Tag Archives | animals

Die Qual der Wale

Kommentar zur Tagung der Internationalen Walfang-Kommission: Vor einigen Wochen bereiste ich die Ostküste der USA. Auf der Insel Nantucket, einst Hochburg des Walfangs, erfuhr ich im örtlichen Museum, dass die Indianer die Tiere dort vor 400 Jahren mit kleinen Booten noch direkt vom Strand aus jagen konnten – so viele Wale gab es damals im […]

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Vultures lured back to Germany

Vultures are slowly returning to Germany, driven out long ago by an unwelcoming populace. At the behest of conservationists, loosened “carcass regulations” in Europe have made the search for food less daunting — but some still wonder if the birds will be able to survive. By Philip Bethge Griffon vulture number 259 is no longer able […]

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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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