Stories tagged Tennessee

How's this for a mash-up of Halloween and science? A newly created artificial bat cave in Tennessee is helping reduce the spread of disease that's killed 5 million bats. It even has air conditioning!!!

Fireflies provide light show in Tennessee

Happening right now, and for the next few days the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee will light up as P. Carolinus fireflies begin to blink in beautiful, astonishing unison. The fireflies, who can sense when their neighbor fireflies are flashing and attempt to flash before them, send waves of light to cascading down the Tennessee hillsides. One of the best spots to see them is in one small area, near the Little River Trailhead in Elkmont, TN." BoingBoing

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Jun
20
2007

Eyed up: A handler recently displayed the newly hatched Beal's four-eyed turtle at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. There are only 18 known Beal's four-eyes in captivity. (Photo courtesy of Tennessee Aquarium)
Eyed up: A handler recently displayed the newly hatched Beal's four-eyed turtle at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. There are only 18 known Beal's four-eyes in captivity. (Photo courtesy of Tennessee Aquarium)
I’ve lived most of my life with glasses, but thankfully have never been called “four eyes” before. It must be a termed used solely in comic books and bad movies.

But the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga is quite proud of its new four eyes, a rare Beal’s four-eyed turtle, which recently hatched. Don’t get all panicky, it is not some genetic mutant freak turtle. It only has two actual eyes, but also two white spots on the top of its head that look like another set of eyes.

It is now one of only 18 four-eyers known to be in captivity in the U.S. and Europe. Years ago, the species were fairly common in the wild in China but its population numbers have dropped due to low reproduction rates.

I never knew such a rare turtle existed. But now I’m thinking –- here at the Science Museum of Minnesota, we have a pair of preserved two-headed turtles on display in our collections gallery. Aren’t they the “real” four-eyed turtles?

Oct
26
2006

A manatee: Photo courtesy US Geologic Survey
A manatee: Photo courtesy US Geologic Survey

Rescuers from the US Fish and Wildlife Service are trying to capture a manatee that has strayed far from home. These large, gentle creatures normally live in the Gulf of Mexico. But one half-ton hombre swan 700 miles up the Mississippi River and is now inhabiting the harbor at Memphis, Tennessee!

Scientists are concerned for the animal's health. Nearly hairless, manatees need water 68 degrees or warmer. The river is a little bit chillier than that, and biologists worry that the creature’s digestive system could shut down. They are trying to corral it and move it to Sea World Florida, where it can receive medical attention.