Researchers at Yale have identified what they say is a more efficient way to screen thousands of spider neurotoxins against different pain receptors in the body. Above, the Peruvian Green Velvet tarantula.
Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 6:26 pm
The Copenhagen Zoo has faced worldwide criticism over its decision to euthanize a healthy two-year-old giraffe known as Marius.
As Scott reported, zoo veterinarians performed a public autopsy on Sunday and parts of the giraffe were fed to the lions. Animal rights groups were up in arms and an online petition received 20,000 signatures asking the zoo to reconsider.
In desperation to save the rare northern spotted owl, biologists are doing something that goes against their core — shooting another owl that's rapidly taking over spotted owl territory across the northwest.
"If we don't do it, what we're essentially doing, in my view, is dooming the spotted owl to extinction," says Lowell Diller, senior biologist for Green Diamond, a timber company.
The world's biggest trees, such as this large Scots pine in Spain's Sierra de Baza range, are also the world's fastest-growing trees, according to an analysis of 403 tree species spanning six continents.
Credit Asier Herrero / Nature
The General Sherman, a giant sequoia in California's Sequoia National Park, is more than 2,000 years old, and is thought to be the largest tree (by volume) in the world.
Like other animals and many living things, we humans grow when we're young and then stop growing once we mature. But trees, it turns out, are an exception to this general rule. In fact, scientists have discovered that trees grow faster the older they get.
Once trees reach a certain height, they do stop getting taller. So many foresters figured that tree growth — and girth — also slowed with age.
This is one of the best times of the year to spot gray whales off the coast of Southern California as they migrate south for the winter. But recently, there have been an unusually high number of sightings of other whales.
"We've had so many whales," Dan "The Whale Man" Salas tells the guests on his boat. "This is all in the last two weeks. We've had orcas, we had a sperm whale, we've got humpback whales, blue whales, fin whales. Yesterday we had a massive pod of gray whales, so we never know what we're going to see out here."
Alex Brash, president of Connecticut Audubon Society, said, "Our forests are aging and our landscape [is] less diverse, which means that many of Connecticut’s most beautiful birds, such as Ruffed Grouse, are disappearing."
Birders in Connecticut are enjoying a rare spectacle this holiday season: the Snowy Owl. I teamed up with Milan Bull from the Connecticut Audubon Society and went searching for this arctic bird, which is capturing the imagination of bird lovers across the state.
Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 10:38 am
We've long known that the fish we eat are exposed to toxic chemicals in the rivers, bays and oceans they inhabit. The substance that's gotten the most attention — because it has shown up at disturbingly high levels in some fish — is mercury.
The Connecticut town of Trumbull, and especially its thespian society, has become a familiar name in the theater world, but maybe for the wrong reasons. When the high school principal decided to cancel the thespian society's production of "Rent," the story went national. It has bubbled along for weeks and as of today, we may have news about a compromise that would allow it to be staged.
Meanwhile, former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez has been awarded not one, but two new trials. We'll have an expert here to explain how that's likely to play out.
Putnam’s Cave or Wolf Den. Drawing by John Warner Barber, ca. 1835. The story of Putnam and the wolf was an oft-repeated tale throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Connecticut Historical Society, 1953.5.313
Credit Connecticut Historical Society
Israel Putnam’s Wolf Den. Photography by an unknown photographer, ca. 1900. History buffs continued to trek to the Wolf Den throughout the 1800s. Connecticut Historical Society, X.2000.35.181
Credit Connecticut Historical Society
The Wolf Den Today. Some modern visitors may be more inclined to sympathize with wolf than with Israel Putnam.
Credit Simon Raahage DeSantis, 2012 / Connecticut Historical Society
Israel Putnam is a name that stands out in the colonial history of Connecticut as a war hero of the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Prior to his wartime glory, he earned the nickname “Wolf Putnam” by killing what was believed to be the last wolf in Connecticut when he was a young farmer in the eastern Connecticut town of Pomfret.
The news for moose is not good across the country's northern tier and in some parts of Canada. A recent and rapid decline of moose populations in many states may be linked to climate change, and to the parasites that benefit from it.
In Minnesota, moose populations have dropped from a high of more than 12,000 two decades ago to fewer than 3,000 now. Moose in some parts of Manitoba have declined by 50 percent and more.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that questions about the environmental condition of Plum Island need further study before the federal government proceeds with its sale. The island, off eastern Long Island, has been home to a federal research facility that studies infectious diseases that could threaten the nation’s livestock industry.
The popular "Saturday Night Live" skit performed by Will Forte introduced us to falconers but hunters in Connecticut actually practice this centuries-old sport. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service has federal guidelines for states which then set up their own regulations. Connecticut legalized falconry in 2005.
It’s almost September and families are flocking to the beaches to get in their last days of summer sunshine. One of Connecticut’s most popular summer spots is Rocky Neck State Park in Niantic.
The stretch of beach was not always a designated area for sunbathing, swimming, or hiking. In the 1800s, long before beachgoers were able to enjoy the park, the 710-acre property was used as a stone quarry and dairy farm. A railroad track and pier were installed in the 1850s to help transport stone from the quarry by both land and water.
It's been a rough summer for Connecticut's shellfish industry.
A recent Connecticut law states that Connecticut oysters must be at least three inches long when harvested. The state's shellfish industry supported the bill, despite neighboring states allowing smaller sized oysters to be harvested in their waters.
Now a recent inspection by the State Department of Agriculture revealed that 20 of 24 randomly chosen samples by 11 harvesters had oysters smaller than three inches. Steven Reviczky is the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture.
For the past few months, a group of people has been gathering each night along an industrial stretch of Route 5 in Hamden. There, next to a nondescript building, they lift their binoculars, focus their telescopes and gaze across the street--past the traffic, over the railroad tracks, and up about 70 feet high.
Nestled in a crook of two branches in a tree sits a large nest. Inside is a bald eagle chick, with a watchful adult hidden nearby.
In Connecticut, hunting on Sundays is prohibited. But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, a law now being considered may change that. State law pretty much forbids Sunday hunting. In fact, just possessing a hunting implement in the open on a Sunday is evidence that you've broken the law.
"It's an old blue law, it's been in effect I don't know how long, forever and ever, I guess." That's Robert Crook, the executive director of the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen.
An 8-month-old harbor seal pup has successfully recovered from a flipper amputation and is now on view at Mystic Aquarium.
She's called Pup 49, and when she came to Mystic Aquarium last summer she was in pretty bad shape.
"Pup 49 was very thin, she came in with a respiratory infection and she had lots of wounds all over her body, but very severe wounds on her rear flippers," said Mystic Aquarium veterinarian Dr. Allison Tuttle. She added that the wounds got very infected over time.
Wildlife of all kinds thrives in our verdant, wooded state. Most of us are used to seeing squirrels and possums, raccoons and turkeys, some of us even bears and many, many deer.
But what happens when those furry critters rummage through your garbage, scare your kids or even burrow across your neatly trimmed lawn?
Today, where we live - what happens when we get too close to wildlife, and it gets close to us. Do you encourage nature to visit your doorstep? Or do you have unwanted animal visitors where you live? What do you do about it?
The world is a pretty noisy place...but you don’t think of the middle of the ocean being one of those places. But a project by NOAA - the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration - has found that sea life in the North Atlantic Ocean is in danger because of the human sounds of shipping, military testing and oil and gas exploration.
First of all, it's our official state fish. Second, it's linked to a peculiar fishing culture that barely exists any more. If you've driven down along the lower Connecticut River, you've probably seen those sad shacks and wondered about them. And the Windsor Shad Derby is still a giant event as is the selection of a Shad Derby Queen.