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Federal fishery regulators are taking back their claim that newer lobster fishing gear is harmful to North Atlantic right whales.

Right whales are one of the most endangered of all the large whales, with only 450 remaining in the wild. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently published a report on the whales’ mortality.

Nick Pyenson / National Geographic

They can weigh over a hundred tons, live their entire lives underwater, and some even hunt using sound through a method known as echolocation. Yet, whales are also complex social creatures who share much in common with humans.

This hour we talk with paleontologist Nick Pyenson about why he has dedicated his life to studying whales, or as he puts it, “Earth’s Most Awesome Creatures.” Pyenson’s new book, Spying on Whales, takes readers on a scientific quest to understand the evolutionary journey of whales from dog-sized land mammals to the ocean giants of today.

Carmen Baskauf / WNPR

Do you worry about how you’re everyday actions contribute to climate change? You may think about the carbon gas-burning cars are putting into the atmosphere, or coal-powered electricity in your houses.

But what about the food you eat?

Tony Hisgett (Flickr) / Creative Commons

It takes just one look outside to know what time of year it is. The goldenrod, Queen Anne's lace, and asters are blooming, so it must be late summer moving into fall.

For many decades, the North Atlantic right whale was a conservation success story. After being hunted to near extinction, a series of protective actions that began in the 1930s, and accelerated in the 1960s, helped the population begin to rebound.

David Siu / Creative Commons

Nobody likes the termite. They get into the wood in our homes that can lead to infuriating and expensive repairs. What's to like.

It turns out, there's a lot to like about the termite; scientists study how termites build their "mounds" for clues to solving some of the world's most pressing problems, like mitigating the effects of drought, building colonies on Mars, and the creation of biofuels. 

More than 180 seals have washed onto Maine beaches this month, and most of them have died. Marine mammal rescuers have been scrambling to respond and have been testing the animals to determine the cause. Thursday, federal scientists announced possible clues that could help determine what is causing these deaths.

Adam Metallo / Smithsonian Institution

They can weigh over a hundred tons, live their entire lives underwater, and some even hunt using sound through a method known as echolocation. Yet, whales are also complex social creatures who share much in common with humans.

This hour we talk with paleontologist Nick Pyenson about why he has dedicated his life to studying whales, or as he puts it, “Earth’s Most Awesome Creatures.” Pyenson’s new book, Spying on Whales, takes readers on a scientific quest to understand the evolutionary journey of whales from dog-sized land mammals to the ocean giants of today.

To Catch A Pigeon

Aug 21, 2018
Pigeons.
Christie Taylor / Science Friday

Ever try to shoo a group of pigeons that crossed your path? Tired of dodging close flyovers of those pesky gray birds? The urban pigeon may feel like just another city nuisance, but there’s a lot they can teach us about how wildlife is adapting to co-exist with us. How are pigeons in New York related to pigeons in Boston, or Washington D.C.? Why are pigeons thriving compared to other birds? How is their gene pool changing in response to the daily stresses of city living? 

Plastic trash is littering the land and fouling rivers and oceans. But what we can see is only a small fraction of what's out there.

Since modern plastic was first mass-produced, 8 billion tons have been manufactured. And when it's thrown away, it doesn't just disappear. Much of it crumbles into small pieces.

Diane Orson / Connecticut Public Radio

New Haven, Connecticut was the site of more than 100 overdoses last week -- drawing national attention to the city and to a synthetic drug known as K2.

But what exactly is this drug? And how did it wind up in the hands of so many here in Connecticut? This hour, an addiction psychiatrist from Silver Hill Hospital joins us to answer our questions.

A statue of a black lab in the likeness of Mattie, a K-9 that served with the Connecticut State Police for six years, sits a top a memorial built outside of the Connecticut Fire Academy in Windsor Locks.
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The Connecticut State Police have unveiled a statue in Windsor Locks honoring the memory of a black lab who served from 1986 to 1992 in the K-9 unit.

NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition Science Team

The octopus has always been the stuff of spine-tingling legend, like that of the Kraken, the many-armed sea monster believed to drag ships to the bottom of the sea after dining on the crew. Or  Gertie the Pus, the giant Pacific octopus that lives under the Narrows Bridge connecting Tacoma, Washington to Gig Harbor.

Gordon / flickr creative commons

Federal regulatory requirements mandate* that all public media outlets occasionally devote significant airtime to the health and welfare of bees.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

This hour, we learn about a new online series about "extreme inequality" in Connecticut.

We also look at trends in white shark activity off the coast of Cape Cod.

But first, an update on hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. How well-equipped are the island and its residents to face a possible next storm?

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