animals

The overwhelming majority of bats are friends of humanity. They gobble up the insects that bite us and ruin our crops. They pollinate flowers and they replant forests by spreading seeds around. But as agriculture overtakes rain forests and jungles, humans have come into conflict with one bat species: the common vampire bat.

Most anyone who has encountered a flamingo has probably been impressed by its signature ability to balance on a single long, spindly leg for remarkably long periods of time.

But actually, scientists have now shown that what appears to be a feat requires almost no muscle activity from the bird.

What Happens To Ringling's Circus Animals Now?

May 22, 2017

Now that “The Greatest Show on Earth” is over, animal activists want to know what’s going to happen to the circus animals. 16 tigers, six camels, four horses, two kangaroos and two snakes. Those are among the animals retiring now that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus took its final bow.

PETA considers the end of the circus a victory.

“We are calling on Ringling to send all of these animals to accredited sanctuaries that will prioritize their needs and give them some semblance, finally of a natural life,” said PETA’s Ashley Byrne

Edward Barham / Naval Air Station Key West

Over the last several years, some new arrivals have taken up residence at Naval Air Station Key West's airfield on Boca Chica Key: American crocodiles.

"We don't know exactly how many we have," said Edward Barham, the environmental director for the base. "But we know we have four or five of them pretty much all the time."

Take a good, long look at his come-hither eyes. That craggy snout. Those horns that whisper such subtle dignity. Before you swoon, just answer us this one question: Wouldn't you swipe right?

The Ol Pejeta Conservancy certainly hopes so. That's why the wildlife conservancy in Kenya has done something a little unusual for the rhino called Sudan: They've posted his dating profile on Tinder.

Primate brains may have grown larger and more complex thanks to a fruit-filled diet, a new study suggests.

Updated 11:15 a.m.

The Jacksonville Zoo hopes its gorilla Kumbuka will soon become a first-time mom. But Kumbuka’s journey to motherhood has been complicated by the recent discovery that she’s deaf.  

Jacksonville Zoo veterinarian Dr. Yousuf Jafarey said there is often tension between Kumbuka and the other gorillas because she doesn’t hear social cues. He said helping Kumbuka overcome socialization problems within her gorilla family is an important step to having a baby.

For a girl growing up on a one-lane dirt road in a Connecticut town, it seemed the only way to look was up.

But Nancy Miorelli was nearsighted, so although she spent most days outside until dinnertime, she couldn't see the birds flying above her head.

"So I guess that left things that were crawling on the ground," the 27-year-old entomologist says.

Yep, bugs. But poor eyesight isn't the reason she puts herself in what others might feel is nightmarish proximity to bugs these days.

A green sea turtle in Thailand that drew international sympathy when it emerged that she had consumed nearly 1,000 coins thrown into her pool has died.

The turtle nicknamed Omsin, the Thai word for "piggy bank," had an hours-long emergency surgery to remove the coins earlier this month. But she never woke up from a second emergency surgery.

This frog really lights up a room.

The South American polka dot tree frog initially appears unremarkable. But researchers in Argentina recently got a huge surprise when they shone an ultraviolet light on it, revealing that the creature is actually fluorescent and glows bright blue-green.

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Leo Hornak

Fifteen years ago, the center of London was densely populated — not just with people, but also with birds. Particularly pigeons.

Huge flocks of them would fill the capital's parks and squares. But something has changed. The pigeons are gone. One reason for the pigeon decline can be seen in Trafalgar Square at 7 a.m. every weekday. 

Fitness tracking is all the rage right now. If you want to, you can monitor your heart rate, count your footsteps and calories burned, and even monitor your sleep patterns, all by using devices that can fit around your wrist or in your pocket. But that's if you're human. Fresno Chaffee Zoo, in Fresno, Calif., is taking fitness tracking to a mammoth new level — part of a national project to guard the health and happiness of zoo elephants.

'Panda Grandpa' Pan Pan Dies In China

Dec 30, 2016

In the final days of a year that has become known for a number of celebrity deaths, 2016 struck again. The Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported this week that what is thought to be the world's oldest male panda has died in China at the age of 31 — around 100 in human years.

Vampire bats are thirsty creatures. And they drink only one beverage: mammalian blood.

Each night, they hop on the ground, crawl up to an unsuspecting victim and latch onto its ankle.

Then the little critters use razor-sharp incisors to slice a deep, tiny wound into a victim's skin. As blood flows out of the wound, the bat laps it up — about a tablespoon per bite.

Lizards are expected to be hard-hit by climate change — and a new study suggests it might be even worse for some the creatures than scientists thought.

Lizards and other reptiles are sensitive to global warming because they regulate their body temperature using the environment — basking in the sun, cooling off in the shade. It's been predicted that about 20 percent of lizard species will go extinct by the year 2080.

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