Get your glow on!

Coral reefs are truly a sight to behold. Did you know that coral depends entirely on another organism to survive? Well, it’s true– and what’s more, under stressful conditions, corals eject their symbiotic roommates. This is called coral bleaching, because they lose all their glorious colors in the process. Global warming is unfortunately causing severe bleaching events in reefs around the world, especially in the famed Great Barrier Reef.

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Setting the standard

Have a look outside. What organisms do you see there? (For me, some squirrels and elm trees!) Now think about all the other kinds of places those animals might live in, with different climates than where you are: somewhere way hotter, or drier, or with less pronounced seasons. What about the animals there? What are they like?

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A tale of two squirrels

Until recently, North America had two native species of flying squirrel, the Northern flying squirrel and the Southern flying squirrel (such creative naming!). These two species are in the same genus, Glaucomys, and are closely related: so close, in fact, that in the northeast where their ranges overlap, they sometimes interbreed! But far, far away in the forests of the Pacific northwest dwells a mysterious population of Northern flying squirrels…and a group of scientists was determined to find out why. Continue reading “A tale of two squirrels”