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To better understand how people influence the overall health of dolphins, Oklahoma State University's Unmanned Systems Research Institute is developing a drone to collect samples from the spray that comes from their blowholes. Ken Y. / CC by 2.0

By Jason Bruck

Human actions have taken a steep toll on whales and dolphins. Some studies estimate that small whale abundance, which includes dolphins, has fallen 87% since 1980 and thousands of whales die from rope entanglement annually. But humans also cause less obvious harm. Researchers have found changes in the stress levels, reproductive health and respiratory health of these animals, but this valuable data is extremely hard to collect.

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The south Asian paradise tree snake can launch itself into the air and glide from one tree branch to another. Thai National Parks, CC by 2.0

Did you know that some snakes can fly?

The south Asian paradise tree snake (Chrysopelea paradisi) can launch itself into the air and glide from one tree branch to another. And when it does, it moves its body in waves in something known as aerial undulation. Scientists have long known how the snakes moved. But they didn't know why. Until now.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

African bush elephants in the Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve in Botswana on Nov. 22, 2016. Michael Jansen / Flickr

More than 350 elephants have died in Botswana since May, and no one knows why.

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Bison and motorists try to navigate the same road in Yellowstone National Park on July 12, 2014. Roan Retera

A woman was gored by a bison in Yellowstone National Park last week, in a reminder that there are serious consequences for forgetting that the wildlife in Yellowstone is wild.

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The new species, Rhombophryne ellae, is well camouflaged among the rainforest leaflitter. Mark D. Scherz

Located just off the southeastern coast of Africa, Madagascar is a remote island nation and home to one of the most biodiverse pockets in the world, among them the elusive diamond frog. Even in the most well-studied areas, new species are constantly being discovered.

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An artist's interpretation of a baby mosasaur emerging from an egg. John Maisano / Jackson School of Geosciences
The first fossil egg discovered in Antarctica is also the largest soft-shelled egg ever found and the second-largest egg of any kind, after the extinct elephant bird.
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A hummingbird feeds on a butterfly bush in Washington state on Aug. 18, 2017. Jim Culp / Flickr

Hummingbirds live a more colorful existence than humans do, a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Monday confirmed.

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Amazon river dolphins are classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Sylvain CORDIER / Gamma-Rapho / Getty Images

By Peter Yeung

A pair of pink Amazon river dolphins emerges for just a moment, arcing above the chocolate brown waters inside the Mamirauá Institute for Sustainable Development, a research facility at the tropical heart of the Brazilian Amazon. Powerful jets of water spray out of their blowholes as these freshwater mammals take in air before submerging.

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The long-nosed potoroo may have developed strategies to avoid prowling cats. Dave Catchpole / CC BY 2.0

By Euan Ritchie, Amy Coetsee, Anthony Rendall, Tim Doherty and Vivianna Miritis

Feral and pet cats are responsible for a huge part of Australia's shameful mammal extinction record. Small and medium-sized ground-dwelling mammals are most susceptible.

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Rafiki was one of Uganda's best known and most beloved gorillas. Uganda Wildlife Authority / Facebook

Four poachers in Uganda were arrested for killing one of the country's rare silverback mountain gorillas, according to CNN.

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A lion photographed at Kruger National Park on April 16, 2017 in South Africa. Frédéric Soltan / Corbis / Getty Images

By Arnaud Goessens

As the planet faces the multiple impacts of COVID-19 on human health, well-being and economies, it's time for governments across the globe to show leadership and take the necessary steps to help prevent future major pandemics.

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