Animals/Wildlife

3:23pm

Wed July 24, 2013
Environment

What's Swimming In The River? Just Look For DNA

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 5:34 pm

Biologists normally look for the hellbender slamander, which is known by the nickname "snot otter," under rocks in streams. But now there's a gentler way: They can take water samples and look for traces of the animals' DNA.
Robert J. Erwin Science Source

If you want to protect rare species, first you have to find them. In the past few years, biologists have developed a powerful new tool to do that. They've discovered that they can often find traces of animal DNA in streams, ponds — even oceans.

The idea took root just five years ago, when biologists in France found they could detect invasive American bullfrogs simply by sampling pond water and looking for an exact genetic match to the frogs' DNA.

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4:16pm

Tue July 23, 2013
Animals

Nevada Wildfire Could Snuff Out A Rare Butterfly

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 5:10 pm

The Mount Charleston blue butterfly is a rare species found only in a few small areas high up in Nevada's Spring Mountains.
Corey Kallstrom USFWS

A big wildfire in a mountain range just west of Las Vegas has put at risk the Mount Charleston blue butterfly, a rare species found in the U.S.

The fire is dying down, but it may be weeks before experts can get to the remarkable area where this butterfly lives to see if it made it through.

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2:21pm

Tue July 23, 2013
The Two-Way

WATCH: Disco, The Parakeet, Takes On 'Monty Python'

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:49 pm

Disco, the parakeet.
YouTube

We'll get back to the real news in a little bit. But we would be downright irresponsible, if we didn't point you to the latest from Disco, the parakeet.

His owners just posted a video that shows Disco trying to learn the famous line from Monty Python, "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition."

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9:15am

Tue July 23, 2013
The Two-Way

MUST-SEE VIDEO: 'Whales Almost Eat Divers'

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 10:19 am

Those are two whales coming up from the water, just feet away from two divers off the coast of central California. The image is from a video, which has gone viral, taken on Saturday.
YouTube.com

Divers Shawn Stamback and Francis Antigua had a much closer encounter than they expected off the coast of central California on Saturday when two humpback whales surfaced just a few feet away from where they were swimming.

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3:23pm

Mon July 22, 2013
Animals

We Call Him Flipper. But What Do The Dolphins Call Him?

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 7:02 pm

Bottle-nosed dolphins leap out of the water near Dana Point, Calif.
David McNew Getty Images

Dolphins are like humans in many ways: They're part of complex social networks and, just as in people, a dolphin's brain is big, relative to the size of its body. But there's something else, too — a study published Monday shows these acrobats of the sea use name-like whistles to identify and communicate with each other.

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