William Temple Hornaday was an early--and probably a founding--member of the American conservation movement, and was also director of the National Zoological Park. He wrote a tremendously bitter and accurate report for the U.S. National Museum in 1894 on the extermination of the American bison, an absolute head-shaker, detailing the history of the bison in North America and its destruction at the hands of sportsmen, hunters, mindless dolts and many others who massacred tens of millions of the animal ("murdered" is the word Hornaday uses constantly). To put the whole issue in perspective, Hornaday issued a famous map showing the shrinkage of the North American bison herd, setting out the enormity of the issue instantly on one piece of paper, a summary of hundreds of pages of bad stories and big numbers.
posted by Trurl
on Jun 15, 2011 -
Five years ago this week, the BBC started broadcasting one of the most extraordinary documentaries ever to grace television: Planet Earth
. The culmination of five years of field work
, it employed the most cutting-edge of techniques
in order to capture life in all its forms, from sweeping spaceborne vistas to shockingly intimate close-ups
-- including many sights
rarely glimpsed by human eyes. Visually spectacular
, it showcased footage shot in 204 locations in 62 countries
, thoroughly documenting every biome from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the lifegiving waters of the Okavango Delta
, a rich narrative tapestry backed by a stirring orchestral score
from the BBC Concert Orchestra. Unfortunately, the series underwent some editorial changes
for rebroadcast overseas. But now fans outside the UK can rejoice -- all eleven chapters of this epic story are available on YouTube in their original form: uncut, in glorious 1080p HD, and with the original narration by renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough
. Click inside for the full listing (and kiss the rest of your week goodbye). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Mar 7, 2011 -
"With most animals, males duke it out and the winner gets the girls," says Holekamp. "But with hyenas, females have 100 percent say." They decide when and under what conditions they will tolerate deferential sperm donors. At age 2 or 3 a male leaves his natal clan and wanders off to beg acceptance into another clan. After vicious rejections, he eventually succeeds and reaps his reward: brutal harassment as the clan's nadir, one of the last in line for food and sex. This probation, which biologists call "endurance rivalry," is a test, Holekamp explains: "The guy who can stick it out the longest wins." The trial lasts about two years, after which some females may grant him access. "You do not want to be a male hyena," Holekamp says.
-From an article in Smithsonian Magazine, Who's Laughing Now?
Professor Holekamp's hyena site
. Also, hyena pictures
and The Hyena Pages
, a fine site about this fascinating animal.
posted by Kattullus
on May 7, 2008 -
Gregory Colbert's Ashes and Snow
has been linked to twice before on Metafilter. However, you can now view 10 minutes
of his film as part of his Ted Talk--it's the most stunning nature footage I've ever seen. In the talk he also mentions a new concept he's developing called Animal Copyright
, which I think is long overdue.
posted by dobbs
on Jan 2, 2007 -
The Animaris Rhinoceros Transport
: "Since about ten years Theo Jansen
is occupied with the making of a new nature. Not pollen or seeds but plastic yellow tubes are used as the basic matierial of this new nature. He makes skeletons which are able to walk on the wind. Eventualy he wants to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives." [2MB Quicktime Video
posted by muckster
on Sep 28, 2004 -
of a Great White Shark breaching (leaving the surface of the water, like a whale or a dolphin would). Note - they apparently usually exhibit this behavior when they are killing/feeding, so those with delicate sensibilities shouldn't click.
posted by jonson
on Sep 11, 2003 -
'A colossal squid
has been caught in Antarctic waters, the first example of Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni retrieved virtually intact from the surface of the ocean. ' Related (old news from January) :-
giant squid attacks boat
More squid sites :- Search for Giant Squid
a Smithsonian exhibit about a 1999 expedition. 'Whether living or extinct, on land or at sea, in literature or in life, large animals have long fascinated people. The largest animals have been known and hunted since prehistory: whales, walruses, elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, and large fishes... However, one large animal has gone almost unnoticed or certainly unobserved in its habitat. That animal is the giant squid. Although these animals have been found in the nets of commercial fishermen, in the stomachs of sperm whales, and washed ashore on different continents, no scientific information has been gathered by direct observations of live giant squid ... '
The UnMuseum's article on the giant squid
posted by plep
on Apr 3, 2003 -
On Solidarity, Community Spirit And Going Meerkat-Mad:
They're cute, they're smart; they're funny, they're sociable; they're even considered the epitome of cooperative living
. In fact, they could probably teach MetaFilter a lesson or two. In their September issue
, National Geographic
has gone stark, raving meerkat-bonkers
- and not a moment too soon either. We're talking new desktops here, no mistake..[Flash needed for first link - definitely worth waiting for it to load - Real or WindowsMedia for some other on-site features.]
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Aug 24, 2002 -