Today's Creature Features are Whales & Sharks! Though very biologically different, one being a mammal and the other a fish, whales and sharks share several features: both are large, ocean-dwelling, charismatic megafauna, and both have been hunted to near-extinction by humans. Whales are incredibly important for recycling nutrients within the ocean, and sharks help maintain the balance of the marine food web in their role as apex predator. However, decades of hunting have driv
Today's Creature Features are Birds & Bees! Both these taxa are known for being pollinators, but they are also so much more. Birds also spread seeds, help control insect populations, and provide a food source for other animals; whereas bees are considered keystone species because pollination provides habitat and food for other animals, including humans. However, widespread use of pesticides, as well as habitat destruction, and of course climate change, are threatening both of
Today's Creature Features are Sea Turtles & Coral Reefs! Turtles are some of the oldest organisms on Earth, as are coral reefs, and both have survived extinction events in the past. Thus, it's a testament to the severity of our current extinction event that all 6 turtle species found in the Caribbean are on the IUCN Red List with decreasing populations, and that coral reefs are on the decline worldwide. Climate change, coastal development, exploitation, and pollution (especia
Today's Creature Features are Plants & Insects! These two taxa have existed in harmony (or in a constant battle of wills) since life on earth began. Plants produce the oxygen we all need to survive, and insects are the single most abundant species group on Earth (80% of all known species!). Both provide invaluable ecosystem services, and both are at risk of extinction due to climate change and habitat loss. One simple thing you can do help both plants and insects is to avoid
Today is Earth Day! But what does that mean? The #EarthDay movement began almost 50 years ago with a simple goal: to get more people aware of and engaged on environmental issues. This year's theme "Protect Our Species" is both critical and timely, as human actions (habitat destruction, exploitation, and climate change) have led to the worst extinction period in millions of years. We are losing multiple species daily, all around the world, from every taxon imaginable.