Rare Asiatic Cheetah Cubs Born In Captivity In Iran

The birth of three rare Asiatic cheetah cubs in Iran is being hailed as a victory by conservationists worldwide. The May 1, 2022, announcement by Ali Salajegheh, head of Iran's Department of Environment (DOE), marks the first time the critically-endangered cheetah subspecies has reproduced in captivity....

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Aggressive Wild Turkey Is Terrorizing Washington, DC, Residents

American wild turkeys have made a remarkable comeback. The birds' population, which had fallen to about 200,000 specimens in the early 1900s, has risen to over 7 million today. But the wildlife conservation success story has a downside. The aggressive birds have become a neighborhood menace, destroying gardens and chasing after residents. The latest to make headlines is an aggressive tom that has been attacking cyclists, runners, and walkers on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail in Washington, DC, for the past five months....

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Birch Trees Can Soak Up Microplastics From The Soil

The proliferation of microplastics in our oceans has received worldwide attention. However, the abundance of the tiny plastic fragments in the soil has largely gone unnoticed. A 2018 study by German scientists found terrestrial microplastic pollution — caused by wastewater irrigation and sewage — far exceeds marine microplastic pollution....

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Earth Day 2022: "Invest In Our Planet" For A Brighter Future

On April 22, 2022, over a billion people worldwide will celebrate the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day. The modern environmental movement began on April 22, 1970, when US lawmaker Gaylord Nelson mobilized more than 20 million people to demonstrate support for environmental protection. The Earth Day Network (EDN), which now boasts over 50,000 partners in over 190 countries, has led to the passage of landmark environmental laws both in the United States (US) and globally....

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Kansas Zoo's Fugitive Flamingo Has Been Spotted In Texas

A flamingo on the "run" from a Wichita, Kansas, zoo for 17 years was recently spotted in Texas. No. 492 and its buddy, No. 347, escaped from the Sedgwick County Zoo in 2005. While No. 347 has disappeared since, No. 492, nicknamed Pink Floyd by Texas officials, has been a frequent visitor to the Lone Star State. The famous fugitive's latest sighting, posted online on March 28, 2022, by the Texas Coastal Fisheries Division, is making headlines worldwide....

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Two New Species Of Glass Frogs Discovered In Ecuador

The Southern Tropical Andes, which comprises areas of Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, is one of the world's most biodiverse regions — especially when it comes to amphibians. The area is home to about 980 amphibian species, including over half of the 150-known glass frog species. Now, two new members of the tiny frogs have joined this ever-growing list....

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Powerful Tornado Causes Widespread Damage In New Orleans

The residents of New Orleans can't seem to catch a break from natural disasters. Just over a year after being battered by Hurricane Ida, the beautiful city has been hit by a powerful tornado. The twister, which boasted wind speeds of 160 mph, made landfall shortly before 8:00 pm local time on March 22, 2022....

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Colorful LEGO Bricks Have Been Washing Ashore English Beaches For 25 Years

February 13, 2022, marked the 25th anniversary of the Great LEGO Spill — the worst toy-related environmental disaster of all time. On this fateful day in 1997, the Tokio Express was battered by a massive, 28-foot rogue wave off the United Kingdom's southwestern coast. The force tilted the cargo ship — en route from Rotterdam to New York — by 60 degrees, causing it to drop 62 containers into the sea. One was filled with about 5 million colorful LEGO bricks!...

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World's Largest Colony Of Nesting Fish Found Beneath Antarctic Ice

The Weddell Sea, an extension of the Southern Ocean off the coast of Antarctica, is known for its abundant wildlife. The 1,242-mile (2,000-km) bay's nutrient-rich waters are home to large populations of seals, penguins, and baleen whales. Now, researchers have uncovered a trove of 60 million icefish nests sprawled across 93 square miles (240 square kilometers) of the seafloor. The nurseries — each guarded by a ghoulish-looking adult — constitute the fish's largest-known breeding colony....

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Rare Juvenile "Ghost Shark" Found Off New Zealand Coast

Chimaeras, or ghost sharks, have been around for millions of years. However, the elusive fish, which live at depths of up to 6,000 feet, are largely unknown to science. The lack of crucial information — like how long they live or how often they reproduce — makes it challenging to monitor and protect the 52 known ghost shark species. Now, a rare newborn chimaera, discovered off the coast of New Zealand, may help scientists better understand the mysterious deep-water creatures....

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These Amazing Ants Are Experts At Tree Repair!

Ants are known to undergo extreme measures to save their own. Past studies have shown the industrious insects carrying wounded comrades back to the nest to heal and even exploding and sacrificing themselves to save their colonies from predators. Now, a team of young researchers in Panama has found an empathetic ant species that rapidly repair any damage to its host tree....

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Animals At Smithsonian's National Zoo Enjoy Snow Days!

The season's first winter storm — which brought significant snowfall to the Washington, DC, area on January 3, 2022 — could not have come at a better time for the residents of the Smithsonian's National Zoo. With the park closed to visitors due to the inclement weather, the animals were able to welcome the New Year with several snow days all to themselves....

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UN Climate Summit Ends With A New Pledge To Combat Climate Change

On November 13, 2021, diplomats from nearly 200 countries vowed to step up their efforts to slow global warming. The Glasgow Climate Pact, signed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, was not as far-reaching as many had hoped. However, there was a clear consensus about the urgency to take action to prevent a catastrophic rise in global temperatures....

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Rare Tardigrade Fossil Found Trapped In Amber

Tardigrades, or water bears, are virtually indestructible. The eight-legged microscopic animals can withstand extreme temperatures, survive without food for decades, and even exist in a vacuum in space. But, despite being around for over 500 million years, they rarely appear on the fossil record. Their miniature size and lack of hard tissue make it hard for them to fossilize. Even when they do get preserved, the tiny creatures are hard to spot and often get overlooked. Over the years, only two tardigrade fossils have been found. Now, a third specimen — one of a new tardigrade species — has joined this exclusive group....

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The Frightful Truth About Halloween Pumpkins

Every October, families rush to pumpkin patches to pick out the perfect gourds. Some use them to carve spooky jack-o'-lanterns, while others place them outside their homes as decor. Unfortunately, the fascination with the colorful fruit fades once Halloween ends, and most pumpkins end up in the trash....

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The World's First Space Hotel Hopes To Welcome Visitors in 2027

Thanks to the hard work of companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin, space tourism is well on its way to becoming a reality. Now, California-based Orbital Assembly Corporation (OAC) envisions a chance for galactic visitors to extend their "out-of-the-world" experience by checking into a luxurious hotel in low Earth orbit....

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Oil Spill Off The Coast Of California Closes Beaches And Threatens Wildlife

A ruptured undersea oil pipeline off the coast of Huntington Beach, CA, has leaked thousands of gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean, threatening fish and wildlife and causing numerous beach closures. The spill, caused by a 13-inch tear in a pipeline that transports crude oil from an offshore drilling platform to a pump station in Long Beach, CA, was first reported by locals on October 1, 2021. Experts are still trying to determine the amount of oil leaked before the pipeline was shut down on October 3, 2021. The estimates range anywhere from 25,000 gallons to 136,000 gallons....

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