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Stories by John R. Platt


Tragedy in New Zealand: Dozens of Critically Endangered Birds Dead, Cause Unknown

Efforts to save the critically endangered shore plover from extinction in New Zealand have suffered a major setback: nearly 60 of the birds have died due to unknown causes, reducing the world population of the species to just 200.Shore plovers (also known as shore dotterels or Tuturuatu, Thinornis novaeseelandiae ) lived on both of New Zealand's main islands before European settlers introduced cats and rats that nearly eradicated the species during the nineteenth century...

February 26, 2013 — John R. Platt

Whale Sharks in the News: Citizen Science, Migration Revelations and High Fashion

What do the world's biggest fish and the Big Dipper have in common? Believe it or not, the answer is math. One of the same algorithms developed to help astronomers study the stars in the sky is being used to conserve and understand whale sharks ( Rhincodon typus ) under the sea.It turns out that each whale shark has a unique pattern of spots located behind its gills...

February 14, 2013 — John R. Platt
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