The Friday Five: Conservation and nature stories from around the world that caught our eye this week
Each week, countless stories are published about conservation successes or new discoveries in nature and wildlife around the world. The Friday Five is a weekly roundup of some of the conservation and nature stories from around the globe that caught our attention the week of February 22, 2016:
5 student inventions that help wildlife
Students have been known to come up with some of the most creative and leading-edge inventions in science and technology in recent years. One of those inventions? A hedgehog-sized home that's too adorable to be missed, which provides important shelter to the U.K.'s declining hedgehog population.
Get inspired by these student inventions >
Two words: water bear
Cute homes for hedgehogs, meet the tardigrade: a frozen blob 30 billion years old that scientists recently brought to life. Also known as a water bear, this eight-legged aquatic micro-animal is a fascinating example of resilience in nature. Look closely, and it really does look like a tiny, translucent, swimming bear.
Made by rain, mushrooms also make it
What do mushrooms and rainclouds have to do with one another? More than you might think, actually. In fact recent research suggests that the tens of thousands of mushroom spores floating around the atmosphere may actually play a role in seeding rain clouds. We think that's pretty fascinating!
Scientists find out what killed millions of starfish
Three years ago, an epidemic was delared along the west coast, as starfish were reported to be declinining in dramatic numbers — what scientists began calling sea star wasting syndrome. Far from simply being pretty sea creatures, sea stars are important to keeping the biodiversity in marine ecosystems stable. A new report provides some suggestions as to why starfish may be wasting away.
Research confirms success of tiger conservation in Thailand
In the business of conservation, it's often easy to get overwhelmed by stories of failures or threats to wildlife. So when we spotted a story that efforts to protect tigers in Thailand, who are mostly endangered due to poaching, are showing signs of success with a stable and increasing tiger population, of course we had to include it here.