Wildlife and the Observer Effect

Wildlife and the Observer Effect

By observing something, you change it. It’s a phenomenon that occurs in all areas of science. We don’t know what’s inside a tree until we cut it down. We can’t observe tiny organisms without disturbing them and putting them under a microscope. We can’t see into the abyss without shining a light into it. Many wild animals are very sensitive to the presence of humans and change their behavior when they know we’re around. So how much do we really know about the lives of tortoises, rhinos, bumblebees, clams, and all the rest?

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Controversial Castor, or, the Re-Introduction of Beavers

Controversial Castor, or, the Re-Introduction of Beavers

The beaver is a great example of a controversial species re-introduction. The two species of rodent, Castor canadensis and Castor fiber, were aggressively hunted for their fur and glands, leading to many local extinctions, but not complete extinction. It has made a great comeback in some places like New Hampshire, and is just now starting to show up in England, bringing about mixed feelings in both cases. 

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What's Black and White and Read All Over?

What's Black and White and Read All Over?

Well it’s not a zebra being bitten by flies; it’s the newspapers that are reporting about zebras. I’m sure many of you have seen the story by now that scientists have finally answered the question about why zebras have stripes.

This is one of those times when the reporters seem to be more confident about the results of an experiment than the scientists were. Read on to find out why.

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Species Recently Discovered

Species Recently Discovered

I've always been interested in learning about different species across the globe, especially the strange, rare, or newly discovered. New species are interesting to me because they show us that life is profoundly diverse, and our knowledge of it only skims the surface. Each new discovery tells us more about how species are related and how they came to be. We know so much, but we haven’t noticed entire species under our noses, and some of them are quite large.

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Snails and Slugs

Snails and Slugs

When I am walking along and I see a slug in my path, not only do I not think it's gross, I admire its strange texture and stalk-supported eyeballs for a moment or three. I usually relocate said slug to a safe location if I think it might get stepped on. I feel this group of critters is often overlooked, so I'd like to take the opportunity to share with you a few reasons that I like them.  

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