After viewers spent months watching the livestream from Animal Adventure Park Zoo in New York, the pregnant giraffe, named April, finally had her fourth baby last Saturday, April 15. More than a million viewers watched the delivery live on the zoo’s “Giraffe Cam” which has been livestreaming since February of this year. According to the zoo’s staff, April is recovering as expected, and her calf is healthy.
In a paper published in the academic journal Science last Thursday, scientists described a method for harvesting water from the air using only sunlight. The authors of the paper, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California Berkeley, showed that water could be harvested from sun energy even when the amount of moisture in the atmosphere was very low. Using a new technology with high surface area called a Metal Organic Framework, or MOF, the device is able to harvest multiple liters per day at only 20 percent humidity.
Researchers working in the Philippines have found a living giant shipworm for the first time. The long, slimy, black worm-like creature, which is actually a bivalve like a clam, grows up to 5 feet long, and lives its entire life inside of a hard shell covered in mud. The giant shipworm has no mouth, and scientists have found that it actually lives off products created by bacteria which live on inside of the creature’s shell. Because of their long-lasting outer shells, scientists have long known of the giant shipworm’s existence, but until now they were unable to find a living one.
In Santa Barbara, California, a Superior Court Judge ruled that the discount store chain Dollar General will be required to pay more than $1 million dollars after a civil suit regarding environmental regulations. The court’s judgement came after the state’s investigators discovered improper handling of hazardous waste, like batteries and electronics, at Dollar General’s distribution centers and stores. The $1.1 million dollars the company was ordered to pay includes civil penalties and required spending on waste management practices.
Last weekend, energy company BP reported a natural gas and oil leak in a remote area of Alaska. According to company officials, the leak was fully stopped and under control by Monday after being active since Friday. BP’s practices relating to environmental cleanup have been under intense scrutiny since their involvement in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, the most severe in history, for which they were found chiefly responsible by government investigators and have paid billions in fines.