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Posts Tagged "research"

Spider Silk – the Next Sustainable Resource?

Posted by on Jun 3, 2017

Spider Silk – the Next Sustainable Resource?

Spider silk is the world’s strongest natural fiber known – it is incredibly durable but also extremely lightweight and flexible. One strand of spider silk is one-tenth the thickness of a human hair, and its flexibility resembles that of thread. These qualities are unmatched by other fibers, such as cotton or nylon, giving it a wide variety of industrial applications. The value of spider silk is increased by the fact that it can be a renewable resource. RTPI conservation staff works with the Forman School during research expeditions in Costa Rica to explore the potential to “farm”...

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Glass Frogs

Posted by on Jun 2, 2017

Glass Frogs

Researchers from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History (RTPI) have been monitoring Glass frogs and other amphibian species in Central America for more than two decades – not only to keep these frogs from extinction, but also to learn how some populations have been able to survive catastrophic declines due to the parasitic Chytrid fungus. Hopefully this information will help us as we try to find ways to help other endangered species as well. Glass frogs owe their common name to their transparent undersides which, in some species, allow one to see their internal organs. Note...

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What in the Whorled?

Posted by on May 31, 2017

What in the Whorled?

On a recent visit to coastal Florida, a personal friend encountered what she though to be a vacant seashell, but soon discovered that it was in fact occupied by a feisty resident. Knowing my profession (and my affinity for what I affectionately refer to as “goobies”; the world’s slimy, obscure, and often over-looked and under-appreciated critters), she shared the photos she had taken in hopes that I could assist in identifying her find. Somewhat serendipitously, it turned out to be the very creature that I studied intensively in grad school. You might be inclined to...

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Bicolored Antbird

Posted by on May 8, 2017

Bicolored Antbird

Here’s a catch made during my recent research trip to Costa Rica. Not a neotropical migrant this time, but a local resident species. This unusual-looking fellow is a Bicolored Antbird (Gymnopithys leucaspis), one of several so-called “ant-birds” that are usually found only in the vicinity of army ant swarms. All day long these birds follow the ants -at a safe distance- and expertly capture insects that are flushed, but not caught, by the invading...

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RTPI in the Rainforest – Conservation, Education and Inspiration

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017

RTPI in the Rainforest – Conservation, Education and Inspiration

RTPI provides innovative programs that bring nature back into people’s lives. RTPI researchers work with school and college students to give them a chance to study natural history first-hand, and open their eyes and minds to the workings of the natural world. Whether in our own backyard, or in a remote corner of Costa Rica, RTPI works to increase understanding of the natural connections between species, habitats, and people that are critical to effective conservation. Learn more in this outstanding video created by Nicholas Gunner of...

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