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Truffle Hunters Shut Out Of Some Favorite Spots This Season

OPB | March 4, 2015 4:05 p.m. | Banks, Oregon

It’s truffle season in Oregon’s forests. The fungus is prized by restaurants and can sell for $400 a pound or more. But this year truffle hunters are shut out of some of their favorite spots.

Technology | Science | Flora and Fauna

Cuteness Break: The Genial Quokka Steals Scenes And Hearts

NPR | March 2, 2015 5:33 p.m.

In many photos from an Australian island, the marsupial appears front and center, adding its enigmatic smile to an image of happy tourists.

Science | Nation | Environment | Flora and Fauna

U.S. Biologists Keen To Explore, Help Protect Cuba's Wild Places

NPR | March 2, 2015 5:15 p.m.

Birders especially know that Cuba harbors hundreds of rarely seen, little-studied species. As the island nation opens to more U.S. visitors, scientists hope "green Cuba" can survive increased tourism.

Science | Nation | Environment | Flora and Fauna

Science-Based Artist Gives Celebrity Tortoise A Second Life

NPR | March 2, 2015 3:38 p.m.

Lonesome George was was the last surviving member of his species and a conservation icon. When he died, taxidermist George Dante set out to preserve the tortoise's body, and his legacy.

Flora and Fauna

Rats Blamed For Bubonic Plague, But Gerbils May Be The Real Villains

NPR | Feb. 28, 2015 7:40 a.m.

Rats have had a bad reputation ever since they were blamed for spreading bubonic plague. But perhaps the blame was misplaced. NPR's Scott Simon reflects on the roles of rodents.

Science | Nation | Health | Flora and Fauna

Eyelashes Grow To Just The Right Length To Shield Eyes

NPR | Feb. 27, 2015 1:04 p.m.

Eyelashes keep dust out and fend off drying breezes, a study finds. To do that they need to be a very precise length. Extra-long fake eyelashes hurt more than they help.

Science | Nation | Health | Flora and Fauna

Gerbils Likely Pushed Plague To Europe in Middle Ages

NPR | Feb. 26, 2015 6:43 a.m.

Shifts in climate in the Middle Ages likely drove plague bacteria from gerbils in Asia to people in Europe, research now suggests. Rats don't deserve all the blame.

World | Flora and Fauna

An Owl Is Attacking And Injuring Residents Of A Netherlands Town

NPR | Feb. 25, 2015 4:42 p.m.

Drones aren't only the airborne worry in Europe this week. An aggressive owl is terrorizing residents of the Dutch town of Purmerend. Maybe its behavior is due to hormones. Or maybe it's just hungry.

Science | Flora and Fauna

For The Evolution Of Marine Creatures, Bigger Is Better, Study Says

NPR | Feb. 20, 2015 9:02 p.m.

A new study published in Science looked at thousands of marine animals over a 540-million-year evolutionary span. Their conclusion: Most of them got larger.