Friday Faves June 13, 2014

Raccoons - cute, scary, kind of awesome

I've had plenty of urban encounters with raccoons and they kind of scare the crap out of me. Like many urban "pest" species, they are amazingly understudied given their obvious problem solving behaviors and survival skills. Jason Goldman tells us more about the behavior and lifestyle of this fascinating animal.

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Baby macaroni penguins - a self fulfilling prophesy?

It's almost like someone named them knowing they might be delicious. This vulnerable and rather cute bird has been declining and scientists wanted to find out why. They microchipped thousands of penguins and placed scanners at their nests to track their comings and goings. Turns out that giant petrels (a seabird) snack on around 2/3 of the baby macaronis. Getting to adulthood greatly reduces INCREASES chances of survival, so perhaps scientists can figure out how to help the macaroni at its most vulnerable stage.

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"I look like sh*t today"

If you've ever uttered those words to yourself, you might make a good insect. Turns out that mimicking bird poo is a great camouflage for some animals!

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