Behold the tufted ground squirrel, one of the strangest tree-dwelling rodents found on Earth. Native to Borneo, it is rarely seen--one camera trap study in a park on the island turned up only one of these squirrels, known scientifically as Rheithrosciurus macrotis. When they have been spotted, their large tail has stuck out.
Earlier this month, a fisher was photographed in the Bronx, the first spotting of this weasel-like animal in New York City in modern times. This is in keeping with a general trend: After being exterminated from much of their native habitat throughout the Northeast, they are slowly spreading back into their old stomping grounds and have increased their geographic range more than two-fold in the last century, according to a study in Animal Conservation. The animals, "somewhere between a domesticated ferret and a wolverine" in size and attitude, are also getting bigger, the study noted.
If you visit Blitzortung.org, you'll hear an irregular succession of snaps or pops. Each little zap represents a lightning strike occurring somewhere in the land you see on the map. The strikes are captured by a network of citizen detectors, then sent, with just a few seconds' delay, to the site.
Planetary temperatures warmed up naturally thousands of years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age. Some Antarctic penguin populations flourished under the changes. 11,000 years later, however, some Adélie and chinstrap colonies are turning from winners into losers: As temperatures around the western Antarctic Peninsula increase at some of the fastest rates on Earth, their population numbers are falling quickly, while gentoo penguins appear to holding their own.