The common gundi is a species of rodent native to Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia. They are diurnal herbivores that grow to about 8 inches in length.
Barnacle geese at the RSPB Mersehead nature reserve on the north shore of the Solway Firth in Scotland. Tens of thousands return to the area each autumn from their breeding grounds 2,000 miles away in the Svalbard archipelago inside the Arctic Circle
Photograph: Ken Jack/Getty Images
These technicolor beauties are none other than painted elysias!
Painted elysias are a kind of sea slug. Keen-eyed divers can spot them in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, but only if they’re looking carefully – though they’re bright, these sea slugs are usually no more than an inch in length.
(Photo: Emma Hickerson/NOAA)
[Image description: Two brightly colored sea slugs on algae.]
As winter starts to take hold in the Southeast, threatened Florida manatees seek out their annual warm-water sites, like Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, the only refuge created specifically for the protection of the Florida manatee. Manatees can’t survive water temperatures below 68 degrees for extended periods.
Photograph by Keith Ramos/USFWS
Known as “The Needles,” their stripes show how tan sand dunes were periodically flooded by red sediment over the course of millions of years. What was once built up is now being carved away, weakened at cracks and corners, to create these amazing pillars of earth. Make sure to explore this magnificent landscape on your next Utah adventure.
Photo by Neal Herbert, National Park Service
Climate change is reshaping communities of fish and other sea life, according to a pioneering study on how ocean warming is affecting the mix of species.
The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, covers species that are important for fisheries and that serve as food for fish, such as copepods and other zooplankton.
“The changes we’re observing ripple throughout local and global economies all the way to our dinner plates,” said co-author Malin Pinsky, an associate professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.
“We found dramatic evidence that changing temperatures are already reshaping communities of ocean organisms,” Pinsky said. “We found that warm-water species are rapidly increasing and cold-water marine species are decreasing as the global temperature rises. Changes like this are often disrupting our fisheries and ocean food chains…”
Photo: Black and Yellow Rockfish (Sebastes chrysomelas) in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary off Southern California.
Claire Fackler/CINMS, NOAA
Sea horses in Goleta. Sea turtles at the islands. A whale shark in the sanctuary. Is our slice of South Coast ocean turning into a tropical coral reef? No, not by a long shot, but the Santa Barbara Channel is indeed changing.
Back in fall 2014, a dramatic and prolonged marine heat wave coined “The Blob” crept out of the Pacific and slowly spread along the West Coast. At the same time, a strong El Niño was gathering steam. It peaked in 2015 and eventually subsided in 2016, but the unusually high ocean temperatures brought on by these two extreme events never really went away.
The Santa Barbara Channel sits at a unique and life-rich transition zone, where cold water from Alaska meets warm water from the equator. Historically, it’s enjoyed a cool but comfortable average temperature of 16-17 degrees Celsius (or 60.8-62.6 degrees Fahrenheit). During the height of the Blob-El Niño anomaly, temperatures got as high as 22.5°C (72.5°F), and as recently as 2018 were hitting 21°C (69.8°F). While the overall average has levelled back out, it’s still 1-2°C above what it was before.
That would be significant for any ocean ecosystem, as a tick or two difference on the thermometer is enough to upset the delicate balance of food webs. But it’s especially dramatic for the Channel, because the threshold separating a coldwater fish environment from a warm one just happens to be 16.2°C, smack in the middle of our old temperature range…
They are endemic to South Asia and mainly eat invertebrates, as well as the occasional small fish. When they are young, their spots are vibrant and decorate the shell and their skin, and as they get older, the spots on their shell fade but they retain their beautiful speckled skin. In recent years, their numbers have been in steady decline due to the collection of them from the wild to supply the pet trade.
The Sumatran rhinoceros has become extinct in Malaysia, after the last of the species in the country succumbed to cancer on Saturday.
The Wildlife Department in eastern Sabah state on Borneo island said the rhino, named Iman, died of natural causes due to shock in her system. She had uterine tumors since her capture in March 2014.
Department director Augustine Tuuga said in a statement that Iman, who reportedly was 25 years old, was suffering significant pain from growing pressure of the tumors to her bladder but that her death came sooner than expected…
Today is International Mountain Day – and did you know that there are mountains in the ocean?
Seamounts are undersea mountains formed by volcanic activity, and they’re typically biological hotspots. For example, on Davidson Seamount in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, researchers with Nautilus Live encountered more than a thousand Muusoctopus octopuses tucked into nooks! Most of the octopuses had their arms inverted in a brooding posture.
We love a good octopus garden, but we love an octopus garden on an ocean mountain even more!
(Photos & GIFs: OET/NOAA)
[Image descriptions: A still photo of purplish-white octopuses tucked in a rocky nook with arms facing outward; a GIF of many many of the octopuses; two GIFs showing close-ups of the octopuses.]
If you’ve got rumblies in your tumblies, you’ve got that in common with a larval bat star! Using the furious beating of cilia, this approximately one-week-old, ~1 mm bat star larva creates micro-currents to draw in even tinier fare into its belly.
You know, it’s tough choosing the right music for these kinds of clips, but this definitely felt like an 8-bit electronica kind of bat star larva video… Anyway, here’s what this lil’ one would look like metamorphosed and on the rocks!
For photographer Alison Pollack, strolling through the forest is more than a relaxing pastime. Thanks to her fascination with fungi and Myxomycetes, it’s become her open-air photography studio as she cranes her neck to find her next miniature subject. Through focus stacking and macro photography, Pollack captures artistic images of her subjects—which often measure just 1 or 2 millimeters tall. The results are breathtaking photographs that explore the world of mushrooms and slime molds that are rarely seen.
Drawn to the diversity of mushrooms and myxomycetes, Pollack spends time in the forest searching for new species to capture. As she walks slowly, Pollack keeps an eye out for pops of color. Once she spots her desired subject, she uses a magnifying glass to take a closer look and then gets to work…
Indonesian government officials have alleged that permits underpinning a multi-billion dollar plantation project in Papua province were falsified, leading to the criminal clear-cutting of a vast area of rainforest.
The land is being opened up by investors whose identity is hidden behind anonymously owned companies, as part of a plan to develop an oil palm plantation almost twice the size of London in the remote region.
Officials from Papua province’s investment agency say that permits that could only have been issued by their office were falsified at a critical stage of the licensing process. While the permits bear the signature of the former head of the agency, he has reported in writing that it was forged.
Approximately 83 square kilometers (32 square miles) of rainforest has been cleared on the basis of the permits, deforestation that is described in internal government correspondence as a potential criminal act…
photographs by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Savoring the victory (and precious calories) while hibernating. Bear 435 Holly and other brown bears have a much slower metabolism at this time of year. They rely on stored fat to fuel their bodies until spring.
photograph: NPS Photo/N. Boak
Un grupo de científicos encontraron en Chubut las primeras flores fosilizadas de América del Sur, y tal vez de todo el Hemisferio Sur. Las mismas tendrían unos 66 millones de años, y habrían aparecido luego de la extinción de los dinosaurios.
Los fósiles datan de la época temprana del Paleoceno, menos de un millón de años después de que el asteroide que cambió el curso de la vida en la Tierra impactase en Yucatán, que afectó especialmente al Hemisferio Norte…
They are only the second species of bird to ever recover from extinction in the wild and are now classified as critically endangered by the IUCN. The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute breeds Guam rails and works with the Guam Department of Aquatic Wildlife and Resources to repatriate them to Guam for reintroduction to the wild.