strange behaviors

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  • Richard Conniff

  • Reviews for Richard Conniff’s Books


    Ending Epidemics: A History of Escape from Contagion: “Ending Epidemics is an important book, deeply and lovingly researched, written with precision and elegance, a sweeping story of centuries of human battle with infectious disease. Conniff is a brilliant historian with a jeweler’s eye for detail. I think the book is a masterpiece.” Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone and The Demon in the Freezer

    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 Green News Roundup

Posted by Richard Conniff on March 8, 2014

Here’s the latest conservation news from The Nature Conservancy’s Cool Green Science blog.


Tony Abbott, prime minister of Australia, declares the country will create no new parks under his administration. Scientists, not surprisingly, are outraged. (Conservation Bytes)

Stranger than fiction: Tiny pseudo-scorpions hitch a ride on beetles. (Mongabay)

Why being good for medicine is bad for the humble horseshoe crab…but being obsolete may be worse. (Atlantic)


The orange, cave-dwelling crocodiles of Gabon. (Abanda Expeditions)

The second edition of the Sibley Guide to Birds is here. Here are 10 things serious birders should know about the changes. (10,000 Birds)

Where do turtle toddlers disappear to? A mystery solved. (Discover)

Beavers back in the Bronx River. What will the zoopolitan future look like? (Strange Behaviors)

New Research

Meet the “information parasites” (they’re also birds). (The Loom)

Here’s an ecosystem engineering caterpillar that inadvertently builds nice homes for invasive weevils. (ESA Ecology)

How deep can fish swim? Even fish have their limits. (Science Magazine)

Climate Change

Climate risk to Indian cities is ‘huge,’ says Indian think tank TERI. (AlertNet, Reuters)

Nature News

Good news: the Javan rhino population is up 10 percent this year. Bad news: there are still only 58 Javan rhinos. (Mongabay)

One step closer to protection for Bristol Bay: the head of the EPA announces agency will begin process that could stop industrial mining in the region. (Trout Unlimited)

Conservation Tactics

A new use for invasive trees: feed them to zoo animals. (L.A. Times)

If there’s a good way to control pests without pesticides, why aren’t we using it more? (PNAS First Look Blog)

Science Communications

Social networking with a purpose: stemming brain drain and reconnecting communities. (PLoS Biology)

Miss ScienceOnline last week?

Converge sessions (unconference talk for plenaries) are available online. (ScienceOnlineTogether)

> And a few bloggers shared their contributions directly: Social media is a scientific research tool. (Southern Fried Science)

> Meanwhile, Anton Zuiker (past defender of accused sexual harrasser and ScienceOnline cofounder @BoraZ) steps down as chairman of ScienceOnline. (Mister Sugar)

This & That

How much water do you use? If you’re like most people, your guess is way off. (Conservation Magazine)

Environmentalists often argue against economic growth. That’s just code for keeping poor people poor, argues Roger Pielke, Jr. (Earth Island Journal)

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