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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’.
Experts are one step closer to confirming the family herd of an orphaned elephant in West Africa after DNA analysis provided crucial information showing family members could be close by. The elephant, named Nania, was rescued by local community members when she was just three months old. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) was […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer An Italian non-profit called the World Sustainability Organization (WSO) has introduced a new “Whale-Safe” certification program to certify freight and cruise ship companies that take steps to prevent whale collisions and deaths. Modeled off of “Dolphin-Safe” commercial labeling developed in the 1980s, the project is an expansion of WSO’s […]
By Nilanga Jayasinghe, Manager of the Wildlife Conservation team at World Wildlife Fund Imagine living in a modern, densely populated city. On any given morning, you might expect to look out your window and see a stream of cars and pedestrians on their daily commute, bustling shops and restaurants selling their wares, or perhaps local […]
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