The Friday Five: Conservation and nature stories from around the world that caught our eye this week

Praying mantis (Photo by Shiva Shankar/Wikimedia Commons)

Praying mantis (Photo by Shiva Shankar/Wikimedia Commons)

January 15, 2016 | by Christine Beevis Trickett

Each week, countless great stories are published about conservation successes or new discoveries in nature and wildlife around the world. This year, we're launching a new feature on Land Lines: the Friday Five, a weekly roundup of the top conservation and nature stories from around the globe.

Here are five stories that caught our attention the week of January 11, 2016:

These praying mantises wear tiny 3-D glasses — for science

No, praying mantises haven't developed a sudden fashion sense. To determine whether these carnivorous hunters with lightning-fast reflexes have 3-D vision, scientists affixed tiny lenses to their eyes and played them movies. We're not sure whether popcorn was served.

Find out what they discovered >

Dinosaurs may have danced like lovebirds to woo their mates

When we think about dinosaurs (the original native species), we usually picture large, aggressive beasts running through jungles, wreaking havoc and causing general mayhem and terror. But recent research by some palentologists suggests that dinosaurs may have also tapped into their inner So You Can Dance contestant, wooing their mates with their sweet moves.

Lean more about it >

Great lake swimmers

When does the discovery of a fish in a lake scare biologists? When it's an invasive species such as Asian or grass carp, and it's swimming in North American freshwater lakes. Unfortunately it's becoming an all-too common occurrence in North America's Great Lakes, where a number of non-native fish species, many of which were introduced as forms of biological control a few decades ago, are out-competing native species due to their voracious appetites and aggressive behaviour.

Read about this threat >

Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award — in pictures

From a walrus snorting bubbles, to a flock of fluorescent flamingos, to an ice-bejeweled beaver, to a crab raising its claws in victory (#FTW!), wildlife photographers around the world captured some stunning, surprising and quirky images of species last year. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award celebrates the popular vote for some of the best, and most memorable, wildlife photos of each year.

See them here >

Quantifying wildness: Tracking wolves and elk in the Rockies

A few years ago a trail cam video of bears dancing in the forest went viral, delighting viewers with this sneak peek into the mammals' hidden lives. But trail cams are not only there to see whether bears are having dance parties. Along with GPS collars, trail cams can tell conservationists and biologists a good deal about the presence and habits of species in a landscape. But in this story, biologist Cristina Eisenberg suggests that a return to an old-fashioned monitoring method — that of walking a transect — may be just as effective as more high-tech solutions.

See what she had to say >

Christine Beevis Trickett

About the Author

Christine Beevis Trickett is the director of editorial services for the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Read more about Christine Beevis Trickett.

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