One Cool Thing: Alligators Can Regrow Their Tails

Images: Ruth Elsey, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Scientists have long known that some reptiles — like lizards and geckos — can regrow their tails.  But they recently learned that alligators can do the same, CNN reports.  This was a surprise to scientists, who used advanced imaging techniques to discover that juvenile alligators also have the ability to regrow their tails up to 9 inches, or up to 18% of their total body length.  They hope that understanding how alligators can regrow limbs will help in developing regenerative therapies in humans.  Indeed — yet another reason why we humans need nature. #30×30

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Baby Sharks Enfeebled by Warming Ocean Waters

Baby Sharks Enfeebled by Warming Ocean Waters


by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer A new study suggests that baby sharks are being born tiny, tired, and malnourished as a result of rising temperatures in the ocean. Scientists analyzed the effects of warming waters on young epaulette sharks — a small, egg-laying species that lives in the Great Barrier Reef. These researchers examined […]

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Two San Diego Zoo Gorillas Contract COVID-19; Mink Farms Hit Hard By the Virus

Last week, two gorillas at the San Diego Zoo were infected with COVID-19. An asymptomatic zoo staff member transmitted the disease to them.  So far they are fine.

Why this Matters: The virus can mutate in animals and spread back to humans, producing newer —and potentially deadlier—variants of COVID-19, though this is rare.

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The Lonely Existence of the Last Two Northern White Rhinos

The Lonely Existence of the Last Two Northern White Rhinos

In a story for the New York Times, Sam Anderson documents the lonely lives of the two beautiful creatures and details what we lose when a species vanishes before one’s eyes — it brings gravity to the extinction process that numbers and statistics just can’t.

Why This Matters: In 2019, the United Nations released a report detailing accelerating extinction rates.

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