Nature Hub

Video Captures Hundreds of Sharks In Feeding Frenzy Off North Carolina Coast: WATCH


An amateur video from avid waterman and surfer Donnie Griggs captured the astonishing sight of over 100 sharks chowing down on some local grub (i.e. fish):

On Thursday, October 8 at around noon, while at a retreat at Cape Lookout National Seashore off the Crystal Coast of North Carolina, the leaders of One Harbor Church witnessed a shark feeding frenzy. The men were out fishing for the evening’s dinner when they stumbled across more than 100 sharks attacking a school of blue fish. As seagulls and pelicans joined in on the meal, the men began to cast into the surf, catching fish without the use of bait. For more than five minutes, the sharks were observed swimming in and out of the surf, some of which became beached in the fury.

Watch the stunning footage, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Scientists Name New Snail Species in Honor of Marriage Equality and Gay Rights


Scientists in Taiwan have named a new species of land snail in honor of the fight for same-sex marriage rights, according to a report in the journal Zookeys.

The snail species , thought to be part of a species discovered in 1884, turns out to be genetically independent, Chih-Wei Huang and his collaborators at Department of Life Science, National Taiwan Normal University discovered:

"When we examined the phylogeny from each gene," Huang says, "it suggested that the eastern A. subchinensis was more closely related to A. vermis, a similar land snail species inhabited in Ishigaki Island, than the western A. subchinensis."

They confirmed that what was thought to be A. subchinensis from eastern Taiwan was in fact a new species, which they named as A. diversifamilia. The name means the diverse forms of human families.

"When we were preparing the manuscript," Dr. Lee explains, "it was a period when Taiwan and many other countries and states were struggling for the recognition of same-sex marriage rights. It reminded us that Pulmonata land snails are hermaphrodite animals, which means they have both male and female reproductive organs in single individual. They represent the diversity of sex orientation in the animal kingdom. We decided that maybe this is a good occasion to name the snail to remember the struggle for the recognition of same-sex marriage rights."

WWF Says Earth Has Lost 50% Of Its Wildlife In The Past 40 Years

WildA new report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London has found the number of wild animals on Earth has reduced by half over the last 40 years, according to The Guardian. The decrease comes as a result of the negative impact humans have had on ecosystems across the globe. Wildlife have been hunted and killed for food by humans at an unsustainable rate and have also had their habitats destroyed or polluted:

The steep decline of animal, fish and bird numbers was calculated by analysing 10,000 different populations, covering 3,000 species in total. This data was then, for the first time, used to create a representative “Living Planet Index” (LPI), reflecting the state of all 45,000 known vertebrates. […] 

The report concludes that today’s average global rate of consumption would need 1.5 planet Earths to sustain it. But four planets would be required to sustain US levels of consumption, or 2.5 Earths to match UK consumption levels.

The fastest decline among the animal populations were found in freshwater ecosystems, where numbers have plummeted by 75% since 1970. “Rivers are the bottom of the system,” said Dave Tickner, WWF’s chief freshwater adviser. “Whatever happens on the land, it all ends up in the rivers.” For example, he said, tens of billions of tonnes of effluent are dumped in the Ganges in India every year.

Tell 'Chizi's Tale' and Help Save the Rhino: VIDEO


In August we reported that South Africa would evacuate 500 rhinos from the Kruger National Park to protect them from poachers as the illegal trade in their horns continues to decimate their populations. A record 1,004 rhinos were killed in South Africa in 2013 and many of those brutally slaughtered leave behind rhino orphans which are left to fend for themselves or taken in by conservationists.

Chizi's Tale is a new children's book that tells the story of one such infant in Zimbabwe, and was written by Jack Jones, a senior in high school at Brunswick School in Connecticut. Chizi's Tale is the true story of an abandoned baby rhino which is being raised by a park ranger and his family. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to TUSK, the British charity which uses conservation as a tool to fight poverty, facilitate education and end conflict, while protecting areas rich in biodiversity and taking an active role in the fight against rhino poaching.

Check out a preview behind-the-scenes story of the book, AFTER THE JUMP...

Enlighten your kids, and check out the website here.


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Researchers Film Young White Killer Whale: VIDEO


Researchers off the coast of Kamchatka in Eastern Russia have captured footage of a juvenile white Orca. Previously, researchers filmed a mature male white Orca they nicknamed "Iceberg." Said the researchers of this latest footage:

In August-September we surveyed the southeastern coast of Kamchatka and Northern Kuril Islands as part of a humpback whale project funded by Russian Geographical Society. In the Fourth Kuril Strait, between Onekotan and Paramushir islands, we met a large aggregation of orcas, but soon after we started photographing them for photo-IDs, the fog thickened. Soon, we couldn’t see anything further than hundred meters, so we stopped to listen for the sounds. Suddenly a group of orcas approached us, and right next to the boat, a white orca surfaced. It was not the famous Iceberg, but a small white orca, likely a juvenile. We soon lost the whale in the fog, but the image was fixed in our mind and in this short piece of video. We hope to meet more white orcas next year.

Watch the video of the young Orca, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Army of Frogs Gather Around iPhone to Marvel At Worm Video: WATCH


Did you know a group of frogs is called an "army"? Or that frogs are positively mesmerized by video footage of worms?

See for yourself, AFTER THE JUMP...

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