There’s a chill in the air this week as we travel to a mountain range in Norway in search of muskoxen, Ice Age survivors that once roamed the far north alongside the woolly mammoth. Introduced to Norway from Greenland in the 1940s, muskoxen flourished on these cool, dry slopes until 2006, when the seemingly healthy animals began to die. Ari Daniel Shapiro investigates the muskox mystery.
Vacuumed up from its habitat a mile down in the ocean, the red paper lantern jelly may not look like much. Mostly water, it’s so fragile that once brought to the surface it’s reduced to a tattered blob in a jar. But this unassuming jellyfish has lessons for scientists. It’s teaching researchers in Japan how intricately life is connected down in the ocean’s deep, dark depths—and how the fate of this small red lantern sheds light on the fragility of life close to home.
Renowned evolutionary biologist Edward O. Wilson has spent his long career cracking the code of ants. It’s the ants’ ability to communicate and form tight-knit societies that lies behind their extraordinary evolutionary success. We visit Wilson in his office at Harvard to learn the nature of the ants’ special language—and what’s in an ant’s name. Listen to this Encyclopedia of Life One Species at a Time podcast to hear the story.
What is the Encyclopedia of Life?
The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) is a free, online collaborative encyclopedia intended to document all of the 1.9 million living species known to science — and those yet to be discovered. The information on EOL is aggregated from existing scientific databases and from contributions by experts and non-experts throughout the world. It aims to build one “infinitely expandable” page for each species, including video, sound, images, graphics, as well as text. EOL encourages citizen scientist contributions to help build this global biodiversity resource.
What is One Species at a Time?
The audio series One Species at a Time is a tribute to life on Earth and is a way to make information about species interesting and accessible. Each episode is a story, a mystery, a riddle, or an exploration of a different creature pulsing, fluttering, surging, respiring and galloping on this planet. Biodiversity is center stage.