The Astonishing Annual Red Crab Migration
Named one of the planet’s most breathtaking migrations, the Christmas Island red crab exodus is a natural phenomenon that continues to astonish.
Making it onto CNN Travel’s recent list of the “10 most spectacular wildlife migrations,” the island’s annual red crab migration is an astounding event that involves the movement of millions of vividly colored crabs as they leave their in-land homes to breed and release eggs into the sea.
An Australian territory, Christmas Island lies some 2,600 kilometers north-west of Perth in the middle of the Indian Ocean. While just 1,500 people live there, it is home to an estimated 120 million crabs.
Photo credit: James Morgan [website]
The full-grown bumble-bee bat (Craseonycteris thonglongyai), at about the size of a bumble bee,is considered one of the smallest mammals on the planet. But its comparatively wide wingspan enables the animal to hover and cover long distances, which it navigates, like other bats, with echolocation. The bumble-bee bat inhabits only a certain area of Thailand and Myanmar and is listed as “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List, because the population of less than 10,000 has been disturbed by human activity in the limestone caves and bamboo deforests where they reside.
Unraveling the Origins of Bioluminescent Fungi
by Liz Kimbrough
Aristotle (384–322 BC) reported a mysterious light, distinct from fire, emanating from decaying wood. Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD) mentioned feasting on a glowing, sweet fungus found on trees in France and, in the late fifteenth century, a Dutch consul gave accounts of Indonesian peoples using fungal fruits to illuminate forest pathways. Bioluminescent fungi have intrigued generations of observers, and a handful of scientists still carry that torch of curiosity, answering questions about how and why these mushrooms glow.
Bioluminescence, light emitted by living organisms, has been verified in only 71 of the roughly 100,000 described species in the Kingdom Fungi. These 71 species belong to four distantly related lineages occurring throughout the world, with greatest abundance in the tropics. Conspicuous temperate species include: the Jack-o-Lantern mushrooms of Europe and the North America (Omphalotus illudens, O. olearius), the ghost fungus of Australia and Asia (O. nidiformis), the moon night mushroom of Japan (O. japonicus), and various species of honey mushrooms whose mycelium causes “foxfire”—the phenomenon of glowing wood noticed by Aristotle…
(read more: MongaBay)
photos by Cassius V. Stevani, IQ-USP, Brazil
Multiple exposure photos of lights on the blades of a Sikorsky helicopter taking off in Anacostia, MD in 1949 by Andreas Feininger
Mychal Denzel Smith, To Be Young and Black in America: Always Considered a Threat