Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

SciStarter’s Top 10 Projects of 2017 are here!

By January 15th, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Comment

 

What a year it has been! We now have more than 50,000 active members participating in over 1,700 projects on SciStarter. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.

From neurons to whales and everything in between, the 2017 Top 10 Projects are as varied and diverse as their participants. Thanks for making it such a successful year for citizen science.

This list, in no particular order, is based on the 10 projects with the most page views on SciStarter *and* the most “joins”.

Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

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The Latest Underrepresented Voices in Science: Female Songbirds

By January 12th, 2018 at 11:09 am | Comment

Female Troupial, Photo Credit: Dr. Karan Odom

By: Julia Travers

Songbirds may be nature’s pop stars, but the females are still waiting for a turn in the spotlight — we don’t even know if females sing in about 70 percent of songbird species. This is because the study of birds has a gender gap: most previous research has focused on male song. Participants in the Female Bird Song Project are looking to right this imbalance.

“I think this is a very important project. It involves citizen science in gathering fundamental information about the behavioral diversity of birds,” says evolutionary ornithologist Richard Prum of Yale University. Researchers from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Leiden University call on birders to contribute videos, photos, sound clips and field notes of female bird songs so they can better understand the evolution and role of this expressive behavior. Their research already revealed that female birds have most likely been singing for tens of millions of years. Read the rest of this entry »

Saving Sea Turtles Through Community Litter Cleanups

By December 6th, 2017 at 8:20 pm | Comment

By: Christi Hughes

In January 2016, a young sea turtle named Grace was found floating cold and listless next to a dock in Awendaw, South Carolina. She was rescued by compassionate locals to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Care Center™ for life-saving medical treatment. Grace, who was the size of a dinner plate, ultimately required exploratory surgery to remove a piece of flexible plastic about the size of a silver dollar­– very likely from a single-use plastic grocery bag – from her intestinal tract. Luckily, Grace made a full recovery and was released back into the ocean in July 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

Exploring the wonder of birds through the Migratory Shorebird Project

By November 28th, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Comment

I used to think of birds as delicate creatures, airy and carefree, with pretty feathers and pretty songs. Then I saw the film “Winged Migration” and came to understand just how gritty and daring these lovely creatures really are.

The film uses bird’s-eye footage to document the treacherous treks birds across the globe make each year—over the Himalayas, across oceans, into raging storms, and through hunters’ lines-of-fire, and anyone who sees it can’t help but respect the animals and wonder more about birds’ adventuresome lives.  Read the rest of this entry »

How Collective Data Contributes to The Science of Breeding Healthier Dogs

By November 16th, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Comment

3 Month Old “Samba,” is genetically free of the gene that leads to Primary Lens Luxation, a blinding eye disease affecting the lens.

By Katherine Leviste

Next Thursday, T.V. viewers across the country will watch Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers,  Portuguese Water Dogs, and other purebreds trot around the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in a Thanksgiving tradition that ranks right up there with parades and football: the National Dog Show. As the dogs sit, stand, and jog, licensed judges evaluate them based on a set of standard character and physical appearance expectations for each breed.

Behind those expectations lie a collection of inherited factors that influence the competition dogs’ bone structure, movement, and behavior. These characteristics and the genetics behind them are hot topics in the realm of dog shows and performance sports such as agility and tracking. Yet research on these traits across populations and generations remains a challenge: while most purebred dog breeders keep meticulous records of their own dogs’ health and performance, accessibility to these records is limited to those active in the show or performance circuits

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