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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?

Mr.checker / Creative Commons

Fruit flies. You may have seen one or two dancing above your fruit bowl. But what about under a microscope?

Believe it or not these seemingly insignificant insects have had a long and (dare we say) fruitful history in advancing scientific research.

This hour, First in Fly author Dr. Stephanie Mohr joins us to explain why.

Later, we also take a deeper look into the realm of so-called “true flies” with London-based "fly girl" Dr. Erica McAlister

liz west / Creative Commons

What do goldenrod, milkweed, and wild bergamot have in common? All are plants that are native to the New England region.

This hour, we talk about the beauty and value of native plant gardening with Mark Richardson and Dan Jaffe, co-authors the new book Native Plants for New England Gardens.

What native plants are best suited for your backyard plot or porch pots? We take your questions.

Plus: sowing in the city. A Connecticut garden expert shares her tips for successful urban planting. 

The oceans are getting warmer and fish are noticing. Many that live along U.S. coastlines are moving to cooler water. New research predicts that will continue, with potentially serious consequences for the fishing industry.

A red-eared slider.
Wikimedia Commons

A bill protecting turtles in Connecticut has unanimously passed the House. The legislation seeks to carve out conservations for snapping turtles and red-eared sliders.

Patrick Comins / Connecticut Audubon Society

It finally feels like spring, and that means you may be seeing some visitors around your home because peak bird migration season is almost here! This hour, we ask the State Ornithologist what to be on the look for. And we talk with the Connecticut Audubon Society about ways you can get involved in bird conservation here in our state. UConn and DEEP have teamed up to create a new Connecticut Bird Atlas a project that relies on volunteer citizen scientists like you.

What birds have you seen in your backyard?

A dead humpback whale is floating in a Lubec cove. Scientists are eager to find the cause of its demise, as the discovery comes at a time of increasing mortality rates for the species.

Connecticut State Library, State Archives Picture Group 034

One of Connecticut’s most highly decorated World War I veterans is featured in a new animated film, opening in theaters nationwide Friday. He warned his fellow soldiers of a possible gas attack, located wounded men in the field, and even helped to catch an enemy spy hidden in the Allied trenches.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Wes Anderson is a... particular sort of filmmaker. With his typewriters and his pipe smoking. With his monochrome sets and props and costumes. With his perfectly symmetrical compositions. The one place where Anderson's tweeness is maybe softened a bit is in his old-school, stop-motion, animal-centric animated films. There was Fantastic Mr. Fox. And now there's Isle of Dogs. Dogs isn't without its own problems, though. The Nose weighs in.

liz west / Creative Commons

What do goldenrod, milkweed, and wild bergamot have in common? All are plants that are native to the New England region.

This hour, we talk about the beauty and value of native plant gardening with Mark Richardson and Dan Jaffe, co-authors the new book Native Plants for New England Gardens.

What native plants are best suited for your backyard plot or porch pots? We take your questions.

Plus: sowing in the city. A Connecticut garden expert shares her tips for successful urban planting. 

Aequorea victoria
Sierra Blakely / Wikimedia Commons

Did you know 75 percent of animals in the ocean glow?

Miroslav Becvar (Flickr) / Creative Commons

We've all heard about the plight of our pollinating insects. Whether it be honey bee population crashes or concerns about native bees, pollinators are struggling with diseases, climate change, and habitat loss.

Gordon / flickr creative commons

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

Chinese researchers have finally figured out how to clone a primate, using the same technique Scottish researchers devised to clone the first mammal, Dolly the sheep, in the mid-1990s.

Gerard Chappell working with his dog, Pete, teaching him how to fetch things for a future disabled veteran.
David DesRoches / WNPR

Inside Enfield Correctional Institution there are all the expected security measures: Huge steel doors. Armed guards. Barbed-wire fences. Locked gates. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Long Island Sound has a new guardian of sorts. Earlier this year, biologist Bill Lucey was named soundkeeper of the Northeast estuary.

This hour, the Connecticut native stops by our studios.

We learn more about his role and talk about efforts to improve life in and around the Sound.

Aequorea victoria
Sierra Blakely / Wikimedia Commons

Did you know 75 percent of animals in the ocean glow?

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