Topic: africa

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How sand swimming shovel-snouted lizards stay cool in the Namib Desert

Endemic to the Namib Desert, shovel-snouted lizards (Meroles anchietae) have learned how to survive in extreme conditions. They are fast, able to run at over 91.5 cm/3 feet per second. When they rest, they must carefu...

A Jane Goodall documentary made from 100+ hours of lost 1960s footage

"It had long been thought that we were the only creatures on Earth that used and made tools. 'Man the toolmaker' is how we were defined... and here was [chimpanzee] David Greybeard using a tool." Travel back to Ta...

Swim With Manta Rays, the Ocean’s Peaceful Giants

For as long as she can remember, Dr. Andrea Marshall wanted to be a marine biologist. Now, she’s living out her dream with one of the ocean’s most amazing creatures. That is, Marshall studies and helps protect giant m...

The ferocious predatory dinosaurs of Cretaceous Sahara

In Cretaceous times (around 100 million years ago), North Africa was home to a huge river system and a bizarre menagerie of giant prehistoric predators -- including the Spinosaurus, a dinosaur even more fearsome than ...

Hydnora africana, the strangest plant in the world?

With no leaves and no chlorophyll, Southern Africa's Hydnora africana is a underground-dwelling parasitic plant in that gets all of its sugars, minerals, and water by attaching to the roots of Euphorbia plants. It als...

Spend a Day With the World’s Only Grass-Eating Monkeys

Geladas, one of the flagship species of Africa’s alpine grasslands, are found only in the Ethiopian Highlands. They are the smallest vestige of a genus that millions of years ago stretched from South Africa to Spain a...

A Real-Life Bone Collector: Recovering an Extinct Human Ancestor

Follow biological anthropologist and 'bone collector' Dr. Marina Elliott deep into the ancient underground crevasses that would reveal around 1,500 bone fragments belonging to Homo naledi, a new species in human linea...

Why are we so attached to our things? – TED Ed

After witnessing the “violent rage” shown by babies whenever deprived of an item they considered their own, Jean Piaget – a founding father of child psychology – observed something profound about human nature: Our sen...

Unmasking the Secrets That Ancient Mummies Hold

For more than a century, archaeologists have dismantled mummy coffins, also known as cartonnage, in a hunt for literary treasure. In ancient Egypt, undertakers entombed the departed middle-class in sheets of papyrus t...

The Loneliest Tree in the World

In 1895, John Medley Wood discovered a cluster of peculiar Encephalartos Woodii on the fringe of the oNgoye Forest in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. A basal offset of the male dioecious tree was sent to Kew Gardens in L...

Meet Kenya’s Only Ice Hockey Team

Opened in downtown Nairobi's Panari Sky Center in 2005, Solar Ice Rink is home to the 30-member Kenyan Ice Hockey League team. Though their rink is currently too small to qualify as an international standard rink, the...

The GPS-navigated rolling of the dung beetle

From all across the galaxy, the light of billions of stars finds its way to Earth, passes through our atmosphere, and enters the eyes of a small South African beetle rolling a ball of dung. The beetle’s eyes are not s...

Animated Life: Mary Leakey & the Laetoli footprints

Forty years ago in Laetoli, Tanzania, an elephant dung fight between a couple of paleoanthropologists led to a discovery: a fossilized animal print, at least 3.6 million years old. But the site had an even bigger surp...

Sweet potato vs. yam: What’s the difference?

Have you ever eaten a yam? Maybe. Maybe not. In this Vox video, Joss Fong (and Mac Rogers, the President of the Sweet Potato Council) explain how American history has led us into a few hundred years of tuber confusion...

Can Namib Desert beetles help us solve our drought problems?

Can we pull enough water out of the air to sustain drought-stricken places around the planet? It might help to Think Like A Tree... or a Namib Desert Beetle called the Stenocara gracilipes, who harvests water from the...

Paleoartist John Gurche reconstructs the face of Homo naledi

Paleoartist John Gurche is known for his award-winning reconstructions of our ancient human ancestors. His process of mixing forensic accuracy with emotional realism has been featured in documentaries by National Geog...

From Clay to Mosaics – How zellige (الزليج) mosaics are made

From Moroccan interior design company Habibi Interiors, watch as maâlems (master craftsmen) take their time and skill to create terra cotta tiles known as zellige, zillij, or الزليج, meaning "tiles" in Arabic: From Cl...

Deep in the caves with Homo Naledi & the Rising Star Expedition

More than 1,500 individual bones and teeth of at least 15 skeletons of Homo naledi were excavated by an all-woman "underground astronaut" team during the 2013/14 Rising Star Expedition. Homo naledi is a new species in...

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