African elephant in Amboseli

NSFW: Scientists compare animal genitals with #JunkOff

Many people think scientists are a bunch of straight-laced, upstanding citizens who wear clean white coats, conduct themselves in a good, proper, professional, mature, and academic way at all times, and don’t share pictures of animal genitals on social media—but these people are sadly, sadly mistaken. Case in point: under the hashtag  #JunkOff, some biologists began tweeting their favorite animal genitalia photos on Tuesday evening. Yes. Really. According to Throb, an aptly named site brought to us...

A picture of a humpback whale.

Humpback ‘compose songs’, evolve them over time

The song of the Humpback whale is very well known—but now things have gotten a bit more complex. These whales don’t make noise at random, but rather they are composing a song with the whales around them that develops over time. According to NPR, Scientists started recording whale sounds in the 1960's and developed a “culture of listening” among researchers. Katy Payne, a researcher in acoustic biology at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and her husband,...

A Cecil the Lion themed Beanie Baby.

Ty Warner will fundraise through special Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby

Everyone's up in arms about Cecil the Lion and his tragic demise, and Ty Warner wants to commemorate his life with a nostalgic throwback. According to the Chicago Tribune, Ty Warner will release a special-edition Beanie Baby in retail stores by the end of September. The toys will be sold for $5.99, with 100% of the profit going towards the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at the University of Oxford. Maybe this will re-ignite a cultural interest in...

2005-6195-image_copy

Artist wants to make diamonds out of smog

New device cleans the air, produces diamond jewelry Imagine a device capable of sucking pollution out of the air that your breathe and converting it into diamond rings or fancy cufflinks – then stop imagining, because that’s exactly a Dutch artist by the name of Daan Roosegaarde is trying to accomplish. According to Popular Science, Roosegaarde is working on a device known as the “Smog Free Tower”, which is said to be inspired by the air...

Little funny gamster

Happy hamsters more likely to try new things

Hamsters aren’t as emotive as some of our other companions, so it can be difficult to tell if they’re happy. Thankfully, a new study out of the United Kingdom is helping put rodent fans to rest. According to Phys.org, Researchers Emily Bethell and Nicola Koyama from John Moores University in the U.K. wanted to see if they could determine a hamster’s feelings through how they reacted to cage conditions. Researchers used what scientists call judgment bias...

cecil lion

Cecil the lion is slaughtered, his six cubs might die as well

Cecil was no ordinary lion. He was Africa’s most famous lion and his brutal killing has caused outrage around the world. Thirteen-year-old Cecil, with his distinctive black mane, was a big tourist draw at Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park. He was part of research project by scientists from UK’s Oxford University and wore a GPS so his movements could be tracked. Hunter admits killing, denies acting illegally Sadly, Cecil was killed by an American dentist from Minneapolis....

grizzly hair

Grizzly diet and mercury levels revealed in single hair

By firing a laser beam down the length of a single grizzly hair, scientists can now find out what the bear has been eating and the amount of trace metals such as mercury, copper, and zinc in its diet. The new technique uses a mass spectrometer to analyze the gases as the laser vaporizes each location while it zaps through the hair. Hair is mainly protein, including a lot of the fibrous protein keratin, and...

loggerhead sharks

Sea turtles don’t avoid sharks in ‘landscape of fear’

Biologists call it the “landscape of fear” model. According to the theory, when a prey species moves into an area with a high risk of predation, it will change its behavior to reduce that risk. But until now, the model has never been thoroughly tested on highly migratory ocean species. A new collaborative study led by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science & Abess Center for Ecosystem...

snotbot drone

‘Snotbot’ drones collect whale snot samples

The conservation group Ocean Alliance is reportedly working on a new project that’s snot for the faint of heart: Drones that would fly over the surface of water in order to collect samples of the mucus expelled from whales’ blowholes. Ocean Alliance is calling the drones “Snotbots” and is developing them with the assistance of a team from the Olin College of Engineering, according to NYC Today. They are also seeking the public’s help via...

mayan panels

Mayan hieroglyphs reveal ‘New World Order’ arrival

Three well-preserved Mayan panels recently discovered in Guatemala are offering scientists with essential new data on the brutal rivalry between two Maya superpowers that occurred during the height of the empire around 1,500 years ago. The panels were found in the archeological site known as El Achiotal, which was founded in the 5th century AD and is also around 12 miles east of the Mayan royal palace of La Corona, which now sits as ruins. Researcher...