strange behaviors

Cool doings from the natural and human worlds

  • Richard Conniff

  • Reviews for Richard Conniff’s Books

    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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This Week’s Cool Green Science News Roundup

Posted by Richard Conniff on January 18, 2014

Here’s this weeks roundup of interesting stories on wildlife and the environment, from TNC’s Cool Green Science Blog:


When sharks use twitter. (New Yorker)

Big predators in big trouble & the cascading effects. (Conservation Bytes)

A spinner dolphin megapod – a congregation of 3000 – 5000 animals — is captured on film for the first time. (Focusing on Wildlife)

Having friends for dinner. Literally. Nat Geo features five animal cannibals. (Nat Geo)

Darren Naish — who else?–  has everything you always wanted to know about North America’s freaky vole species. (Tet Zoo)

Conservation Research

When sharks come back from the dead: Shark species thought to be extinct shows up in fish market. (Scientific American)

EZ Pass for fish: technology + collaboration = better data? (EcoRI/MA)

Old trees pack on the pounds: Meta-study in Nature, reported on NPR.

Nature or nurture? Parenting behavior of the white-throated sparrow has been linked to a variation in genome. (eScience Commons – article in PNAS)

How can the open-data movement up its game? Try better standardization of data formats & improved reliability. (SciDevNet)

Climate Change

Underestimating global warming: gaps in Arctic temperature data lead scientists and public astray. (Mongabay)

One Palau reef system seems to thrive in acid conditions. Is it the corals or the location? (American Geophysical Union)

Science Communication

Scott Klein says journalists who don’t know how to code are going to get scooped. Science communicators, you’re next.  (Nieman Journalism Lab)

Unleash the scientist/narrator hybrids! A great walk through the state-of-play on what we know works in science communications.  (The Science Shill)

Is simplicity in science communcations really better? Really? (Science Unicorn)

Ten tips for tweeting that scientific conference. (ProfHacker)

The Human Dimension

FAO offering gender and climate-smart agriculture webinars. (FAO) 

Extreme weather, biodiversity loss, and water crises rank among the top environmental risks; food crises and pandemics top social category. (World Economic Forum Report & press conference)

What’s up with That?

Farmbots? Government officials in the UK say robot farmers are the future of agriculture. (The Guardian)

80-year old snake venom can still kill, but that’s a good thing for scientists researching medicine. (Not Exactly Rocket Science)

Why drones might be bad for outdoors/conservation ethics. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

– See more at:


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