In 1953, on the heels of a discovery of a second coelacanth specimen in the Comoros Islands off Madagascar’s coast, J.L.B. Smith, the man who described the species, wrote in the Times of London: “We have in the past assumed that we have mastery not only of the land but of the sea… We have not. Life goes on there just as it did from the beginning. Man’s influence is as yet but a passing shadow. This discovery means that we may find other fishlike creatures, supposedly extinct still living in the sea.”
Unlike the coelacanth, which was thought to have gone extinct, we have known for centuries that giant squid have existed in our oceans’ depths. But unable to observe them alive in their deep sea home, we have understood very little about how they live, where they live and how they behave. That is, until 2012, when Drs. Edith Widder, Steve O’Shea and Tsunemi Kobodera filmedthe elusive and mysterious giant in its natural deep-sea habitat for the first time — a landmark moment in ocean exploration and an example of how technology and ingenuity can overcome the monumental challenges we face in exploring the deep. But it is a drop in the vast ocean-sized bucket of amazing discoveries waiting to be found.
Continue reading "When We Explore the Deep Sea, We are Exploring for Our Own Survival"
Without understanding who uses what resources, a conservation project can easily fail to benefit local people.
Continue reading "Exploring Gender Roles in Africa’s Largest Rainforest"
On the Fourth of July, here are four monumental conservation efforts to be proud of.
Continue reading "4 American Conservation Stories to Celebrate"
Sarith is one of dozens of villagers who have gone from being hunters to guardians of this unusual species.
Continue reading "In Cambodian Riverside Villages, New Attitudes toward Turtles"
For years, climate scientists ignored small patches of vegetation — yet they held a big secret.
Continue reading "Big Things Come in Small Climates"
The Mount Panié kauri is disappearing, posing a major threat to the ecosystems and culture tied to it.
Continue reading "Indigenous Knowledge Could Help Rescue New Caledonia’s ‘Millennium Trees’"
Several attempts to rediscover the armadillo in nature had failed. I was the lucky one.
Continue reading "How I Rediscovered the World Cup Mascot in the Wild"
We came to hear stories of marine protection from those making it happen: the local people.
Continue reading "The Guardians of Raja Ampat: Community-Driven Conservation in Indonesia"