Topic: ecology

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Ocean sponges have incredible filtering power

Ocean sponges are fascinating multi-cellular animals that don't walk or swim. They eat by filter-feeding, straining the water around them to capture organic debris particles and microscopic life forms. How powerfu...

Deep Look: The Hidden Perils of Permafrost

When you put a permafrost core in a CT scanner and analyze the data, you're traveling back in time to answer important questions: What was buried deep within the frozen soil? How much of it is ice or plant matter? How...

Wangari Maathai: “I will be a hummingbird”

The Story of the Hummingbird, as told by celebrated Kenyan environmental activist, women's rights advocate, and 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai in this clip from Dirt! The Movie: We are co...

Minute Earth: Why Do Rivers Curve?

"...All it takes to turn a straight stretch of river into a bendy one, is a little disturbance and a lot of time, and in nature there's plenty of both." In this Minute Earth episode, narrated by science writer Emily E...

ScienceTake: A Surprising Appetite for Dead Jellyfish

Marine scientists previously suspected that dead jellyfish were not a preferred choice of food for ocean floor scavengers, but a recently-recorded test using Helmet and Lion’s Mane jellyfish has prompted a rethinking ...

ScienceTake: Tagging Tiny Turtle Hatchlings

When sea turtle hatchlings emerge from their sand-covered eggs and scurry quickly toward the ocean, we know that, if they're lucky enough to avoid predators, they're helped forward on their journeys by the ocean curre...

Sea cucumbers are underwater vacuum cleaners

Join biologist Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg on the ocean sandy floor of Australia's Great Barrier Reef to witness an incredibly important ecological process: sea cucumbers pooping. Why is this so important? When se...

Feedback loops: How nature gets its rhythms

A grasshopper eats grass, a rat can eat the grasshopper, a snake may eat the rat, and a hawk will eat the snake. When these food chains interweave, they create a food web. Plants and animals (including humans) live, e...

Sixteen year old Elif Bilgin turned banana peels into a bioplastic

After two years of research, experiments, and failed trials, 16-year-old Elif Bilgin developed a new process for turning banana peels into a non-decaying bioplastic, a more eco-friendly alternative to petroleum-based ...

Vermicomposting: How worms can reduce our waste

One third of food made in the world each year ends up in the trash can. How can we stop the waste by putting that food to good use? From TED Ed, learn how worms can naturally convert our organic waste — green leaves, ...

The Goat Brigade: Preventing Wildfires in Southern California

Goats have an insatiable appetite. Elite goats have an insatiable appetite and are independent, hearty, and trained to clear brush across California's hillsides. Science Friday joins Ian Newsam, owner of Brush Goats 4...

The Fire Lab and the Mysterious Science of Fire

How does fire spread? How do different forest materials fuel it? How can firefighters better understand its behavior in order to control it? Why is the physics of fire so counter-intuitive and mysterious to us? At Th...

Ocean Confetti: The challenge of micro-plastics

Minute Earth: Ocean Confetti, how our plastic trash gets broken down into minuscule bits called micro-plastics. So what can we do to help? Pair the above with this super-informative video from the NRDC: Stop Marine P...

Ecosystem Engineers: How do beavers build dams?

How does one of nature's best ecosystem engineers go about revitalizing the landscapes around them? From PBS Nature, this is how North American beavers build dams. Related reading at Pawnation: Importance of Beavers ...

Lost at sea: Researching the impact of sunken shipping containers

Thousands of shipping containers are lost from cargo ships every year, eventually falling to the ocean floor and disturbing the deep-sea ecosystems where they land. In February 2004, a container was discovered within ...

Explore the Polar Bear Capital of the World

Using 360-degree cameras to document the landscape and polar bears of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, teams at Google Maps, Earth Outreach, and Polar Bears International have made it possible for...

Inside the Compost Cycle

From KQED Science, find out how San Francisco’s 600 tons of compostable waste can be transformed into a dark, nutrient-rich material that will not only feed plants to improve the quality...

Biodegradable mushroom packaging from Ecovative Designs

What if we could replace plastics and styrofoam with something much more sustainable? Something that wouldn’t fill our landfills, pollute our beaches, or float out into our ocean gyres? ...

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