Photo 5726794, (c) Sean Blaney, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). This observation on iNaturalist is of a species tracked by the Northeast Alpine Flower Watch project. Biodiversity Citizen Science Ecology SciStarter Blog 

Explore Biodiversity with iNaturalist

Do you want to know more about the world around you? You can get outside and explore biodiversity and the natural environment with iNaturalist!  iNaturalist allows anyone, anywhere to contribute to a global record of biodiversity by uploading pictures of plants and animals with their smartphone or computer. In a new podcast episode (listen below!), co-host Justin Schell talks with Dr. Carrie Seltzer, the Stakeholder Engagement Strategist for iNaturalist, and with representatives and a volunteer from the Appalachian Mountain club. Tip: add your iNaturalist username to your SciStarter dashboard, and…

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Wildlife Game of Thrones: Wolf versus Crow Animals Citizen Science Nature Photography 

Wildlife Game of Thrones: Wolf versus Crow

By Steven Spence @TheStevenSpence “Through the bleak and early morn, Where a stronger will is sworn, Where the moments move so slow, And seem to never let you go.” —Excerpt, “The Wolves and the Ravens” by Rogue Valley The wolves and the crows Recently I took advantage of some lovely winter weather to visit the wolves at Wildpark Bad Mergentheim in Germany. While there I mostly used my telephoto lens to get close-ups. I briefly switched lenses to get some wider views of the context—trees covered in frost; the wolf…

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Norwegian Sea Eagles Animals Nature Photography 

Norwegian Sea Eagles

By Steven Spence @TheStevenSpence Two Names for One Eagle: Which Is Right? Scientifically known as Haliaeetus albicilla, these large raptors are commonly known as sea eagles or white-tailed eagles. “Sea eagle” is an accurate translation of the genus name, Haliaeetus, while “white-tailed” is accurate for the species name, albicilla. Since I saw these eagles in Norway, I shall refer to them as sea eagles, which is what the locals called them (Norwegian: Havørn). Where Do Sea Eagles Live? Sea eagles live in Eurasia and occupy a similar ecological niche as…

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Galapagos iguana. Frank Am Main Animals Biology Book Reviews Paleontology 

Book Review: Galapagos: Preserving Darwin’s Legacy

Title: Galapagos: Preserving Darwin’s legacy, Second Edition Author: Tui De Roy Publisher: Bloomsbury Natural History Best for: General science audience, age 12 and up Reviewed by Steven Spence Tui De Roy wrote the first edition of this book to commemorate the 50th anniversary in 2009 of the Charles Darwin Foundation’s establishment in the Galapagos Islands. The second edition updates multiple chapters with new photography and information on scientific developments. Content The book consists of a prologue by author Tui De Roy; a foreword by Sarah Darwin, descendant of the famous scientist…

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photographing snowflakes Nature Photography Science and Art 

Photographing Snowflakes: Sky Crystals

By Don Komarechka  Snow: We love it and hate it. I’d rather not count the number of rushed mornings that become panicked when I realize I need to dig out from underneath a heavy blanket of frozen frustration. By the trillions, snowflakes are definitely a nuisance, but one at a time they can be one of the most beautiful and curious subjects I have ever photographed. There are a few simple rules—and a few complex ones—that govern how a snowflake grows. The easiest way to understand the shape of a…

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Hummingbird by Steven Spence Animals Biology 

Amazing Hummingbirds: Dancing in the Air

Are you wondering how a hummingbird flies? The flight skills of these tiny birds put our airplanes and helicopters to shame. By Steven Spence Dancing in the Air A hummingbird puts fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters to shame. Not only can it hover, it can also fly forward, backwards, sideways, and even upside down! During a mating display, the male Anna’s Hummingbird can accelerate up to 385 body lengths (g-force 10) per second during a dive. A Peregrine falcon dives at only 200 body lengths per second, and a Mig-25 fighter…

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