139946454Though horror movies and haunted houses give me nightmares (literally), this Halloween I’ve got a monster on the brain, namely that ancient bone-cruncher the Tyrannosaurus rex. First named and described in 1905, this toothy fellow is one of the best loved dinos as well as one of the most researched, thanks to a high number of fossil finds. Yet according to a recent Nature news feature by Brian Switek, T. rex “has kept some secrets.”

The article discusses four T. rex mysteries that paleontologists are currently striving to solve. (more…)


173540430Well, the ocean’s top predators certainly seem to be making a splash around the Internet and on television this month. The July 11 premiere of Syfy’s ultra-campy monster flick, Sharknado, lit up Twitter and even fueled a lunchtime discussion in the RTB break room. For those of you (like me) who missed it, Sharknado is about a freak storm that picks up sharks from the ocean and then sends them raining down on Los Angeles. I’m not making this up. (more…)

JellyfishOcean life is a wonder to behold, whether on a Discovery Channel show, at an aquarium, or in the ocean itself. My husband and I have developed an interest in marine animal parks and, fortunately, California offers several good ones. On a recent visit to SeaWorld San Diego we got up close to sharks, Galapagos penguins, flamingos, bottle-nose dolphins, sea lions, and the park’s star attractions, killer whales. Feeding and petting the bat rays was my personal favorite.

Visiting aquariums has made me more aware of the need for ocean conservation— (more…)

Tonight marks the opening of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. The opening ceremony is one of my favorite events of the games. I love the pageantry and sense of camaraderie among athletes and countries. As the games progress, I get swept up in the passion of competition, the athletes’ varied back stories, and the unexpected dramas that unfold throughout the event.

An event like the Olympics always brings to my mind the astounding differences between humans and animals. Although we share some similar biological characteristics, the animals are the physical gold-medalists for sure. Imagine Michael Phelps racing a bluefin tuna or a gymnastic team competing against high-flying monkeys. (more…)

The first sardine cannery opened on Ocean View Avenue, Monterey in 1908—by the 1950s, overfishing forced the canneries to close their doors. The innovative Hovden Cannery was the last to close in 1973.

Almost 40 years later, Cannery Row (officially renamed after the John Steinbeck novel) is thriving again—this time as a popular historic attraction and marine life sanctuary. (more…)

This month’s Chinese New Year celebrations will usher in 2012 as the year of the dragon. These legendary beasties have been a favorite fairytale and mythology staple for eons. But are dragons really just figments of our imaginations? Or are they evidence of ancient humans’ encounters with living dinosaurs? (more…)

Me and my husband with a trio of feathered friends.

In early elementary school I developed distaste for reading. To remedy the situation, my parents bought books suited to my interests—principally, animals. I willingly devoured Zoobooks magazines, curled up with girl-and-her-horse novels, and thumbed through a well-loved copy of a mammal encyclopedia. Although my literary tastes expanded over the years, even today few things will catch my attention faster than an animal.

And it seems the animal kingdom has been garnering some attention in popular science news as well. (more…)

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