Grist List

Animals

Chinese police save 3,600 endangered crocodiles from being eaten by humans

In southern China, police intercepted three foreigners trying to sneak over the border with precious cargo — more than 3,600 crocodiles. By the time police arrested the smugglers, 42 of the Siamese crocs (an endangered species) had died of dehydration and overheating. But if the police hadn’t intervened, the rest would have met an equally gruesome fate, as dinner for the culinarily adventurous in Guangdong province. This was a particularly large load: The crocodiles weighed more than 17 tons in all. But according to the Guardian, environmental watchdogs like Zheng Yuanying, southern China program director for Green Eye of China, …

Climate Change

June’s 3,282 heat records, in one handy chart

In the U.S., June heat broke 2,284 daily maximum temperature records and tied a further 998. Here's what that looked like for the lower 48 states.

Cities

Street artist turns Chicago into a Monopoly board

Socially conscious graffiti is nice and all, but we prefer it when street artists have a sense of humor. So this work by artist (or art collective) Bored is right up our alley (ha) — it uses 3D sculpture to turn the streets of Chicago into a Monopoly board.

Living

Breathtaking video of Earth seen from space

It’s worth cleaning off your monitor before you watch this extraordinary video — full-screen, of course — so there’s no dust or smudges interfering with your sense that you’re hovering over the glowing planet as it turns beneath you.

Green Home

Life-size LEGO garden sprouts up in Australia

In the Age of the Anthropocene, nature is what humans make it. LEGO took this idea quite literally when it graced the Australian town of Broken Hill, in New South Wales, with these giant versions of LEGO flowers and trees.

Living

Fit in with the masses with this reusable tote that looks like a plastic bag

If those reusable “I am not a plastic bag” totes earn glances of hippie-hating scorn from the populace, the THANK YOU THANK YOU bag helps green-minded people blend into the crowd while still sticking to their principles.

Animals

Baby pandas on a slide

Need we say more?

This image of the Colorado wildfire scar will blow your mind

This image from NASA (click to embiggen) shows the scar from the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado. It’s a false-color image — the fields aren’t actually running red with blood out there, yet — but the size of that burned patch is no illusion. Compare it to the city of Colorado Springs in the lower right corner, or the Air Force Academy airfield in the upper right.

Animals

Cute bushy-tailed fossil suggests most dinosaurs had feathers

The dinosaur shown in this new fossil, which is so great it almost looks fake, is called Sciurumimus albersdoerferi — Sciurumimus means “squirrel mimic.” That’s undoubtedly because of its lush, bushy tail, perfectly preserved in fine-grained sediment. But that’s not a furry squirrel tail you’re looking at; it’s all feathers, and the discovery of S. albersdoerferi suggests that most dinosaurs had them. The smooth, scaly dinosaurs you remember from your childhood pajamas are a myth.

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