Topic: Animals

2.horse

Current Event August 27, 2015

Horse Versus Human

Life Science Animals

Are animals faster than humans? Common sense says horses are faster, but scientists say humans have the edge in marathon distances. Ancient man used to chase his dinner; thus, people have adapted to run long distances. This adaptation is put to the test every year in England when humans race horses on a 22-mile course through Wales. It’s an annual competition that started in 1980. Listen to find out who won the race this year and who has evolved to be faster.

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Chimpanzee.square

Current Event June 18, 2015

Chimps Can Cook

Psychology Animals Elementary Evolution

Scientists have long debated when early humans learned that they could use fire to cook their food. Some believe this occurred soon after humans learned to control fire, others argue there isn’t enough evidence. A scientific study in a chimpanzee sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has shed new light on these persistent questions. The experiment gave chimps a machine to “cook” their food and tracked their preference for cooked food and how it changed their eating behaviors. Listen to learn more about this experiment and how it plays into the debate about when early humans began to cook.

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Fish to land

Science Middle School

Fish Fossil Gives Clues to Evolution

Life Science Animals Evolution Human body

Animal species evolve and adapt over time. This ability to change lays the groundwork for human evolution. Over 375 million years ago an important transition in this lineage occurred - animals living in the sea, began living on land. This complex process happened gradually over generations and an unusual fish fossil found in the Canadian Arctic may help enhance our understanding of this progression.

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Plague threatens ecosystem

Science High School

Plague in Wildlife Threatens Ecosystem

Life Science Health Animals Ecosystems

Infectious diseases like plague don’t just impact humans, they can spread and decimate animal populations as well. One scientist saw the impact of plague in prairie dog colonies and among black footed ferrets. He questioned whether the scientific understanding of plague cycles and transmission was accurate. Listen to learn what scientists discovered about plague and its larger impact on ecosystems.

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Animal emotions in literature

ELA Middle School

Low

Animals Display Emotions

Literature Psychology Animals Nonfiction

From "Shiloh" to "Lassie" and "Old Yeller," young adult literature is full of stories about friendship between people and dogs. People love animals but what do animals feel? There is a debate in the scientific community and in popular culture about what emotions animals are capable of and how they display these emotions. Does recognizing that animals can feel take away from human emotion? Or does it help us recognize where these traits came from? This story discusses recent research on the emotions of animals. Listen to learn more about what researchers discovered, and the controversy surrounding the emotional lives of animals.

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Humans impact on climate change

Science High School

Human Impact on Climate Change

Life Science Earth and Space Science Climate Change Animals Weather and Climate Physical Science Human Impacts

A United Nations report in 2014 shows that human activities are changing the planet. The scientists are more confident in their conclusions that humans are causing global warming. There are rising sea levels, higher temperatures and impacts on wildlife. This conversation with a public radio reporter looks at the long term trend in global temperatures and what humans can do to reverse the trend.

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Toys for elephants

Science Middle School

Animal Behavior in Captivity: Toys for Elephants

Life Science Animals Elementary Evolution

Toys play an important role in children's development. They are also important to animals, even elephants. This public radio story is about how artists designed and built toys of elephants that were based on animal behavior and their environment. You’ll be inside the zoo with the elephants, hearing their joy when playing with the new toys.

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Right whales

Science Middle School

Biologists Find it's Hard to Study Right Whales

Life Science Animals Oceans

Biologists studying right whales face the challenge of exploring rare and large organisms that spend the majority of their time underwater. These unpredictable animals are examined by researchers to try to understand the method of communication between male and female whales. Listen to learn why it's so hard to study these animals.

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Spotted dolphins and spinner dolphins

Science Middle School

Tuna Fishing and the Dolphin Morgue

Life Science Animals Ecosystems Human Impacts Oceans

When people started using large nets to capture tuna in the 1960s, many spotted dolphins were killed because they were found living with tuna. Scientists responded by sending “observers” on tuna boats to keep track of the number of dolphins killed. Listen to hear from a scientist who is studying the spotted and spinner dolphins to try to learn how to preserve dolphin populations.

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Using dna to catch poachers

Science Middle School

Using DNA to Catch Poachers

Life Science Animals Engineering Genetics DNA

Game wardens in California are now using DNA fingerprinting analysis to help protect illegal poaching of wildlife. There are many species, from large game to shellfish, which are being illegally caught or killed for food. Since there are so few game wardens to patrol the state, they are relying on forensic evidence to help track poachers. Listen to learn about the latest in DNA fingerprinting technology.

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Mice morphing at warp speed

Science Middle School

Mice Evolving at Warp Speed

Life Science Animals Genetics Evolution

Changes to a neighborhood park in Illinois have affected the Northern White-Footed mice who live in the forest nearby. Scientists who study living mice today compare them to museum samples of dead mice to understand how they've changed and why. What they are finding is that the mice are growing much faster than their ancestors. Listen to learn why the mice are changing and why no one picked up on it sooner.

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Giant squid eyes

Science Middle School

Giant Squid Eyes

Life Science Animals Ecosystems Oceans

Scientists have wondered why giant squid and colossal squid have such enormous eyes. Their eyes are the size of basketballs. Their thinking about this question has been hampered by the rarity of these animals and the difficulty of preserving eye specimens. Using some clever techniques and luck, researchers have been able to measure the size of giant squid eyes. This has led to an interesting hypothesis about why their eyes are so enormous.

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Current Event April 18, 2014

Keeping Goats Local

Economics Animals Elementary

Many refugees who have settled in Vermont are used to eating lots of goat meat back in their home countries. However, until recently, this meat has been expensive and hard to find in New England. Now, the Vermont Goat Collaborative is helping refugees find the meat they want. The project makes use of male baby goats are often disposed of because they can’t produce milk. Listen to hear more about this initiative and how it is benefiting local populations.

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Animal smuggling

Current Event April 11, 2014

Animal Smuggling

Life Science Animals

The illegal animal smuggling trade is right behind drugs and weapons smuggling because there is a large market actively seeking exotic, illegal animals. Smugglers have found many creative ways to sneak animals in, from stuffing them in pant legs to tires.

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