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Posted July 10, 2012 by Laurie Kay Olson

For the mountains of Colorado, the mountain pine beetle is a perennial foe, one that leaves swathes of dead trees in its wake. The beetles will attack a tree as a colony and infect it with a blue stain fungus which removes the moisture from the wood. The trees defense mechanism is to create secretions of sap, which further desiccates the wood. The result is often not only a dead tree, but an extremely dry one.

Posted July 9, 2012 by Laurie Kay Olson

Badger holocaust -- an extreme solution to an extreme problem. However, a closer look at the plan being created for Northern Ireland shows that there is some compassion for the critters after all. Only badgers infected with bovine tuberculosis will be marked for death in a major operation to curtail the continuing spread of the disease among the island nation's cattle.

Posted July 9, 2012 by Laurie Kay Olson

The world's smallest diving mammals, water shrews, apparently have a unique talent that allows them to survive diving in icy water. They seem to have the ability to quickly raise their body temperature before submerging themselves in water in search of such tasty tidbits as aquatic insects, small fish, tadpoles, snails, and slugs.

Posted July 8, 2012 by Laurie Kay Olson

A name like "the kissing bug" can make this little insect from South America seem friendly and lovable, but the name acutally originates from scientists calling it "the kiss of death." The tiny bug, which lead to death in humans and pets, has made its way into the southern United States..

Posted July 8, 2012 by Laurie Kay Olson

Zookeepers in Indonesia are hoping to get Tori, a 15-year-old orangutan, to kick the smoking habit that she picked up a decade ago when visitors would throw their cigarette butts into her open cage. She would mimic their behavior and soon became addicted. Previous attempts to get Tori smoke-free have failed.

Posted July 7, 2012 by Laurie Kay Olson

It was just another day for the restaurant Mama Latina, along the Emerald Coast on the island of Sardinia. Then a German couple came in and changed all of that. They wanted to buy all of the lobsters in the live tank to go -- without butter, and without being baptized in boiling water.

Posted July 7, 2012 by Ron Callari

Scotland's world-reknown pet photographer Paul Walker has been perfecting his craft of pet photography since he was a young lad growing up in the bucolic County of Yorkshire. Bordering on illustration, much of his photography reveals a narrative akin to the 20th Century iconic paintings of Norman Rockwell.

Posted July 7, 2012 by Creature Features

A rare Ecuadorian amphibian has been given a rather royal honor while at the same time, a rather royal human has been honored by having an amphibian named after him. Environmental group Amphibian Ark named a dark brown, orange-spotted stream frog Hyloscirtus princecharlesi in recognition of the long-running conservation efforts made by Prince Charles, heir to the throne of Great Britain.