Forests Alone Can’t Stop Climate Change Climate Change Environment 

Forests Alone Can’t Stop Climate Change

Ecologist Nicolas Medina explains how fossil-fuel use impacts forests and drives climate change. Carbon may run deeper than you think, and forests alone can’t stop climate change. By Nicholas L. Medina The US is the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China, and President Obama has called climate change a “national and global security threat.” Now, we urgently need to understand why our fossil fuel use will have long-lasting effects on global climates and our forests. We need to reduce our societal CO2 emissions quickly and substantially. Can We Stop…

Biodiversity and Conservation Ecology Zoology 

Megabiota, Largest Life, Vital to Biosphere

By Mackenzie Myers @kenzwrites Large organisms such as whales, elephants, and redwoods are often featured in awe-inspiring nature documentaries, but they’re more than just oohs and ahs. Their existence or extinction could make or break the planet as we know it.  Megabiota—the largest plants and animals—are more likely than smaller organisms to go extinct as a result of climate change. And the rest of us could be in big trouble if they do, according to a recent study.  The charisma conundrum Think of successful conservation campaigns. Which animals are deemed…

Paleontology 

Did Plant-Eating Dinosaurs Have Cheeks?

By Ali Nabavizadeh (@Vert_Anatomist) Above: Comparison of previous head muscle reconstruction (on left, showing hypothetical “cheek” muscle) and new head muscle reconstruction (on right) in the horned ceratopsian dinosaur Triceratops. Modified from Nabavizadeh (2018). An animal’s anatomy can tell us a lot about how it lived, including how it moved, how it ate, how it breathed, and just about any other physiological process involving morphology. In studying modern vertebrates, performing dissections is essential for understanding anatomical similarities and differences between various species and what these comparisons can tell us about…

Poaching and Poachers: Rob Pickles, Panthera Environment New Technologies Zoology 

Outwitting Poachers with Anti-Poaching AI

By Kate Stone By now, we have all heard about the poaching of endangered animals. A century ago, more than 60,000 tigers roamed the wild. Today, the worldwide wild tiger population has shrunk to around 3,200. Poaching is the number one cause of this dramatic drop in tigers. Humans have pushed tigers close to extinction by killing them for skins, medicine, trophy hunting. Other large animals, including elephants and rhinos, face the same problem. Now, however, artificial intelligence (AI) is ready to curb poaching and protect the animals. Of Rangers…

Biology Oceanography Zoology 

Search for the Unicorn—Slightly Off-Center

In medieval times, the narwhal tusk was bought and sold as a “unicorn horn.” It is actually a very long tooth, but it is still very cool. By Mark Lasbury, PhD Zootopia opened in movie theaters on March 4, 2016. Among all the animals featured in this feature, you probably recall a few sporting horns. But did you happen to spot any unicorns? Mythical Unicorns The earliest writings that describe unicorns were those of the Greek writer Ctesias, in the late fifth century BCE. He described the Indian ass, an…