Of all the creatures in the sea, one of the most majestic and mysterious is the whale shark. It's the biggest shark there is, 30 feet or more in length and weighing in at around 10 tons.
Among the mysteries is where this mighty fish migrates and where it gives birth. Now scientists have completed the biggest study ever of whale sharks, and they think they have some answers to those questions.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:09 am
For nearly a year, disease detectives around the world have been trying to track down the source of a mysterious new virus in the Middle East that has infected 96 people and killed 47 since September.
Now it looks like they've pinpointed at least one place where the virus is hiding out.
Scientists at Columbia University have detected the Middle East respiratory syndrome virus, or MERS, in a bat near the home of a man who died from the disease. The team found a small fragment of the virus's genes in the animal that matches perfectly with those seen in the patient.
Rocky, windswept Eastern Egg Rock, about 6 miles off the coast of Maine, was once a haven for a hugely diverse bird population. But in the 1800s, fishermen decimated the birds' ranks — for food and for feathers.
When ornithologist Stephen Kress first visited 40 years ago, the 7-acre island was nearly barren, with only grass and gulls left. Not a puffin in sight. Not even an old puffin bone.
Drive about 20 miles north of Reno, Nev., into the barren scrubland and you're sure to see "wild" horses — more than 1,000, in fact. Just not in the wild.
Laura Leigh calls several mares to the edge of the dusty corral. She's a regular at Palomino Valley National Adoption Center. The horses eagerly rub their muzzles against her, their coats hot from the midday sun.
"We got to get you a home, don't we?" she says to one of the horses. "This one will let you scratch her withers and put your hands on her legs. You're adorable, aren't you?"