Word of the day: corvine


adj. Of or like a raven or crow, especially in color.

imageImage: Raven croak by Franco Atirador. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

A little vocab for your Thursday. Pair your new verbiage with this very corvine TEDx Talk on the surprising intelligence of crows from avian researcher John Marzluff at TEDxRainier. Watch the whole thing here»

Bonus: Hacker Joshua Klein and his crow thought experiment at TED2008.

The dung beetle is more than just a poo pusher. This fascinating animal has a brain about the size of a grain of rice, and yet it is capable of doing some amazing things — says dung beetle researcher Marcus Byrne in a talk at TEDxWitsUniversity like use celestial cues to roll giant balls of dung in a straight line, keep cool in sweltering heat through a complex dance, and track landmarks on the way to its nest. 

In his talk, Byrne explains how he and his team used refrigerated balls of poo, tiny dung-beetle-sized boots, and mini dung beetle highways to learn how these fascinating creatures have evolved to handle their very peculiar food source.

Watch the whole talk here»

Morgan Heim is a conservation photographer with an obsession: Thailand’s fishing cats.

These cats, about two times the size of your average house cat, are a rare and elusive breed of wild feline found in the wetlands in South and Southeast Asia, who sleep during the day and swim and catch fish at night.

Unfortunately, development of the swamps, marshes, and other places these cats call home have been leaving them less and less places to go, and it’s estimated that there are less than 3,000 fishing cats left in the wild.

In a talk at TEDxVailWomen, Morgan explains how a new graduate with a degree in journalism found herself 8,000 miles from her home following around a biologist in Bangkok tracking cats who love to swim and bark like dogs.

To learn more, watch her whole talk here»

(Photos: Morgan Heim)