animals

Meet the UK's New Woodland Rangers: a Herd of Wild Bison

Meet the UK’s New Woodland Rangers: a Herd of Wild Bison

The Wilder Blean project, like many of its ilk, is largely inspired by the work of Dutch ecologist Frans Vera. In his influential book Grazing Ecology and Forest History, published in 2000, Vera questions the prevailing wisdom that vegetation in the lowlands of central and western Europe used to be dominated by closed forest. As …

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What Humans Can Learn From the Sea Cucumber's Toxic Arsenal

What Humans Can Learn From the Sea Cucumber’s Toxic Arsenal

But this chemical defense creates a big problem for sea cucumbers: They need to avoid killing themselves with their own toxins. And that means their own cells can’t contain cholesterol, the target that the saponins bind to and pierce. Instead, they have evolved two kinds of cholesterol alternatives: lathosterol and 9(11) sterols, which probably fulfill …

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Dogs are sniffing out disease in animals vital to traditions of the Blackfeet tribe

Dogs are sniffing out disease in animals vital to traditions of the Blackfeet tribe

Working Dogs for Conservation trainer Michele Vasquez clips a vest onto Charlie, a Labrador retriever, to let him know he’s working. Dogs like Charlie will help sniff out chronic wasting disease in deer and elk scat. They will also help find mink and otter droppings that can be tested for toxic substances near illegal dumpsites. …

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The Queen Conch's Gambit

The Queen Conch’s Gambit

Archaeologists don’t know exactly how many Taíno survived the enslavement, massacres, and diseases that marked the following centuries—though genetic sampling reveals significant Indigenous ancestry in contemporary Puerto Rico. But Taíno stories and artifacts stress the importance of conchs: in their fishing and diving traditions; in the infinite piles of conch they harvested, ate, and honed …

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