The Weekly Round Up: June 25- July 1

Happy Canada Day!  I know you’re all excited to celebrate the big 150 (unless you understand that the Indigenous people who have been using this land long before Europeans showed up are still being disenfranchised and ignored- so maybe you’re excited to protest it), but either way, before all of that gets underway, some news.  Here are all of the environmental news stories that caught our attention this week- let’s dive in! Continue reading

The Weekly Round Up: April 9-15

Welcome back to the Weekly Round Up!  I don’t really have much to say this week as an introduction.  I wish the worst thing happening right now would be the fact that the Blue Jays have gone 1 and 9 to start the season.  Unfortunately, it seems like the whole world has gone insane.  I’m going to try and keep doing my thing though, so here’s you’re weekly dose of environmental news.  This week we had spiders, the beginning of life on earth, and spiders.  Seriously, there was more spider news than usual this week.  So let’s dive in. Continue reading

The Weekly Round Up: March 5-11

I’m so conflicted over this week.  Look, there were some really great stuff that happened this week, and I should be ecstatic.  The VW emissions scandal is finally coming to a close, we might have a cure for face cancer in Tasmanian devils, and- drumroll please– Shell is divesting from the oilsands!!!!!  Unfortunately, the WHO released a real terrifying report, and Scott Pruitt is an absolute moron, definitely setting up some hard times for the environment in the states.  So yeah, it’s been a week- let’s dive in! Continue reading

The Weekly Round Up: January 15-21

We’re back with another weekly roundup and holy chipotle has it been a crazy week! A lot has changed in our world and we want to make sure you guys are kept up to date with what’s going on with our environment. While some may be furiously stocking their underground bunkers for the impending apocalypse, not all of our stories from this week are bad news. However there are still so many issues out there that demand our attention! So here’s our bag of news trail-mix!  Continue reading

We’ve Got A New Whale Species!

 

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Uko Gorter/ Natural History Illustration/ NOAA- AP

Researchers working out in Anchorage, Alaska have confirmed Japanese findings, from 2013, concerning a potential new species of whale.  After performing a multitude of genetic tests on 178 beaked whale specimens found around the Pacific Rim, the researchers were able to reinforce the findings of the Japanese scientists, and definitively say that a new species was indeed found.  The new species, currently only known as either karasu or kuru tsuchi (which translate to raven or black Baird’s beaked whale from Japanese), is a smaller, black in colour, type of beaked whale, with a bulbous head and beak. Continue reading

The Weekly Round Up: June 26- July 2

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Good afternoon everyone, hope you’re all doing well after your Canada Day festivities.  I’m glad you and your (maybe?) hangover have joined us today.  Hopefully your not too tired, but I’m glad you’re here.  A bunch of stuff happened this week, from endangered animal loopholes and North American partnerships, to smaller Antarctic ozone holes and nightmarish amphibious centipedes.  So let’s just dive right now! Continue reading

The Weekly Round Up: May 22-28

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Well, the Raptors lost yesterday.  So, while you’re lament the end of an incredible season, why not catch up on all of this week’s environmental news?  I promise it’s more uplifting than last week… but then again just about everything is more uplifting than last week.  We’re talking coral reefs, new snakes, and green energy.  Let’s dive in! Continue reading

The Weekly Round Up: May 15-21

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Well guys, I’m going to be upfront and truthful with you, this week wasn’t too great.  There was quite a bit of doom and gloom going around, and not just because DOOM has been out for a little more than a week (which is apparently quite good, so… silver lining?).  Seriously, there was some pretty big, bad news this week.  Fortunately, there was also some good stuff- key word being some– so let’s hold hands, and get through this together. Continue reading

Featured Contributor Thanushi Eagalle: What Is DNA Barcoding And Why Should We Care?

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A term that most of you in the sciences may have heard quite consistently in recent years is the term “DNA barcoding.” It sounds like science (DNA = science, am I right?) and a grocery store (all the bags of chips I buy have barcodes to scan) got together and just outputted that term after a fun night of partying. However, there’s a lot more to it and it has been dramatically changing how scientists perform scientific research.

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Ontario Needs Its Own Grolar Bears

As many of you probably know, over on the Western side of our country, polar bears and grizzlies are putting aside their differences to create something magical- hybrids.  Unfortunately, there’s not too much going for grolar bears (other than a great name), and it’s actually a blemish in terms of their environment and ecosystem health.  You see, grolar bears only exist because of global warming, which has pushed grizzly bears farther north, into polar bear territory.  The big issue surrounding this whole thing is loss of biodiversity.  As the two species hybridize, we’re ultimately losing entire species, as well as genes from their separate gene pools- which isn’t good.  Loss of diversity ultimately hinders the health of an ecosystem, as well as of the species themselves, as they become less capable of adapting to any sort of change.  For that reason, and bear with me, Ontario needs its own grolar bears. Continue reading

The Weekly Round Up: March 7-12

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I’m pretty excited to share this week’s Round Up with you all, as it’s all pretty funny.  Some ridiculous things went down this week, and honestly I’d be surprised if you didn’t believe one or two of them.  None the less, I promise you that we live in a wacky enough world for these things to really happen.  Today I’m talking about ugly animals, healthy elephants, and Brian.  I know you’re interested now- I mean what’s funny about healthy elephants?- so let’s get to it. Continue reading

New Species, Casper The Friendly Ghost, Discovered Near Hawaii

Oh sweet newborn baby Jesus!  It seems like the best ghost related news to come out in the past week was not the new Ghostbusters trailer (thankfully- my goodness it does not look good), but the discovery of a potentially new octopus species.  Researchers searching off of the coast of Hawaii have found a creamy white, ghostly octopus that they believe has never been found before.  Thanks to its spectre-like appearance, it’s affectionately been named after everyone’s favourite ghost, and subsequently, made me 1,000 times more interested in it.  I mean, it’s probably the friendliest little octopus alive. Continue reading

The Weekly Round Up: December 28- January 2

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We might have missed last week, but we’re back this week in full force!  Lots of stuff went on this week, and chances are you might have heard of a few of them.  I’m talking about natural gas leaks, new sharks, and giant squids.  But don’t worry, there’s also some pure-ly awesome bison news and a crazy hungry Chinese zookeeper, both of which may be news to you.  So here’s what happened this week while the Earth grew a year older. Continue reading

10 More Species Named After Characters: Star Wars Edition

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So a while back we wrote an article all about 15 species named after fictional characters.  Now that Star Wars has been released and I’m fully caught up in the hype that is episode seven, I thought I’d add a bit of a Star Wars spin to this topic, and find some more animals with names from a galaxy far, far away.  Now, last time I mentioned that both Han Solo and Yoda have species named after them, so when you get to the end of this article and realize that your favourite species of trilobite, Han solo, isn’t here, that’s why.  Enjoy! Continue reading

December Conservation Series: All The Mass Extinctions!

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Ah yes, we are in the midst of a mass extinction event… but we can learn a lot about the present by taking a look at the past. Since we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, it means that five other extinctions have come and gone. A mass extinction is defined as periods of time when abnormally large amount of species of plants and animals disappear either simultaneously or during a short period of time. Maybe some of these past events will show us clues as to what we can do now. Continue reading

The Weekly Round Up: December 7-12

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Once again this week the COP21 Paris summit was underway, and while you’d think we’d be talking about it here, we’re not…haha.  Once the summit has ended and the dust has settled, we will be doing a summary of exactly what went on, and what all came out of it, but until then, here’s some crazy stuff you might have missed while mining for Paris info.  This week saw the discovery of (lots of) new dragonfly species, a cleaner (fingers crossed) future for Ford, and talking dogs.  Yeah talking dogs!  We could all become Eliza Thornberry- it’d be smashing!  (Is the Nigel Thornberry meme still a thing- it should be right???)  So let’s get to it, here’s what you missed this week. Continue reading

The Weekly Round Up: November 30- December 5

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This week, as everyone knows, the climate change summit is taking place in Paris, and while it’s super important, we’re not going to talk about it here.  There are a lot of protests going on, as you’ve probably all seen (large groups, ads, shows), where people are talking about what’s happening at the summit, and because of that, we want to talk about other things- things you may have missed.  So while the world was looking at our leaders in Paris, we’re talking quilting, salamanders, hybrids, and breast feeding cats…. yep. Continue reading

The Top 6 Things Homo naledi Looks Like

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Photo by Mark Thiessen, National Geographic Society

Lately the internet has blown up with the new discovery of a new species of early human.  If you’re anything like me, however, that’s really all I need to know.  It’s nice that it’s called Homo naledi, and it’s great that it adds more understanding to our own species’ evolution, but that’s the end of the story for me.  So, instead of telling you about the research, or how many bones were found, or adding more of the same opinions to the discussion, I’m instead going to go about things in my own way.  Therefore, without further ado, here are the top 6 things Homo naledi looks like.  Enjoy! Continue reading

July Conservation Series: Illegal Wildlife Trade

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I started thinking about the trade of wildlife after reading an article about a package that was discovered in Melbourne, Australia that had 13 live snakes packed into water bottles in it! I had always known about the issue of illegal wildlife trade, but had never fully understood the lengths to which people took to export/import wild goods. As someone who lives on the fringe of this issue, I never understood the reasoning behind someone illegally taking either a wild plant or animal and trading it to make money. Even though wildlife is traded around the world for many different reasons, with the most part of it being completely legal, there is a growing trade of illegal wildlife products that includes thousands of plants and animal species. The illegal trade of wildlife is the fourth most lucrative illegal trade in the world! Continue reading