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Tag archives for biology

Holding the Cosmos in Our Hands

“The seed comes from the tree, the tree comes from the seed. It’s like the chicken and the egg. If people want to understand it, they will break the seed apart — they will actually kill it — to see the cells, the chromosomes and the genetics. There is another way to look at this. I plant a seed and a miracle happens — something new is born out of this carbohydrate and protein, a new life is born. This is a miracle, you see? The miracle of life.”

The Owls of Winter: Ghosts of the Grasslands Appear at Twilight

They emerge at twilight, the magical time when rarely seen creatures come out of the shadows. In the balmy air of an unseasonably warm February dusk, twilight indeed has opened a portal to another world. Like bats that flutter from caves at sundown, short-eared owls take to the skies over Stonebridge Farm near Front Royal,…

Holding the line for lions in Mozambique

Post submitted by Shane O’Neal “I think she’s dead.” Dr. Stuart Pimm made the grim diagnosis as our helicopter descended toward the site where the lion’s tracking collar said it should be.  Paola Bouley, who had been anticipating her reunion with the first lion she ever collared, was crushed. “Please don’t let it be too…

Island Biology 2016, Azores

This week the second Island Biology conference is taking place in the Azores Islands of Portugal. Its hard to believe its already been two years since the first one in Hawaii.

Leopard Seal vs. Leopard Seal—Underwater Food Fight

We know that leopard seals are large, formidable predators, but exactly what they’re doing below the waterline has long remained a mystery. But now, thanks to National Geographic grantee Douglas Krause, we’re getting an underwater glimpse into leopard seals’ carnivorous lives—and the seal-on-seal battles are a sight to behold.

Best Job Ever: Mapping “California’s Galápagos”

Cartographers and National Geographic grantees Marty Schnure and Ross Donihue traveled to the little-known Farallon National Wildlife Refuge to document the scientists who live there and to create an interactive digital map to allow the public to explore the islands from afar. The Farallon National Wildlife Refuge is closed to public access to protect this…

Best Job Ever: Collecting Bones in Alaska

Imagine if you could go out walking and easily pick up something that hasn’t been touched for hundreds, or even thousands, of years. Conservation paleobiologist and National Geographic grantee Dr. Joshua Miller does bone surveys on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska to study why critical habitats for caribou and other species have changed over time. Miller says, “Anytime we do a survey, we’re finding scores and scores of bones.”

How to Celebrate Christmas on a Volcano

Evolutionary biologist and National Geographic grantee Borja Milá went to a volcanic island in the Indian Ocean to study evolution in birds. But when Mother Nature unleashed a tropical storm on Christmas Eve, Milá’s team was stuck atop a volcano.

The Foundations of our Forests

Louise Egerton-Warburton, Ph.D. Conservation Scientist, Soil and Microbial Ecology, Chicago Botanic Garden Characterized by warm temperatures, high rainfall and a 365-day growing season, tropical rainforests are an unparalleled display of biodiversity. These impressive and unique ecosystems provide resources we need – from shelter to medicines to food – while releasing oxygen, cycling and filtering water, and…

Are Fences the Solution for Protecting Africa’s National Parks?

With the expansion of human populations, instances of human-wildlife conflict become increasingly frequent. One proposed solution to protect both people and wildlife is the implementation of fences around established protected areas. Many conservation scientists argue that these fences may do more harm than good. A recent paper published in June by some of the world’s most renowned…

October 26, 2014: Give a Turtle CPR, Climb Yosemite’s Most Iconic Peaks, and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend radio, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they climb all of the world’s tallest mountains, write travel stories, pack for a purpose, give a turtle CPR, set records in the Yosemite Valley, find early humans where you don’t expect to, map the Earth, the oceans and Mars, and harvest GMOs.

Mosquito Sperm Follow Their “Noses” to an Egg

Proteins on mosquito sperm enable them to sniff their way to waiting eggs in female mosquitoes.

Video: Why Do Prairie Dogs Do “The Wave”?

The burrowing rodents mimic each others’ jumps and yips to ensure everyone in the colony is alert and working together, a new study says.

December 23, 2013: Meeting Mr. Everest, Singing Songs in Space and More

This week on National Geographic, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they summit Everest seven times, train for an Antarctic speed record, chase water while dodging cats in Africa, sing along with an astronaut, and overcome a traumatic brain injury.

Purring Monkey? Flamboyant Lizard? New Amazonian Species Are Totally Wild

More than 400 shiny new species, ones completely unknown to science, have turned up in the Amazon rain forest, according to the latest report from the WWF.