Animals/Wildlife

4:00pm

Sat August 3, 2013
Music

The Biggest Thing Out Of Thailand: An Elephant Orchestra

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 1:01 pm

Thai Elephant Orchestra co-founder David Sulzer (bottom center, in red) poses with the animals and their mahouts, or keepers.
Jerry Alexander Courtesy of the artist

The Thai Elephant Orchestra is, remarkably, just what it sounds like. At a conservation center in Thailand, made for former work animals with nowhere to go, a group of elephants has been assembled and trained to play enormous percussion instruments, holding mallets in their trunks and sometimes trumpeting along.

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10:41am

Fri August 2, 2013
The Two-Way

WATCH: So Cute! Baby Elephant Splashes In Kiddie Pool

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 2:14 pm

A 300-pound baby playing in a pool.
YouTube

We'll get back to the real news, soon enough. But right now, we're pausing for a moment of cute.

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1:03am

Thu August 1, 2013
Animals

Jack Longino, 'The Astonishing Ant Man,' Finds 33 New Species

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 4:01 pm

A side view of the new ant species Eurhopalothrix zipacna. Mounting glue and paper appear beneath the ant, one of 33 new species discovered in Central America by Jack Longino, a biologist at the University of Utah.
John T. Longino University of Utah

While many of us spend our working days staring into an electronic box or dozing at meetings, there are some who prefer to crawl through tropical rain forests. People like "the astonishing ant man."

That's what his students call Jack Longino. Longino started out collecting stamps in his childhood, but that got boring fast. Man-made things just didn't thrill, so Longino decided to "get small."

As in: "If you're shopping for a home entertainment system," he says, "you can't do better than a good dissecting microscope."

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1:15am

Tue July 30, 2013
Research News

For Some Mammals It's One Love, But Reasons Still Unclear

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 9:11 am

Golden lion tamarins are one species that are largely monogamous.
Felipe Dana AP

Fewer than 10 percent of all mammal species are monogamous. In fact, biologists have long disagreed over why monogamy exists at all. That's the subject of two studies published this week — and they come to different conclusions.

Animals that leave the most offspring win the race to spread their genes and to perpetuate their lineage. So for most mammals, males have a simple strategy: Mate with as many females as possible.

"Monogamy is a problem," says Dieter Lukas, a biologist at Cambridge University. "Why should a male keep to one female?"

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2:36pm

Sun July 28, 2013
Science

'Batman' Style: How We Can See With Sound, Too

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 9:30 am

Echolocation is second nature to animals such as bats and dolphins. Can humans also find their way using sound as a tool?
Ian Waldie Getty Images

Birds do it. Bats do it. Now even educated people do it. Echolocation is the process used by certain animals to identify what lies ahead of them, by emitting sounds that bounce off objects.

Now a team of researchers has created an algorithm that could give the rest of us a chance to see with sound.

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