The sword-billed hummingbird’s bill is actually longer than its entire body. As the sole species in the Ensifera genus, this hummingbird is found across South America. The bill can grow up to 14 cm, so these birds have to use their feet to groom themselves and typically rest with their bill pointed upward so they can balance.
The culling policy aims to reduce shark attacks by killing white, bull and tiger sharks over 3 metres long off the coast of Western Australia. Research on previous culls reveal no scientific evidence that destroying sharks reduces attacks, and the cull has caused outrage from conservation groups. Two experts from the University of Western Australia explain: "Pre-emptively killing sharks is a response based on emotion rather than of scientific data."
The genome of the 7,000-year-old hunter-gatherer has given scientists unprecedented insight into modern humans before the rise of farming, and overturns the popular image of light-skinned European hunter-gatherers. The DNA was taken from the wisdom tooth of the Mesolithic man and revealed he was probably lactose intolerant, had more difficulty digesting starchy foods than today's humans, and carried mutations that boost the immune system against nasty illnesses previously thought to only be introduced to humans by farm animals. [ ... ]
This is what an embryonic leopard cub looks like in the womb. It's not a photograph, but a combination of three-dimensional ultrasound scans, tiny cameras and computer graphics used to create realistic representations of animal fetuses for a National Geographic documentary.
The Resplendent Quetzal has a range running from southern Mexico to western Panama. Its sinuous, jade-green tail feathers once adorned the clothing of Mayan rulers and served as currency. Now, bird-watching tourism boosts local economies in quetzal territory.
The dragon’s blood tree (Dracaena draco) has a thick red resin that makes the plant appear to be bleeding when it is cut. These subtropical plants form huge umbrella-like canopies and can grow for hundreds of years, but they are currently listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN due to the trademark resin being used in traditional medicine, violin staining, and even for embalming the dead.
An Australian Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) showing off some excellent camouflage against a tree trunk. The birds are nocturnal and stay safe while they're roosting during the day by disguising themselves as a tree branch. They're known to stand perfectly still and upright with their beaks in the air for hours.
This is an undulatus asperatus cloud formation. The name translates loosely to “roughened or agitated waves” and although they appear ominous, they tend to dissipate without a storm forming.
In 2009 the formation was proposed as a separate cloud classification - if successful it will be the first cloud formation added since 1951 to the International Cloud Atlas of the World Meteorological Organisation. [ ... ]
Pandas produce a super powerful antibiotic that kills bacteria and fungi. The substance is released by the panda’s immune system to protect them from catching infections in the wild. Researchers are trying to decode the substance’s makeup as it could be used to develop treatments against drug-resistant superbugs.
This man has an amazing ability to interact with these animals fearlessly and on a level the animals understand. Even if he does get killed by them, it won't be as human versus lion, it will be a lion versus a lion. A beautiful relationship that cannot end in tragedy.