ANIMAL AGRICULTURE IS DAMAGING THE ENVIRONMENT

May 23, 2017 @ 7:02 AM

It’s starting to become common knowledge that animal agriculture is damaging our environment. While more people are switching to a vegan diet, and studies are being conducted that show the environmental impact, the world is waking up to the the link between environmental damage and animal agriculture.

Animal Agriculture Contributes To Air Pollution

While it may seem shocking, animal agriculture produces significantly more greenhouse gases than all of the traffic in the world combined. Spouting out huge percentages of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, the industry is leaving behind pollutants known to remain in the atmosphere for more than 100 years. Then there is the issue of animal waste which produces toxic levels of ......

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SMART CETACEANS

May 17, 2017 @ 6:46 AM

Marine mammals include cetaceans and pinnipeds. Dolphins, whales and porpoises are "cetaceans." Walruses, sea lions and seals are "pinnipeds". While they must breathe air like all mammals, marine mammals can stay underwater for up to two hours before surfacing for air. Dolphins and whales breath air through blowholes, while walruses, seals and sea lions breath through their nose and mouth.

Seals have scored better than adult humans at logical reasoning tests. Ringed seals build snow caves above their breathing holes in the ice to protect their young from predators.

Orcas brains are more emotionally developed than those of humans. The limbic system — the layers of interconnecting tissue that processes emotions &...

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DEALING WITH FLEAS

May 15, 2017 @ 10:41 AM

The flea has been around for about 40 million years. It is such a tenacious pest because it reproduces explosively. One female flea can lay more than 800 eggs in her six-week lifetime. An egg can become an adult flea in less than three weeks, ready to reproduce. Within only 30 days, just 10 fleas can produce 250,000 children and grandchildren.

The flea's diet consists of blood - animal or human, the flea doesn't care. Each flea feeds about once every hour, so an animal with only 25 fleas could be bitten as much as 600 times in one day.

Besides disease - fleas and the rats they lived on transmitted the bubonic plague, or Black Death, to humans in the 14th century, wiping out a quarter of the European population. Fleas also carry .........

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JUST LIKE HUMANS, DOLPHINS HAVE SOCIAL NETWORKS

May 12, 2017 @ 6:34 AM

They may not be on Facebook or Twitter, but dolphins do, in fact, form highly complex and dynamic networks of friends, according to a recent study by scientists. Dolphins are known for being highly social animals, and a team of researchers at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) at Florida Atlantic University took a closer look at the interactions between bottlenose dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) and discovered how they mingle and with whom they spend their time.

Through intensive photo-ID surveys conducted along the IRL, which were carried out over a six- and-a-half year period, the researchers were able to learn about the association patterns as well as movement behavior and habitat preferences of some 200 individual .........

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WINGED WONDERS

May 10, 2017 @ 10:03 AM

Birds are incredibly intelligent animals. They make and use tools and culturally transmit knowledge across generations. They are social, communicating with visual signals, calls and songs, and participate in such social behaviors such as cooperative breeding and hunting, flocking and mobbing of predators. The vast majority of bird species are monogamous, for one breeding season or for years. Eggs are usually laid in a nest and incubated by the parents. Most birds have an extended period of parental care after hatching. In some species, both parents care for the babies, or close relatives will help with the raising of the young.

Crows’ intelligence rivals human children. They use tools to get food, have exceptional memories and ......

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SIXTH MASS EXTINCTION IS HERE

May 6, 2017 @ 7:37 AM

There is no longer any doubt: We are entering a mass extinction that threatens humanity's existence.

That is the bad news at the center of a new study by a group of scientists including Paul Ehrlich, the Bing Professor of Population Studies in biology and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Ehrlich and his co-authors call for fast action to conserve threatened species, populations and habitat, but warn that the window of opportunity is rapidly closing.

"[The study] shows without any significant doubt that we are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event," Ehrlich said.

There is general agreement among scientists that extinction rates have reached levels unparalleled since the .........

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LARGEST BRAINS IN THE WORLD

May 5, 2017 @ 9:27 AM

The animal with the largest brain in proportion to its size is the ant. They farm, gather, hunt, raise animals and engage in rituals.

Ants are social insects and live in colonies of as many as 500,000 individuals. They divide jobs among each other. Queens lay eggs while all other females are workers who feed the babies, take out the trash, forage for food and supplies and defend the nest. Males only have to mate with the queen.

Ants have two stomachs, one to hold food for themselves, and one for others.

Some ants keep other ants, or other insects, as slaves forcing them to do chores. Ants have been farming for 70 million years, using sophisticated horticultural techniques to grow crops. They even keep "cattle", aphids which ......

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HELP THE HIPPOPOTAMUS

May 2, 2017 @ 7:56 AM

The hippopotamus outweighs all the many fresh water semi-aquatic mammals that inhabit our rivers, lakes and streams. After elephants and the white rhinoceros, the hippopotamus is the third largest land mammal on Earth. Its hide alone can weigh half a ton.

The ancient Egyptians both feared and revered the hippopotamus. The word hippopotamus comes from the Greek for "river horse" and the hippo, once indigenous to Egypt, flourished there, grazing along the fertile banks of the Nile River and swimming in its muddy waters. Hippos may seem slow and lumbering, but they can be ferocious, deadly killers. These prolific animals multiplied until the river was thick with them. They destroyed crops, up ended fishing boats and killed ......

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BEES: FARMING, MATH & LANGUAGE

May 2, 2017 @ 7:55 AM

Bees practice agriculture, warfare and symbolic language. They can calculate the most efficient route between two points faster than super computers. They are capable of performing higher-order cognition.

Bees are democratic in their decision making process. They use dance as a form of voting. Worker bees select which fertilized eggs to brood in queen or worker cells, while the queen decides the sex of her young. Fertilized eggs will become females, while unfertilized eggs will become males.

Bees can learn from other species as well as communicate specific threats to predators from other species. They have different personalities and emotions. They can become pessimistic and suffer from depression.

They have careers: scout bees search ......

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THE FRACKING EFFECT

April 29, 2017 @ 9:13 AM

When massive volumes of toxic chemicals are pumped deep underground at extreme pressure to fracture ancient rock formations, what could go wrong?

The technique used to extract shale gas from its underground deposits is called hydraulic fracturing or "fracking". Huge amounts of water, sand and thickening agents are injected underground to crack open the rocks beneath which the shale gas is trapped.

Shale is fast replacing oil as a cheaper energy source. Shale is oil and gas found in rock formations. Shale gas output, which was 9.7 trillion cubic feet annually a few years ago, could potentially grow to almost 40 trillion cubic feet by 2040, with the US far surpassing Saudi Arabia as the largest fossil fuels producer ......

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