Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Animals

Comments

Cloning a mammoth: Totally gonna happen

Back in August, a team of scientists uncovered a woolly mammoth's thigh bone, which had been so well preserved in Siberian permafrost that it offered the possibility of creating a mammoth clone. And this weekend, a team of Japanese and Russian scientist announced that, yes, they are going to do this thing. Mammoth clones. They're coming. Scientists believe they can take DNA from the bone's marrow cells and use elephant egg cells and surrogates to birth a mammoth baby. Will those elephant surrogates be the world’s coolest elephants? YES. Also, they will sort of be their own great-great-great-great-great-grandmas. Obviously this …

Read more: Animals

Comments

video

Katherine Heigl wants you to neuter your pets, because she hates balls

Sure, there are lots of good animal-welfare-related reasons to spay and neuter your pets. But can we talk about the best reason? BALLS ARE GROSS. At least, that's the contention of Katherine Heigl, who is clearly embarking on some kind of weird image-correction campaign where she embraces her reputation as an ice queen in order to show people that she's actually got a sense of humor. Or I guess possibly she just really, really hates balls. 

Read more: Animals

Comments

Critical List: $4 billion for energy efficiency; SUVs rise again

President Obama and former President Clinton are announcing $4 billion to make buildings more energy efficient over the next two years. A fierce wind storm hit the West yesterday, taking down trees and fanning fires. Coke ditched those white, pro-polar bear holiday cans preeetttty fast. Apparently they confused Coke drinkers, some of whom thought the soda “tasted different in the white cans.” The Department of Energy and the Department of State are teaming up to work on energy issues. Apparently Scandinavians don't care that much about trees. All we hear about is carbon, carbon, carbon. What if cutting back on …

Comments

The most heartbreaking polar bear picture, ever

I don't know if this guy is actually trying to push this icebreaker ship away from his home. Maybe he just thinks there's a free buffet if he can climb aboard. But in the context of the polar bears' plight, with their numbers dwindling due to climate change and habitat loss, this looks like a heartbreaking picture of a lone bear trying to hold back the inevitable. UGH MAKE IT STOP.

Comments

Eating horses is legal now, and PETA loves it

Hey, you can finally defrost that horse steak you've had in the freezer! The spending bill that Obama just signed included a provision lifting the ban on federal inspection of horses that are raised for food, a ban that has made it effectively illegal to slaughter horses for the last five years. And weirdly, PETA is all for it. This change won't mean much to your daily life, unless maybe you are in They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, which you aren't because they broke up in 2008. First of all, we're going to guess that the ban on horse meat …

Read more: Animals, Food

Comments

Airport to increase safety by gassing birds

Last year, a Royal Air Maroc plane made an emergency landing at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport after it was hit by a flock of geese. They've been trying everything to get rid of the birds, they say, including "luring them away" (presumably with irresistible offers from Groupon). Incidents like these have been increasing at the airport, so its directors are seeking permission from Brussels to shoot the birds as well as gas them with CO2. Birding groups are not happy.

Comments

This video of science-lab dogs being set free will make you bawl

I have complicated feelings about animal testing, at least when it comes to science. But I have very uncomplicated feelings about dogs, and this video of nine beagles being set free made me blubber unattractively. These dogs have lived in cages their entire lives, testing medicines, cosmetics, and household products (which does not qualify as science!). The video captures their first human affection, their first time leaving their metal crates, and their first steps onto grass. This will definitely be in my head next time I'm looking for cruelty-free products. The group that produced the video, Animal Rescue Media Education, …

Read more: Animals

Comments

Climate change gives creepy, bat-carried disease a boost

In Australia, a virus called Hendra, which has had a 60 percent mortality rate in humans, is on the rise. There were 18 outbreaks of the disease this year, more than in the 16 previous years combined, and scientists suspect that climate change had a hand in this year's surge. An animal-borne disease like West Nile or SARS, Hendra can be transmitted from fruit bats to horses to humans. Only seven humans have been infected with Hendra so far, but scientists believe that flooding in Australia is connected with the increase in Hendra outbreaks. In this type of ecological upheaval, …

Comments

New use for green roof: grazing reindeer

"Santa Claus" (real name: Dave Kavanaugh, entomologist) has brought his reindeer to the green roof of the California Academy of Sciences. Between now and January 16, they'll be grazing its gentle slopes and fertilizing them with bon bons, because everyone knows that reindeer shit delicious Christmas treats.

Comments

Prizewinning research: How to fight elephants with bees

British scientist Lucy King has won a prestigious environmental award for her research, but she should also maybe get a movie deal. The substance of her research is using bees to scare off elephants, which could make an excellent blockbuster, with the addition of a few explosions and maybe a robotic bee carapace. Also, as it happens, it helps save elephants' lives. The greatest threat to elephants, besides robotic bees, is humans -- and when the animals wander into human territory, the people may respond with deadly force. This isn't a one-sided conflict, either; elephants can kill humans without even …

Read more: Animals