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Cicadas with the fungus Photo: Matt Kasson, via NPR
By now, if you live in the East or Midwest, you have seen the Brood X Cicadas everywhere — doing what they do, emerging from the ground, shedding their skin, mating, and then dying. But a few of them have a fungus called Massospora, which produces an amphetamine and that causes them to lose control and puts their mating behavior into hyperdrive. The details of what happens are even grosser — if you want to know, click here. Cicada expert Matt Kasson of West Virginia University, explained it this way to NPR’s All Things Considered, saying “Everybody’s having a good time while they’re infected. So I don’t imagine there’s much pain — maybe a desire to listen to the Grateful Dead or something like that, but no pain.” LOL — Cicadas, keep Truckin’.
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has set a new conservation standard, called the IUCN green status of species. This standard will not only suggest how close a species is to extinction but also how close it is to recovering its original population size and health. […]
As IFAW recently explained, no matter where you live—the valleys of the Himalayas, the Melbourne coastline, or the landlocked prairies of Kentucky—more than 50% of the air you breathe is produced by the ocean. Yet the ocean makes much of that oxygen thanks to little marine organisms called phytoplankton and the marvels of whale poop. […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Rivers and lakes across Northwestern states — from Yellowstone to Montana — have lost most of their trout, due to extreme drought conditions. Because of this, state authorities have implemented a variety of restrictions to preserve their dwindling trout populations, leaving recreational fly fishers in the lurch. Why This […]
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