joe maxwell

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Photo Gallery: Utah in the Fall

TravelDigital Nomad<p>Good travel surprises us.<p>It teaches us new things, it changes our opinions, and helps us see the world in a new way.<p>Until now, I’ve always associated fall with the northeast and the foliage brilliance of New England, but traveling through Utah in early October showed me the other …

Why Elephants Matter

Wildlife<p>By Richard Ruggiero, J. Michael Fay, and Lee White<p>Wildlife trafficking will receive overdue world attention this week at the United Nations General Assembly and by the Clinton Global Initiative and other elite platforms.<p>The ongoing slaughter of African elephants will be in particular focus, …

Not-so-Clean Hydropower is Damming Us All

While I was in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories (NT), Canada, this summer observing and measuring wood floating down the Slave River for my dissertation work on Mackenzie River driftwood, I attended a local town hall meeting facilitated by Alberta member of Parliament Linda Duncan about what the …

Vital Ground Protects Grizzly Bear Habitat Throughout Their North American Range

Changing Planet<p><b>Vital Ground</b> is a Montana-based land trust dedicated to protecting <b>grizzly bear</b> habitat in North America.<p>The organization supports bear conservation ecology studies in 6 ecosystems, which are scattered throughout Alaska, the Lower 48 (Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming) and in …

Fish Fossil Has Oldest Known Face, May Influence Evolution

The 419-million-year-old fossil has the same jawbones as vertebrates.<p><b>Scientists have found the oldest face—and it's a fish. (Not a fishface, though.)</b><p>The 419-million-year-old fish fossil could help explain when and how vertebrates, including humans, acquired our faces—suggesting a far more primitive …

Most Crowded Galaxy Discovered, Only 54 Million Light Years Away

<b>Astronomers have discovered the densest galaxy ever seen, and at 54 million light years away, it’s in our galactic neighborhood.</b><p>Using the combined imaging capabilities of ground-based observatories with the high-flying Hubble Space Telescope and its cousin, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the …

Surprising Photo: Toad Eats Bat

Wildlife<p><b>It may look like the Lady Gaga of amphibians, but this enterprising cane toad is actually in the midst of eating a bat.</b><p>Yufani Olaya, a ranger at Peru’s Cerros de Amotape National Park, sent the picture to Peru-based biologist Phil Torres, who published it on his blog.<p>The toad and its bat …

Let Your Fingers Do the Seeing

Humans can feel objects that are just nanometers thick, a new study says.<p><b>Quick—name the five senses.</b><p>Most people readily list sight, taste, hearing, and smell. And then pause before remembering: touch.<p>"Touch is probably our most underrated sense," said psychologist Martin Arvidsson of Stockhom …

Tiptoeing Across a Raging River (On the Edge of a 600-Foot Drop)

<i>Andrew Short is a National Geographic Grantee and assistant professor of
 Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas. An entomologist by training, Short is currently in Suriname, South America searching for aquatic insects to study patterns of freshwater biodiversity that will</i> …

Do Animals Get Dementia? How to Help Your Aging Pet

<b>A couple of months ago we told you how the age of certain wild animals is determined. Since then, some of you wondered about age-related changes in those animals.</b><p>Now that it’s September, aka World Alzheimer’s Month—Alzheimer’s disease accounts for up to 80 percent of all dementia cases, in which …

Okavango Expedition 2013: Knee Deep in Swamp For Three Days…

Too tired to write a post… Been lost all day, no birds in the swamps, and spent almost 10 hours today towing “mokoros” through papyrus and reeds. Follow our footsteps at intotheokavango.org Full update tomorrow on how the research is going…

Huge Molasses Spill Off Hawaii: A Diver's Report

What's it like to dive into molasses-clogged Honolulu Harbor?<p><b>Hawaii's Honolulu Harbor has been inundated this week with 230,000 gallons—1,400 tons—of thick, sticky molasses from a pipeline spill. It may sound like a sweet problem, but the molasses is killing fragile coral reefs, endangered marine</b> …

Contrary to Reports, Mount McKinley Not Shrinking

Insects Use Gears in Hind Legs to Jump

Young planthoppers use gear wheels to coordinate their legs when jumping.<p><b>A garden variety bug found in backyards around the world has been hiding a surprising secret in plain sight, a set of natural gears essential to its prodigious jumping ability.</b><p>Young planthopper insects (<i>Issus coleoptratus</i>) can …