Collect Spiders and Egg Sacks…for Science!

Collect Spiders and Egg Sacks…for Science!

Chances are, you have seen a brown widow spider a few times a week, or maybe a day, or (shudder), maybe every hour. These invasive pests, originally from southern Africa, were first observed here in SoCal about eight years ago — and they can not only creep you out, but make life painful. University of California […]

Mutant X-Crab at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Mutant X-Crab at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

“Respect the claw” is the current motto at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium where a mutant Dungeness crab is showing off more than just its regular two pincers. For whatever reason, this X-Man Wannabe crustacean has grown a third claw that sticks out from the back of its right claw. While an impressive appendage, this claw doesn’t function normal. It’s stiff with the pincers frozen in a V-shape at the top. However, having an extra claw could come in handy when a good swing around could knock out your enemy.

Separated By Birth?

Separated By Birth?

Quick: at first blush, who do you think is the turtle’s closest kin in the big critter-pot of life? Birds? Crocodiles? Lizards? Fluffy kittens?

Counting Sheep

Counting Sheep

The results of the 41st Annual Anza-Borrego Desert State Park bighorn sheep count are in and the news is good: 329 Peninsular bighorns were tallied, up from 255 last year…

Pasadena Toads Get Reprieve

Pasadena Toads Get Reprieve

Officials in Pasadena recently decided to push back dirt removal in Devil’s Gate Dam area in order for common Western toadlets to, in the words of Joan Rivers, “Grow up!”

New Permanent Digs for Sick/Injured Marine Mammals

New Permanent Digs for Sick/Injured Marine Mammals

Renters, no more! The Channel Islands Marine and Wildlife Institute has, since 2004, cared for hundreds of sick, injured or stranded seals, sea lion and other marine mammals found along the Ventura County coastline. Operating out of the old Vista Del Mar Union School on the Gaviota coast, about 25 miles northwest of Santa Barbara, […]

Fewer Least Terns Nest at L.A.’s Port

Fewer Least Terns Nest at L.A.’s Port

It’s not for a lack of trying, but officials at L.A.’s ports have spent more than $350,000 to make all the right moves for a breeding colony of endangered California least terns – but the birds aren’t picking up the re-population groove.

Plastic on the Menu for Pacific Fish

Small fish in the Northern Pacific Ocean are snacking on a whole mess of empty calories, namely in the form of confetti-sized flecks of tossed plastic garbage. According to a study published by scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, small fish – such as lanternfish — are ingesting as much […]

Gray Whales Eatin’ Right

Gray Whales Eatin’ Right

Here’s another good reason to eat a variety of foods – the varied diet of the California gray whale has helped the large mammal survive the 40 previous major cycles of global warming, and cooling, says U.C. Berkeley scientists.

Judge Orders Better Care for California’s Endangered Species

Judge Orders Better Care for California’s Endangered Species

Forty California endangered plants and animals must better cared says a federal judge who wants efforts stepped up in four SoCal national forests.

Last week, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel ordered three federal agencies – the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Forest Service – to develop new protective programs within six months. “Take all necessary measures,” she said, to reduce activities that threaten the survival of these on-the-edge species, such as California condors, California gnatcatchers, Stellar’s sea lion and more.

By the Skin of Our Squirrels

While folks in the lowlands can complain about the ruthless hunger and tenacity of squirrels to get into bird feeders, up in the San Bernardino Mountains, a different story is unfolding. This year, residents have been surprised by the lack of western gray squirrels, even reporting sick and dying animals to Fish and Game authorities. […]

Preferential Pigeons

Preferential Pigeons

Sure, they have a bird-brain, but pigeons may have a little more upstairs than most people would like to think. A recent study by French researchers indicates that urban pigeons can quickly identify the differences between kindly folk who regularly bring out the seed bags and those who stomp, chase, shoo them away.