Topic: ecosystem

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The Unlikely Tale of a Tenacious Snail – Science Friday

Not seen or collected for science since 1933, the oblong rocksnail of Alabama's Cahaba River was declared extinct in 2000. In 2011, biology grad student Nathan Whelan took a second look at a tiny rock he had picked up...

Sea fans, barracuda & a giant clam in 4K – Earth Touch

Yellowtail barracuda, a giant clam, a sea cucumber, scorpionfish, gorgonian sea fans, and more: Earth Touch takes us underwater to Phi-Phi National Marine Reserve's Bida Nok in the Andaman Sea, Thailand. Beautiful, fu...

Home Sweet Habitat & Food Webs – Crash Course Kids

Why isn't a polar bear happy in the desert? Why aren't spider monkeys essential in the Arctic? In this episode of Crash Course Kids, Sabrina Cruz explains how habitats provide animals with the air, food, water, shelte...

Gyrecraft – Transforming sea plastics into valuable objects

From Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves of Studio Swine, this is Gyrecraft, a term that references the swirling gyres in which micro-plastics can be found, and scrimshaw craft, the now verboten pastime of whale tooth...

Underwater Caves of the Yucatán Peninsula – Wonders of Life

In the jungles of Yucatán Peninsula, crystal clear cenotes -- from the Mayan word ts’onot meaning "sacred well" -- fuel their surrounding ecosystems with fresh water. Numbering in the thousands, these flooded sinkhole...

The Greater Sage-Grouse’s courtship ritual & The Sagebrush Sea

From The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, this is a Greater Sage-Grouse, "our North American Bird of Paradise" who performs an elaborate courtship ritual full of strutting, puffing, and making a sound that's similar to whe...

The Four Spheres (Geo, Bio, Hydro, & Atmo) with Crash Course Kids

The ground or geo-sphere, water or hydro-sphere, air or atmo-sphere, and life or bio-sphere: Earth and everything on it can be organized into these four distinct yet interconnected subsystems. Knowing more about each ...

Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Where did the oil go?

In April of 2010, a BP Deepwater Oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing eleven workers and unleashing an unprecedented amount of sticky black crude into the gulf waters, beaches, wetlands, and surrounding eco...

Deep Look: From Drifter to Dynamo – The Story of Plankton

Mind-blowing fact: A massive group of single-celled algae called diatoms are considered champions of photosynthesis. Why? Diatoms are responsible for an estimated 20% to 40% -- maybe even 60% -- of the Earth's oxygen....

NASA: Satellite Tracks Saharan Dust to Amazon in 3-D

Watch 182 million tons of dust ride the wind out of Africa's Sahara Desert in 3D, as tracked from 2007 through 2013 by lidar, thanks to CALIPSO, the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation sa...

Help your local honey bees: Plant a bee-friendly garden

Pollinators like the honey bee are a huge part of how our food grows, but recently, honey bee populations have been in decline due to what scientists believe might be a mix of pesticide and fungicide use, pathogens, p...

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...

Dead stuff: The secret ingredient in our food chain

When you picture the lowest levels of the food chain, you might imagine herbivores happily munching on lush, living green plants. But this idyllic image leaves out a huge (and slightly less appetizing) source of nouri...

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 ...

The Grand Prismatic Spring: One of Nature’s Most Amazing Sights

Yellowstone National Park's Grand Prismatic Spring may be the nation's largest hot spring, but it's primarily known for its vibrant rainbow of colors. Created by the unique bacteria and algae that live within each hue...

It’s Okay to Be Smart: Why Do Clouds Stay Up?

Clouds are filled with so many water droplets that they're actually heavy... like 100 elephants heavy or a 747 airplane heavy! So why don't clouds fall out of the sky? It's Okay to Be Smart's Joe Hanson explains every...

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...

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