Bananas are the most popular fruit in America, and demand is growing worldwide, too. But growing bananas requires a lot of pesticides. And a new study shows that some of those chemicals are ending up in caimans living downstream from banana plantations in Costa Rica, where many of the bananas that Americans eat are grown.
A scientist in Birmingham, Ala., is trying to help overharvested sea urchins, considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, find their way back to a restaurant near you. He's developed an urchin farm to help grow them more sustainably and a special feed that gives them a sweet umami taste.
The first time nature writer Jackson Landers spotted a black widow spider on his front porch, he was transfixed. He grew curious about the spiders and kept one for months as a pet. One day, he got bit.
Brazil's Atlantic Forest, home to the golden lion tamarin, was once a massive ecosystem stretching along the Brazilian coast. But centuries of human activity have encroached upon the forest, leaving the future of this tiny, lion-maned monkey in doubt.
Layers of wax in the marine mammals' ears can be read like tree rings, scientists say, recording a whale's age and also information about pollutants in the water the whale swam through. Wax from a blue whale that washed ashore in 2007 contained surprisingly high levels of DDT.
The marshy wetlands of the Camargue in southern France are rich in wildlife and folklore. But the region's most stunning icons roams free here: the Camargue bull, one of Europe's last two breeds of fighting bulls. The creatures are taunted and teased, respected and revered.
The gelada, found in Ethiopia, makes a gurgling noise that scientists say is close to human speech — at least in how much facial coordination it requires. One theory scientists are trying to test is if the monkey's vocal agility came from its tendency to hang with other geladas in large groups.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.