Topic: ecosystem

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Florida’s mangrove swamp ecosystem illustrated

Go on an illustrated adventure through a Florida mangrove swamp. New York Times best-selling author Rachel Ignotofsky has teamed up with animator Leo Thom and The Mangrove Action Project for this quick animated introd...

The spectacular birth of baby slugs

How many different stories can one patch of land yield? The BBC's The Lake District: A Restless Year attempts to find out in their portrait of this charming area in northwest England... including its baby slugs. I...

Planet-changing ‘invisible’ microbes on the deep sea floor

"We're making progress at a rate that's outpacing the textbooks. We can't write textbooks fast enough to cover all of the really fundamental discoveries that are happening in the field of microbial ecology right now.....

The benefits of sea cucumber poop

There are about 1,250 different species of sea cucumber across the world's oceans. This is Thelenota anax. And yes, it's doing what you think it's doing. Sea cucumber poop is surprisingly important for the ecosystem. ...

Which life form really dominates Earth?

In 2018, there are around 7.6 billion people on the planet, but weigh us all together on a giant scale and we only make up 1/10,000 of Earth’s biomass. What is biomass? And what life forms dominate the rest of the pla...

The Ocean Cleanup technology and challenges explained

The Great Pacific garbage patch in the northern Pacific ocean holds an estimated 1.8 trillion hard-to-see pieces of plastic that float around on or just below the water's surface. They're kept swirling in an area that...

Fabulous Food Chains and The Dirt on Decomposers

Everyone eats, right? But how does that food get the energy to power you? In this episode of Crash Course Kids, Sabrina talks about the way energy moves, or flows, through an ecosystem and how that movement forms Food...

India’s Malabar giant squirrel (Ratufa indica)

Covered in dark browns, creams, oranges, maroons, blacks, and rich rusts, India's Malabar giant squirrel (Ratufa indica) is more colorful than the gray squirrels of North America. And at 97 centimeters (38 inches) fro...

Why do millipedes have so many legs?

From its Latin roots, the word 'millipede' translates to 'thousand feet,' but out of the 12,000 described species of millipedes, we've yet to discover one with that many. In fact, when millipedes hatch from their eggs...

The Wood Wide Web: How trees secretly talk to and share with each other

Trees secretly talk to each other underground. They're passing information and resources to and from each other through a network of mycorrhizal fungi—mykós means fungus and riza means root in Greek—a mat of long, thi...

How To Grow Coral

When visitors at Georgia Aquarium gaze upon the diverse array of colorful corals, [biologist Kim] Stone says many mistake the often stationary specimens for beautiful rocks. But corals are actually living animals—they...

Rebuilding the world’s coral reefs with coral farming

Coral are the backbone of the whole tropical ecosystem and if they disappear we’re in a lot of trouble says Ken Nedimyer, founder of the Coral Restoration Foundation. The pseudo-farmer has spent a lot of time in the w...

Repopulating an Ohio creek with giant salamanders

Eastern hellbenders live throughout the Appalachian region in the United States. Their ancestors have been on earth for around 160 million years, but in the last several decades their numbers have dropped dangerously ...

Why isn’t the world covered in poop?

Each day, the animal kingdom produces roughly enough poop to match the volume of water pouring over Victoria Falls. So why isn’t the planet covered in the stuff? You can thank the humble dung beetle for eating up the ...

Transforming Human Poop Into Eco-Friendly Fertilizer

Everyone poops. But not everyone around the globe has access to a clean toilet. Some communities in Haiti have set up a clean and healthy sanitation system that can also provide a homegrown resource for boosting food ...

Is Your Fleece Jacket Polluting The Oceans?

When you hear “plastic” pollution, you might picture six-pack rings wrapped around seagulls or beaches littered with plastic bottles. But now, researchers are discovering a new menace -- microfibers. They’re tiny stra...

How Do Tropical Rainforests Make Clouds?

What is a tropical rainforest and how do they make clouds? Maddie Moate and Greg Foot visit the world's largest indoor tropical rainforest at The Eden Project in Cornwall, United Kingdom. There, while crossing the pro...

Collecting some 350 fungi specimens in the Ecuadorian Andes

Of an estimated 3.2 million species of fungi, only some 120,000 are known to science. Most of the undescribed species reside in the tropics. In 2014, myself [Danny Newman] and a fellow mycologist, Roo Vandegrift, coll...

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