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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Russell McLendon, MNN | December 26, 2019 Researchers looking for microbial DNA in snow samples from Northern Europe and North America found a hidden empire of bacteria, fungi and algae in seemingly lifeless snow. “I was just blown away by the biodiversity,” co-author Shawn Brown, a professor of biology at the University of Memphis, told New Scientist....
Kristine Liao, Audubon Magazine | December 20, 2019 In a study published last month in the Journal of Experimental Biology, researchers from McGill University found that big bill of the Tufted Puffin helps the bird to release excess body heat after an energetically demanding flight. Essentially, the Tufted Puffin uses its beak to cool down to...
Steven Morris, The Guardian | December 26, 2019 An annual survey from the National Trust found that volatile weather in 2019 led to an influx of migrant species. Warm weather and high winds in the early months of 2019 led to an influx of migrant butterflies, moths and dragonflies from the south and east, including...
Phoebe Weston, The Guardian | Dec 21, 2019 According to WWF researchers who study jaguars off the coast of the Brazilian Amazon, a population of jaguars has learned how to catch fish in the sea to survive. This is believed to be the first evidence the elusive creatures have been jumping in the sea to...
Donna Ferguson, The Guardian |  Dec 21, 2019 Bulbophyllum phalaenopsis is in bloom for the first time in a glasshouse at Cambridge University Botanic Garden.  And it’s not a sweet smell. The orchid smells like “a thousand dead elephants rotting in the sun” and looks like decaying flesh. The look and smell are adaptations to...
Mary Jo Brooks, NWF  |   Dec 17, 2019 While much needs to be done to reverse the impacts that humans have had on wildlife, there were some successes for wildlife and US public lands. Over 2 million acres of public lands and waters were protected with one bill and New Mexico became the first state...
Bryan Nelson, MNN | December 14, 2019 A new study about plastic waste in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean found that the islands were “literally drowning in plastic” and that hermit crabs were trading in their shells for plastics, and with dire consequences. The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are a remote chain of...
NEWS | December 2, 2019 A vast animal migration of countless small sea creatures – from squid to krill – which swim from the ocean depths to near the surface to feed is the largest on the planet and a critical part of Earth’s climate system. For the first time, it has been observed globally by NASA...
Russell McLendon, MNN |  November 27, 2019 Until now, no one had managed to record the heart rate of a blue whale. But a team of U.S. researchers took the first recording of a blue whale’s heart rate. Led by Jeremy Goldbogen, assistant professor of biology at Stanford University, the team used a specialized tracking...
Russell McLendon , MNN | November 20, 2019 A new study finds that noise pollution not only harms lots of animals, but also threatens the survival of more than 100 different species. Published in the journal Biology Letters, the study suggests noise pollution harms species from all over the animal kingdom including amphibians, arthropods, birds,...