The Incredible Thing About Whale Poop Is That It Fights Climate Change

It’s not a good time to be living in the ocean. Aside from oil spills and the scourge ofplastics pollution, the seas are becoming ever more acidic due to humanity’s CO2 flooding the atmosphere. The altered PH of the water makes for a bevy of problems, from making fish act in really weird ways to dissolving the shells of creatures critical to the marine food chain.

But a group of scientists from the University of Vermont and elsewhere think the ocean’s future health has one thing going for it: the restoration of whale populations. They believe that having more whales in the water creates a more stable marine environment, partly through something called a “whale pump”—a polite term for how these majestic animals defecate.”

Read more at motherjones.

Zoo Animals and Their Discontents

PATIENT (LEFT): Willie, donkey. AFFLICTION: Depression over change in habitat. 

PATIENT (RIGHT): Sukari, Masai giraffe. AFFLICTION: Anxiety around people with large cameras.

Do donkeys get depressed? Are some aoudads anxious? And what can a zoo’s shrink do to help ease their minds?”

Learn more about the work of veterinarian and behaviorist of Dr. Vint Virga in this article and accompanying video at nytimes.

See For Yourself How Many Animals Are Close To Extinction

Mass extinctions have happened before in Earth’s history, for example when an enormous meteorite slammed into our planet and (likely) wiped out the dinosaurs. But we are now in the midst of one caused by, you guessed it, human beings—with species going extinct between 100 to 1,000 times the natural “background” level. But these numbers are a bit hard to picture. Thankfully, the online journalism outfit ProPublica has created an amazing visualization called “A Disappearing Planet" that tells the story very well through data."

Learn more from popsci

How Bumblebees and Zebra Fish Navigate Their Worlds
"Christine Scholtyssek of Lund University in Sweden, and colleagues decided to compare how two species in different mediums, air and water, which pose similar problems, reacted to apparent obstacles as they were moving.
What they found, and reported in Biology Letters in May, was that the two species they examined — bumblebees and zebra fish — have very different strategies.”
Learn more from nytimes.
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