Zebra Stripes, Disease-Fighting Owls, and Jellyfish for Lunch

Zebra stripes serve as fly protection, not camouflage, evidence suggests. © Kenneth K. Coe

Zebra stripes serve as fly protection, not camouflage, evidence suggests. © Kenneth K. Coe

By Marty Downs, Bob Lalasz, Matt Miller, Lisa Feldkamp and Cara Byington of the TNC Science Communications team We find tons of cool conservation and conservation science stuff every week on the Internets — now we’re sharing some of the best with you every week in The Cooler:


Ten cool facts about velvet worms. Yes, velvet worms. (Wired Science)

Frigatebird food fight! Great photos from the Galapagos. (10,000 Birds)

What’s good for the elephant is good for the people. Conservationists and locals in Mali work together for a healthier environment. (Mongabay)

Can birds adapt to wind farms? Promising new study suggests eagles can change flight path to accommodate the blades. (Conservation Magazine)

The most trafficked mammal you’ve never heard of: the pangolin. (CNN, Via US Fish and Wildlife Service)

New Research

How the zebra got its stripes: new research points to flies, not predators. (Business Insider)

Insights from ecology help explain human “poverty traps.” (PLoS Biology)

Rock, paper, wood, oil. Contribution of mining, fiber, forestry, and palm oil industries to forest loss in Indonesia. (Conservation Letters)

Climate Change

Old art meets new science: how historical paintings help us understand climate change. (Conservation Magazine)

Will we be able to meet global demand for fish in 2050? There is hope if we institute sustainable practices now. (SciDev Net)

How will climate change impact ocean life? Expect a lot more jellyfish and a lot less sushi. (Quartz)

Carbon loss from forest soils depends strongly on soil texture. (Global Change Biology via EurekAlert!)

Nature News

Rattlesnake wrangling stirs up controversy in Texas. (New York Times)

Does the recent whaling ruling mean that Japan can’t kill whales anymore? No! (Southern Fried Science)

Conservation Tactics

Conservation on the plate: A sushi chef wages war on invasives by serving them. (Outside)

Letting giants be – practitioners are rethinking active fire management in an old-growth forest. (Journal of Applied Ecology)

Owls get a reputation boost in Chile as they help in the fight against the deadly Hanta virus. (Mongabay)

Science Communications

CNN lags behind other networks in coverage of climate news. (Media Matters for America)

The high-end market for environment news: E&E publishing produces news most people won’t ever see. (Nieman Journalism Lab)

Pew’s state of the news media report is out: Half of facebookers get news there — but mainly from friends. (Pew Research Center)

Have suggestions for next week’s Cooler? Send them to mdowns[at]tnc.org. Opinions expressed on Cool Green Science and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Nature Conservancy.

Posted In: The Cooler

Marty joined the Nature Conservancy in January 2014 to write about TNC research and manage the Science Impact Project. She started her career in ecosystem ecology and climate impact research, but has focused on science communications since 1999. She’s now doing what she likes best – writing about cool science and helping scientists find and communicate what’s exciting about their work.

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