strange behaviors

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    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

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The Lure of Long Distances: Big Migrations

Posted by Richard Conniff on January 4, 2013

Other species are also spectacular travelers (though they always forget to pack their clothes).   Which animal regularly makes the greatest long-distance migration on Earth?

a.  The bar-tailed godwit

b.  The arctic tern

c. The sooty shearwater

d.  The humpback whale

And the answer is:

(b)  The Arctic tern takes the prize, with an annual migration of almost 50,000 miles from its breeding grounds in Greenland to the Antarctic shore of the Weddell Sea and back again.  On the return flight, the birds actually add hundreds of miles to their journey by looping out over the Atlantic, rather than following a straight line, apparently to take advantage of prevailing winds.  Credit for the longest nonstop flight goes to the bar-tailed godwit , which makes a 9-day red eye from Alaska to Australia and New Zealand.

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