News in Brief
What was once the king of the king penguin colonies has lost 85 percent or more of its big showy birds since the 1980s, a drop perhaps big enough to shrink the whole species population by a third.
In its glory days, an island called Île aux Cochons in the southern Indian Ocean ranked as the largest colony of king penguins. Satellite data suggest numbers peaked at around 500,000 breeding...
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Most people probably don’t think of beavers until one has chewed through the trunk of a favorite tree or dammed up a nearby creek and flooded a yard or nearby road. Beavers are pests, in this view, on par with other members of the order Rodentia. But a growing number of scientists and citizens are recognizing the merits of these...
The nearly extinct northern white rhino may not be completely lost.
For the first time, white rhinoceros embryos have been made in the lab. Scientists injected preserved sperm from a male northern white rhino into eggs of female southern white rhinos, a closely related subspecies. The embryos were incubated until the cells began to differentiate, a stage at which they can be implanted...
At some point eight to 10 years ago, some toads stowed away on a ship in Asia, possibly Ho Chi Minh City, and hitched a ride to Madagascar. Those invaders, Asian common toads, have been slowly spreading across the large island ever since.
The toad’s skin contains a toxin that kills nearly anything that tries to eat the amphibian. Scientists have been warning of the toad’s danger to...
Narwhals are among the most elusive of whales. But for the first time, researchers have been able to eavesdrop on the creatures for days at a time as these unicorns of the sea dove, fed and socialized.
Biologist Susanna Blackwell and colleagues listened in on the clicks, buzzes and calls of the East Greenland narwhal (Monodon monoceros). The team’s findings, published June 13 in PLOS ONE...
Conservationists are stuck in a catch-22: In trying to save some species, the would-be protectors may be giving the animals an evolutionary disadvantage. A new study describes how efforts to protect the endangered northern quoll, a spotted, kitten-sized marsupial native to Australia, by placing a population on a threat-free island may have actually undermined a key survival instinct.