Animals

Meter-long king crabs invade Antarctic waters, eat everything

On the seafloors of Antarctic basins, the water has warmed by just 0.27 degrees C — but that’s enough to allow giant king crabs to take over the ecosystem and eat everything they find. These suckers are more than three feet across, and they're gobbling up sea urchins, sea lilies, sea cucumbers, and starfish. They're also messing with the make-up of the sea floor. Check out the (terrifyinggggg) video above: The crab looks like an invasive vehicle in a Star Wars movie that's launching a sneak attack on an unsuspecting, peaceful civilization.

Critical List: Obama admin backs more solar projects; Kiribati president wants a new island

The Obama administration provided a loan guarantee to a SolarCity project that would put solar panels on 160,000 military homes — "the larger domestic residential rooftop solar project in history," Energy Secretary Chu said. Rick Perry thinks he's a smart as Galileo. Or at least that some climate-denying scientists are. So he’d be pretty irked to see yet more evidence that global warming is real, if he actually read newspapers.

Bear steals Prius

Here's a cautionary tale for hybrid owners: A Prius-owning family in California lost its car to a joy-riding bear. 

Nothing says eco-tourism like a 21-foot crocodile

What do you do with a suspected man-eating crocodile the size of a small aircraft? Make it the highlight of an eco-tourism park. At least, that's what wildlife authorities in the Philippines are doing with …

Raising chickens is totally rock and roll

Jenifer Jourdanne has expensive tastes, expensive shoes, and "designer chickens." In an essay in xoJane, she talks about how her long-standing backyard coop didn't dent her rocker cred: I will have you know I was a maverick. I was the girl in the early 90s at Viper Room where people would say things like “Slash, come over here, no really, this chick has pet chickens!" I mean I am sure they probably thought I used them in an adult act but sorry to bore you, they just walk around my herb gardens looking for snails.

Noise pollution ruins the sex life of tits

Pickup artists among the great tits (a species of bird, ok?) know how to get chicks: They sing at low frequencies just before females of their species begin laying eggs. It's a great technique! Unless they happen to be hanging out near sources of noise pollution, like highways, which force the tits to change their tune to a higher pitch so that the girls can hear their song in the first place.  But that's when things start going wrong. 

Stranded penguin is going home

Here's your awesome for the day. A penguin named Happy Feet washed up on a New Zealand beach in June, and promptly made himself sick by eating a bunch of sand that he mistook for snow. It's not clear how he wound up 2,000 miles from his Antarctic habitat, but Happy Feet is now well and is getting a lift back home. 

Critical List: Earthquake shook nuclear plant too hard; new Energy Star labels for more efficiency

Last week's earthquake may have shaken a Virginia nuclear plant more than the plant was designed to withstand. There wasn’t much damage, but, uh, maybe it’s time to retrofit these older East Coast plants, just in case. Since Energy Star labels have come to mean next to nothing, there are new ones. Look for "most efficient" Energy Star labels to find appliances that meet the highest standards for energy saving. Japan passed a bill promising incentives for renewable energy, but companies are waiting for the government to hash out the details before they jump in.

How to save 20,000 oiled penguins

Dyan deNapoli (who apparently goes by the moniker "The Penguin Lady," which is awesome) was very, very put out by a suggestion during the Gulf Coast oil spill that oiled birds should be killed because they're going to die anyway.

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