Tag Archives | animals

Flipper Fail: Dolphins May be Dumber Than We Think

For decades, it’s been common knowledge that dolphins are among the world’s smartest species. Now some researchers — and a new book — argue the supposed underwater geniuses aren’t so special after all. By Philip Bethge Their social lives are complex, and they can congregate in large groups. Their heart rates increase when they notice […]

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Ben Novak

The Second Cooing: Raising Passenger Pigeons from the Dead

The world has been without passenger pigeons since 1914. Now, scientists want to bring them back. Geneticist Ben Novak has embarked on the project and has begun collecting passenger pigeon DNA from natural history museums. His “de-extinction” efforts are not without critics. By Philip Bethge The eye sockets of the slender pigeon are filled with […]

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Preservation in a Petri Dish: Scientists Hope Cloning Will Save Endangered Animals

Biotechnicians want to use cloning to save endangered species, but they are having only limited success. Critics say that the push toward a new era of wildlife conservation trivializes extinction and funding would be better spent on preserving animal habitats. By Philip Bethge A number of times each week, Martha Gómez creates new life. Today, […]

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Oil palm plantation, PNG

Papua New Guinea’s Royal Trophy: Are Collectors Key to Saving Giant Butterfly?

Papua New Guinea is home to the world’s largest butterfly, but oil palm plantations are threatening the rare species’ habitat. Conservationists and local residents alike would like to save the species by lifting a ban on trade in the butterfly and selling it for thousands of dollars to collectors. By Philip Bethge The butterfly’s silhouette […]

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A Passion for Bigfoot: Hiking the Redwoods with California’s ‘Squatchers’

Amateur researchers in the United States continue to eagerly search for the mysterious creature known as Bigfoot, staking out California’s redwood forests at night in their hunt for the elusive beast. Despite many claimed sightings, the existence of Sasquatch has never been proven. Yet that hasn’t stopped the obsessed from pursuing his giant footprints. The plaintive […]

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Help for the Disabled: Trained Monkeys Proving Trusty Companions for Those in Need

Specially-trained Capuchin monkeys in the US are helping physically disabled people with the housework by performing tasks such as removing garbage, fetching the telephone or switching on the microwave. The furry companions are also helping paraplegics cope with loneliness. It’s her small hands that make Minnie especially useful. Hairy and slender, with slim fingers and […]

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platy6a

The Twilight Saga: Duck-billed Platypuses are Shift Workers

If you are a male duck-billed platypus, all that matters is what the other guys do. Strategies to handle the competition are far more variable then previously thought. In a new paper in the Journal of Mammalogy, Philip Bethge and colleagues from the University of Tasmanias’ Department of Zoology report, that duck-billed platypuses use a […]

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Cloned Meat Soon to Hit European Supermarkets

Cattle cloning has long been standard practice in the United States. Now EU agriculture ministers have decided that cloned meat and milk should be allowed onto the European market. Not everyone is pleased. By Philip Bethge Anyone who considers creation sacred should make sure they never talk to a cattle breeder. In-vitro fertilization, artificial insemination […]

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