The iconic monarch of the North Woods is dying at an alarming rate. Is it climate change, a brain-piercing parasite, or is something else to blame?
The red-crested tree rat (Santamartamys rufodorsalis), not seen in over a hundred years, made an unexpected, nonchalant appearance at the El Dorado Bird Reserve in Colombia a couple of weeks ago. Witnesses are unavailable for comment, being too busy with squeals of "Awwwwwww" to respond to questions. Press release here; high-res photos heEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
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]
“I can’t express how extremely disappointed I am that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has chosen to list the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act," Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski said in a statement issued today. [more inside]
Elephants are self aware (news story, videos). "As a result of this study, the elephant now joins a cognitive elite," said researcher Frans de Waal at Emory University. [Past posts tagged with "elephant" "elephants"]
Amphibian Extinction Crisis: "For the first time in modern history, because of the way that humans are impacting our natural world, we're facing the extinction of an entire class of organisms....This is not the extinction of just a panda or a rhino, it's a whole class of organisms." Original declaration of the Amphibian Conservation Summit (pdf). More details in the BBC and San Francisco Chronicle. Previously.