Armchair Naturalist

While there's no replacement for experiencing nature in real life, our new Armchair Naturalist corner is a place for kids to read about the latest news and stories about the fascinating world of wildlife and nature.

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The Guardian|  May 16, 2020 Out of a desire to reduce the number of fruit, seeds and pods falling to the ground, urban planners in the U.S. have been planting male trees for decades—and it’s made things worse for allergy sufferers as it has increased pollen in the air. Read more
Hakai |  May 22, 2020 The COVID-19 pandemic has constrained vessel traffic around the world, probably to the benefit of whales. Ship strikes can kill or injure, while underwater engine noise and a vessel’s physical presence can disrupt whales’ ability to feed, rest, socialize, navigate, and communicate. While the pandemic is giving whales some respite...
MNN |  May 7, 2020 Although the origins of the new coronavirus leading to COVID-19 is still not understood, many experts believe the virus likely began in bats. While bats are a source of some dangerous viruses — including SARS-like coronaviruses and Ebola — there is nothing special about bats that makes their viruses more likely to...
Justin McCurry, The Guardian  |   May 1, 2020 Garden eels in an aquarium in Tokyo are growing more fearful of humans amid the coronavirus pandemic,  disappearing into the sand and hiding every time the keepers pass by. Aquarium officials have explained that this new behavior is making it difficult to monitor their health. Concerned that...
The Guardian |  April 20, 2020 Thailand has discovered the largest number of nests of rare leatherback sea turtles in two decades on beaches bereft of tourists because of the coronavirus pandemic. Leatherbacks are the world’s largest sea turtles. They are considered endangered in Thailand, and listed as a vulnerable species globally by the International...
MNN |  March 19, 2020 Without guests in the building, caretakers at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago are getting creative in how they provide enrichment to animals — introducing new experiences, activities, foods and more to keep them active, encourage them to explore, problem-solve and express natural behaviors including “field trips” for some penguins at...
WWF|  March 5, 2020 As part of an expedition to the Marianas Trench, the deepest trench in the world at 11,034 meters (36,201 feet) deep, in 2014, a team of scientists discovered a new species. Located about 6,900 meters below the ocean surface, one particular new specimen of crustacean was alarmingly already polluted with plastic before it...
Guardian |  May 11, 2020 Located on New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf, Tiritiri Matang has been a protected nature reserve for the past 35 years. The island was solid kelp forest with beautiful ecklonia, and crayfish bristling out of every crevice. But now, the kelp and the crays are almost gone. The bare rock is overgrazed...
MNN |  February 24, 20120 In a groundbreaking scientific breakthrough, two cheetah cubs have been born through in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer into a surrogate mother at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The births are the result of careful planning and innovative medical expertise through a partnership between the Columbus Zoo, the Smithsonian’s National...
Focusing on Wildlife|  February 25, 2020 The recent fires in Australia resulted in the death of over one billion animals, with one-third of koalas killed. Scientists estimate there are 113 animal species in need of urgent help. The Australian government made a provisional list of the animals stating that they need “urgent management intervention” to...