This tag is associated with 4 posts

An Ancient Whale Graveyard’s Culprit: Toxic Algae

In 2010, the fossilized skeletons of several large marine animals were discovered in Chile during a highway-expansion project. After studying the fossils, scientists discovered that the animals had actually been stranded over time, some 6-9 million years ago, during four distinct events. What caused the repeated mass strandings and deaths? The most likely culprit turned … Continue reading »

Microbes in Beijing’s Smog

When we think of smog and what’s in it, what probably comes to mind first is the chemical pollutants. But what about the microbes? More and more we’re discovering the importance of the complex web of microbes that are all around – and inside of – us. Which brings us to a study published earlier … Continue reading »

Ranaviruses: Ravaging Amphibian Populations

Over the past few years, amphibians have been hit hard on a global scale. (Amphibians include frogs, toads, salamanders, and the lesser-known caecilians, which are tropical, limbless, worm-like critters.) A few months ago, I wrote a post about the chytrid fungus, which may have already caused 125 to 500 amphibian species to become extinct. Another … Continue reading »

Ruth Patrick: A Pioneering Ecologist

Ruth Patrick was an ecologist ahead of her time, and she propelled the field forward with her innovate approaches. Earlier this week, on Sept. 23, she died at the age of 105. For most of her life she worked with The Academy of Natural Sciences, which is associated with the Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania … Continue reading »