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  • Humpback Whales Bubble Fishing – BBC Earth (2015)

    Humpback Whales Bubble Fishing – BBC Earth (2015)

    Cetaceans are the largest animals on our planet. Whales could evolve into such enormous sizes only very recently through the geological time. This became possible due to pulses of nutrients coming from a cycle of glaciations fertilizing the seas for plankton growth. Feeding efficiency is a prerequisite for gigantism to evolve. Truly gigantic animals have always been close to the base of trophic levels and have found a way to maximize feeding on a rich food resource. Sauropod dinosaurs for […]

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  • Largest Egg Mass Ever Observed – Lütfü Tanrıöver (2015)

    Largest Egg Mass Ever Observed – Lütfü Tanrıöver (2015)

    On July 9th 2015, a Turkish underwater videographer Lütfü Tanrıöver encountered a curious semi-transparent gelatinous mass at a depth of 22 meters (72 feet) while diving with his friends near his hometown of Fethiye on the Mediterranean coast of Anatolia. As every citizen scientist instinctively would, he explored and successfully recorded this observation of huge biological importance on film. It didn’t take long before the BBC Wildlife Service reached out to him about the observation. According to Dr. Michael Vecchione […]

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  • Sharing The Secrets – Drew Perlmutter (2015)

    Sharing The Secrets – Drew Perlmutter (2015)

    Caves are powerfull places. Our ancestors were inevitably attracted to these geological formations. Prehistoric cave art that has flourished within the last 50 thousand years is an exciting demonstration of our ancestral relationship with these places. The filmmaker Drew Perlmutter brings the story of cave explorers in “TAG” region to the surface. The geology of the Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia is quite unique that has lead to many cave formations. In fact, the region is home to the highest concentration […]

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  • Forest Elephants – The New Yorker (2015)

    Forest Elephants – The New Yorker (2015)

    African forest elephants have been featured in quite a few documentaries including the tropical rainforests episode of the Planet Earth series. Here in this short documentary we listen to Andrea Turkalo’s wonderful lecture on behavior of these charismatic megafaunal animals. She has been observing the elephants in Dzanga Research Camp at the Dzanga-Sangha National Park in Central African Republic for more than two decades. Andrea Turkalo is Associate Conservation Scientist at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and cofounder of Cornell […]

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  • What is the Tragedy of the Commons? – Nicholas Amendolare | TED-Ed (2017)

    What is the Tragedy of the Commons? – Nicholas Amendolare | TED-Ed (2017)

    The tragedy of the commons is an economic hypothesis popularized in 1968 by ecologist Garrett Hardin. The concept was examined in a 1987 BBC documentary called “Nice Guys Finish First” by Richard Dawkins with a game theoretical framework. The Tragedy of the Commons predicts ecological degradation due to human conflict of self-interest over the long-term well-being of their community. There are many examples of common resource exploitation such as destruction of cashew trees in Mozambic. However, this theory was heavily […]

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  • The Lichenologist – Matthew Killip (2017)

    The Lichenologist – Matthew Killip (2017)

    This is the second installment from the filmmaker Matthew Killip following the “-omist/ogist” theme. Evolution of cooperation is a curious subject for biologists. The evolution of cooperation is investigated within the framework of game theory and has been encapsulated in a 1987 BBC documentary called “Nice Guys Finish First” by Richard Dawkins. How do organisms belonging to different kingdoms coordinate to live together? What are the rules of symbiosis? Lichens provide this type of study system where algae and fungi […]

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  • The Anomalies: Acorn Woodpecker – Nate Dappen & Neil Losin (2017)

    The Anomalies: Acorn Woodpecker – Nate Dappen & Neil Losin (2017)

    Acorn Woodpeckers (Melanerpes formicivorus) are quite distinctive from other woodpecker species: They are communal. How did the cooperative behavior evolve? Biologists are working on answers for this curious question. Evolution of cooperative behavior is a matter of game theory and has been encapsulated in a 1987 BBC documentary called “Nice Guys Finish First” by Richard Dawkins. One of the most ubiquitous example for cooperative behavior comes from ants. Why do certain individuals altruistically give up their reproduction and help others? […]

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  • Chain Forming Leptogenys Ants from Cambodia – Stephane de Greef (2014)

    Chain Forming Leptogenys Ants from Cambodia – Stephane de Greef (2014)

    The ant behavior described in these observations were first recorded by citizen scientists in Cambodia (see the original recording at the end of this post) where ants have been shown to form chains to transport large prey. The level of cooperation is so striking that myrmecologists scrambled to find out whether it is genuine. Two researchers have successfully documented the behavior by filming them in Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Self-assembling cooperation in ants is known to take many interesting […]

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  • Dingo of the Australia – Adam Geiger (2013)

    Dingo of the Australia – Adam Geiger (2013)

    Dingo (Canis lupus dingo) appears in the archaeological record of Australia at 4230 years before present. They ruled the continent as apex predators together with the now extinct Tasmanian tiger within the last few thousand years. Dingoes successfully colonized the continent spreading into diverse habitats including tropical rainforests, temperate Eucalyptus forests, mountainous highlands and grasslands. The only exception is the dry inhospitable central deserts. Dog domestication is the earliest among other animals going back to 40,000 years ago. The Dingo […]

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  • How mountaintop mining affects life and landscape in West Virginia – PBS (2017)

    How mountaintop mining affects life and landscape in West Virginia – PBS (2017)

    Coal has been one of the work horses of power generation but its dominance is dwindling. In 2016 U.S. coal energy industry employed around 160,000 workers while solar energy production employed around 370,000. Coal has been a massive contributor to the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leading to mercury pollution with subsequent biomagnification throughout the food chain, ocean acidification and global warming. Some geologists propose that fossil fuel use including coal may be accepted as an indicator for […]

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  • Plants are Cool Too! (All Episodes)

    Plants are Cool Too! (All Episodes)

    The “Plants are Cool Too!” series is supported by the Botanical Society of America (BSA) and hosted by Dr. Chris Martine. Here you will find all episodes of the series in reverse chronological order (last-in-first-out). In this next episode, we go to strip Philadelphia where its mountains have been strip mined for coal relentlessly for more than 200 years. Surface mines created vast areas of degraded lands. Coal has been a massive contributor to the accumulation of carbon dioxide in […]

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  • Observations and Simulations of 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season by NASA

    Observations and Simulations of 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season by NASA

    Atlantic hurricane season typically starts from June 1 and ends in November 30 in the northern Atlantic. There’s a noticeable peak from late August through September. Each season peak activity occurs around September 10th. During the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season there was an unusually high cyclone activity surpassing any other season. The number of category 5 hurricanes, and the most intense hurricane ever measured (Hurricane Wilma) by atmospheric pressure was recorded during this time period. The visualization ’27 Storms: Arlene […]

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  • Parasitoid Wasp (Labena grallator) Ovipositing

    Parasitoid Wasp (Labena grallator) Ovipositing

    Recorded at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD, USA on July 18th 2017. Here you can see a parasitoid Ichneumon wasp (Labena grallator) searching for a prey living inside a dead branch. She uses her antennae to locate the prey and sets out to drill with her ovipositor straight into the wood. She does a few exploratory oviposition exercise before committing to a full injection. At multiple instances the wasp is chased away by ants. Indeed, in the last […]

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  • A Deeper Creek – The Watchable Waters of Appalachia

    A Deeper Creek – The Watchable Waters of Appalachia

    Ecofocus Film Festival of Athens GA featured a number of short documentaries including Hidden Rivers of Appalachia filmed on location in Conesauga River by Freshwaters Illustrated. Like birdwatching, riverwatching could be a great immersive activity and have the potential to become a citizen science project. A Deeper Creek shows us how this could be done. Similar to organizing a BioBlitz, snorkeling in a river can generate a lot of informative observations. Rivers have a rich body of natural history and […]

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  • Seed Dispersal and Habitat Fragmentation | HHMI BioInteractive – Danny Schmidt (2017)

    Seed Dispersal and Habitat Fragmentation | HHMI BioInteractive – Danny Schmidt (2017)

    Forests are under intense pressure. In the tropical forests, between 50-90 % of the canopy trees depend on animals for seed dispersal. Even in temperate forests animals such as deer, moose, boar and even bears disperse seeds. Today due to hunting for bush meat many tropical forests are becoming depleted of their seed dispersers. Here in this HHMI documentary, the researchers Andres Link and Carolina Urbina Malo of Los Andes University in Colombia in Colombia track brown spider monkeys to […]

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