The Independent: Social media helps prove UK animals are migrating north as climate warms. “Dozens of animals, from birds to bats, are moving north across the UK as a result of climate change, scientists have discovered thanks to the help of social media.”
The Naked Scientists: Farm animals are talking and we are listening. “Old McDonald should be listening to what his overcrowded, over-medicated, and overlooked animals say… Meanwhile, a team from Queen Mary University in London and the University of Roehampton are, thanks to a deep learning AI that can tune in to what farm animals are saying. It can tell whether cows and pigs are happy and well-fed, or sick and distressed – all from their moos and oinks.”
Florida Museum: New Data Platform Illuminates History Of Humans’ Environmental Impact. “The human environmental footprint is not only deep, but old. Ancient traces of this footprint can be found in animal bones, shells, scales and antlers at archaeological sites. Together, these specimens tell the millennia-long story of how humans have hunted, domesticated and transported animals, altered landscapes and responded to environmental changes such as shifting temperatures and sea levels. Now, that story is available digitally through a new open-access data platform known as ZooArchNet, which links records of animals across biological and archaeological databases.”
Boing Boing pointed me toward this crazy search engine for animal heads. From the brief writeup: “x6udpngx’s x6ud is a single-purpose search engine that offers high-quality animal photographs for use by artists seeking reference material.” This is a wow. First you pick a species (not all species are available.) Then you pick a skull type underneath and click and drag the skull to orient it in the position you want to find. For example, I pick hawk species, and the chicken skull. I click and drag the skull so I’m looking at it in profile. I click search and the search results I will get will be for hawk heads in profile. It doesn’t work as well for weird positions like the top or bottom of the skull, but still. Go play with it.
Quartz: What the Dodo’s animal videos tell us about the different corners of the internet. “Some of the most-viewed videos on Facebook from the animal-centric media brand the Dodo are heartwarming clips of tiny kittens, cuddly rescue pit bulls, and tender moments with hippos. On Snapchat, viewers are more drawn to snakes and spiders. A video from the Dodo featured in Snapchat’s Discover section this week showed a man in Vietnam having a leech removed from his nose.”
The Atlantic: The Lab Discovering DNA in Old Books. “It was in the archives of the Archbishop of York that Matthew Collins had an epiphany: He was surrounded by millions of animal skins. Another person might say they were surrounded by books and manuscripts written on parchment, which is made from skins, usually of cows and sheep. Collins, however, had been trying to make sense of animal-bone fragments from archaeological digs, and he began to think about the advantages of studying animal skins, already cut into rectangles and arranged neatly on a shelf.”
Sun Journal: Social media posts about bird sightings may be harming Maine wildlife. “A Facebook group of Maine birders is asking its members to stop posting specific locations of rare species out of concern that the information is being used by hunters. The change to the private group’s policy stemmed from a post that alleged a hunter killed a king eider duck in Wells Harbor after he saw information about it on the group’s page. Although the Maine Birds Facebook group administrator who posted about the incident last month was not able to provide information to corroborate the allegation, the outrage it spurred from the group’s members speaks to a larger question about the ethics of using social media to seek out wildlife.”