"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 -
poet of ecological awareness
[YouTube link], Zen appreciation
of "ordinary mind" and American speech, shamanistic intimacy
with the natural world, and surviving member of the Beat Generation (West Coast posse)
at age 78, has won
the $100,000 Ruth Lilly poetry prize. "Gary Snyder
is in essence a contemporary devotional poet, though he is not devoted to any one god or way of being so much as to Being itself," said Poetry
magazine editor Christian Wiman. "His poetry is a testament to the sacredness of the natural world and our relation to it, and a prophecy of what we stand to lose if we forget that relation.” Previous recipients of the Lilly prize include Adrienne Rich
, John Ashbery
, and W.S. Merwin
. [Previously mentioned here
posted by digaman
on May 7, 2008 -
While the dream of immortality might be as old as mankind, the jellyfish Turritopsis nutricula (image)
seems to be living it
The hydrozoan Turritopsis nutricula has evolved a remarkable variation on this theme, and in so doing appears to have achieved immortality. The solitary medusa of this species can revert to its polyp stage after becoming sexually mature (Bavestrello et al., 1992; Piraino et al., 1996). In the laboratory, 100% of these medusae regularly undergo this change. Thus, it is possible that organismic death does not occur in this species!An in-depth research paper
posted by Foci for Analysis
on Jan 30, 2008 -
Are Zebras black with white stripes, or white with black stripes? Find the answer to this, plus many other fun zebra facts and many great zebra pictures and photos for your desktop at the appropriately titled Fun Zebra Pictures & Facts
website. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000
on Oct 5, 2007 -
is a fantastic 1992 National Geographic special
that may make you want to move to Alaska. Focusing on a handful of U.S. families who have moved from the cities in the lower 48 to handmade homes above the arctic circle and now receive their mail by bush pilot maybe 3 times a year, living hundreds of miles from their nearest neighbor, and exist entirely of their own capability, the documentary is a fascinating view of life WAY off the grid. Presented here in a YT playlist of six segments, there are more great moments (from sawing through the frozen fish to the enumeration of meals made from Moose) than I can list.
posted by jonson
on Sep 26, 2007 -
brings together just a few of the hundreds and hundreds of new species discovered since the year 2000.
Hopefully, it will inspire us to see the world as a place still being explored, and give us the courage to conserve and protect the fragile, shrinking areas of habitat left on Earth...
areas which, as we see here, contain creatures we haven't even yet Imagined... " That, of course, makes living in a low impact woodland
home even more appealing or scary (you choose). Although I will admit that even the best of intentions can lead to perile, as in the case of Timothy Treadwell
(as previously discussed). He too wanted to be 'one with nature'.
posted by NotInTheBox
on Jul 24, 2007 -
Make Me Heal
is an online community serving the needs of America's vast cosmetic surgery audience, with tips & tricks on what works best to heal scarring, etc, including an encyclopedia of terms
. To promote their vision of "Celebrating Natural Beauty With Enhancement" they're hosting the first ever Plastic Surgery Beauty Enhancement Awards
, with categories like Best Breast Augmentation
(NSFW) and Best Male Liposuction." Contestants must submit before, during & after shots of the procedure, and site visitors can vote on their favorites.
posted by jonson
on Jul 2, 2007 -
The Polar Bears of Spitsbergen
is an amazing and gruesome photo gallery posted by a photographer who stumbled across a bear & its cubs at feeding time & spent the next 45 minutes capturing the event. via
posted by jonson
on May 12, 2007 -
The significance of the dinosaurs' death has been greatly exaggerated
. This article in Nature discusses how mammalian evolution accelerated independent from the death of dinosaurs. The theory was derived from a "supertree
" [pdf ~ 1mb] of mammals and how common ancestors have branched out. Coolest info-graphic ever.
posted by phyrewerx
on Mar 28, 2007 -
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 -