animals Archives - State of the Planet

archaeologists taking samples

Switch From Hunting to Herding Recorded in Ancient Pee

In a new study, scientists use urine salts to reconstruct the timing and scale of the Neolithic revolution at a Turkish archaeological site.

by |April 17, 2019

Expanding Overseas Study Opportunities

A golf-ball-sized rhinoceros beetle flies through the open-air pavilion and lands on my table. I look up from my notes, an attempt at reworking my African wild dog study methods, and realize I haven’t seen one of these mighty beasts since my junior year in South Africa. The beetle is a welcome companion on this quiet, star-studded night in Jordan’s Ajloun Forest Reserve. Creature comforts: another perspective shift made possible by the Columbia Global Centers.

by |April 5, 2012

Crash Land Home for the Holidays

As holidays approach and we plan our ‘seasonal’ migrations to see our families, many other species are making their own migrations — though with a few more snafus than we humans might hit.

by |December 20, 2011

Extinction Exposed – The Sea Otter

Despite being a keystone species in important ecosystems that span the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean, sea otters have historically had a complex and sometimes troubling relationship with humans.

by |September 12, 2011

Wondrous Wildlife of The Week – The Pebble Toad

Organisms in the natural world are constantly striving to avoid predation. Some prey depend on morphological characters to outsmart a worthy predator, utilizing camouflage or mimicry to avoid detection; others must engage in battle, relying on agility or strength. The Venezuela pebble toad, however, has an extremely peculiar defense mechanism: it rolls itself into the shape of a rock and bounces haphazardly down a hill.

by |September 9, 2011