A new species of ground beetle perfectly adapted to extreme environments has been discovered in the world’s deepest cave system, the Krubera-Voronja, in Russia. The insect is about a quarter of an inch long and blind. In fact, given there isn’t light whatsoever reaching it, the bug has evolved extended antennae and a body that has […]

Scientists genetically screen alleged Yeti samples, find they’re from known mammals instead

One of the most popular urban myths speaks of Bigfoot – an 8-foot tall creature, covered in thick, dark hair. The creature, also known as sasquatch or Yeti (the Asian counterpart) has spurred the imagination of countless people, some of whom went a step farther to report actual sightings of the elusive beast. If you […]

Only one sixth of the original Caribbean corals remain, but damage can be reversed

It’s estimated that only a sixth of the original coral reef that covered the Caribbean waters is still alive today, according to a recent report released by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). If no major interference occurs, most […]

Fracked oil wells more likely to leak methane in the groundwater and atmosphere than conventional wells

Defects in fracked oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania much more likely to leak methane in shale wells throughout the state, a new study concluded. The study analyzed more than 75,000 publicly available state environmental compliance records for about 41,000 oil and gas wells dug in 2012, where the oil industry has been extracting oil from the Marcellous […]

Rate of deforestation in Indonesia overtakes Brazil

Deforestation records Despite its forest being only a quarter the size of the Amazonian rainforest, Indonesia lost 840,000 hectares of forest in 2012 – almost double compared to 460,000 hectares in Brazil. Indonesia has been steadily increasing its deforestation rates. According to UN estimates, they cut down 310,00 hectares of all its forest a year between 2000 […]

Chimp fashion? For the first time, scientists observe a fad in the animal world

It’s a trend that has taken a chimp group by storm: a blade of grass dangling from an ear. All the cool chimps are doing it and, well, you’re not cool if you don’t do it! It’s the first time when chimps have created a tradition with no practical and discernible purpose – in other words, […]

This sweet shrew looks like a mouse but is more related to elephants

A new mammalian species has been discovered among the ancient volcanic formation in Namibia that resembles a long-nosed mouse, but which as it turns out is more genetically related to elephants. Further analysis found that the tiny mouse-like creature is the smallest of a group of animals called elephant shrews. Named Macroscelides micus, the creature […]

Chimps like African and Indian music – not Western music

Chimps prefer silence to all types of Western music(even classical music), but that doesn’t mean they don’t like music at all. A new study published in the American Psychological Association found that chimpanzees like traditional African and Indian music. “Our objective was not to find a preference for different cultures’ music. We used cultural music from […]

The elephant bird: the largest bird to have ever lived

Once one of Madagascar’s crown inhabitants, the elephant bird (Aepyornis maximus) is considered the largest bird to have ever lived. The first records of the bird are from the 9th century when Saracen and Indian traders visited Madagascar and spoke of legends of the the giant roc (rukh). The elephant bird became rarer and rarer once […]

Americans are convinced of global warming by changing temperatures, not by climate scientists

The Stanford News Service recently made an interview with Jon Krosnick, a Stanford professor of communication and of political science who conducts survey research on how people view climate change. It’s a most compelling read, one I advise those of you interested in the subject of climate change and the politics behind it to go through it. Some of […]

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