Medicine from the jungle – rainforest pharmacy | DW Video Documentary

Bonobo apes are experts in using rainforest plants as medicine. But they’re now endangered because of poaching and deforestation.

Will the secrets of the rainforest die with them? Find out in: RAIN FOREST PHARMACY – MEDICINE FROM THE JUNGLE. Dr Barbara Fruth is in the Democratic Republic of Congo to study the apes and learn more about the rainforest pharmacy. Her team of international researchers is in a race against time – can they finish their work before the apes’ medical knowledge is lost forever? WATCH VIDEO DOCUMENTARY NEXT

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Mammoth tusk hunters probe permafrost for ‘ethical ivory’

With the sale of elephant tusks under close scrutiny, “ethical ivory” from the extinct woolly mammoth is now feeding an insatiable market in China. This rush on mammoth ivory is luring a fresh breed of miner – the tusker – into the Russian wilderness and creating millionaires in some of the poorest villages of Siberia.

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Tropical Snakes Suffer as a Fungus Kills the Frogs They Prey On

Surveys of reptiles in central Panama show the ripple effects of an ecological crisis. Fungus kills off frogs.Snakes then go hungry.

Tropical snakes are masters of disguise, skillfully camouflaged and capable of holding a position for hours without moving a muscle. This made for challenging work for herpetologist Karen Lips, now at the University of Maryland, who spent 13 years counting the snakes of El Copé in central Panama.

Lips had anticipated the arrival of chytrid, a fungus that has been killing off huge numbers of amphibians in Central America since the 1990s. The effects of the disease were well documented—a massive collapse of frog populations was coming. So Lips set up wildlife surveys to track tropical snake populations that prey on amphibians before and after the fungus swept through El Copé. The study, published today in the journal Science, found that it’s most likely that snake species fell as a result of the mass frog die-off.

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What’s the World’s Largest Snake? Pythons? Anacondas? Boas? Video-Yes. Watch here now.

Burmese pythons, such as this one, have been found to consume a wide variety of wildlife, including alligators, wood storks and Key Largo woodrats.
(Image: © National Parks Service)

Perhaps a better question would be where is the world’s largest snake? Scholars have argued about it, but the Guinness Book lists the world’s largest snake as Fluffy (not a very snuggly creature), a reticulated python that measured more than 24 feet and weighed more than 300 pounds. Sadly, Fluffy passed away suddenly in October of 2010 at a zoo in Powell, OH due to an apparent ovarian tumor. She was 18 years old and still 24 feet long (a fact worth noting as some snakes, like people, shrink with age).

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What’s The Biggest Animal That a Snake Can Swallow?

Snakes can gape their jaws wide to gulp down even very large animals.

Snakes gulp down animals whole. This golden tree snake (Chrysopelea ornata) is eating a butterfly lizard (Leiolepis belliana), but other snakes can gulp down prey that is much, much bigger.
(Image: © Shutterstock)

The top suggested searches on YouTube for “snake eats” offer some insight into our fascination with the scary and disgusting. Some of the suggestions are gross (“snake eats frog live”) or hard to imagine (“snake eats porcupine”). Others seem symbolic (“snake eats itself”). But the largest group of suggestions emphasize one theme: size. Anyone with a macabre sensibility and a few minutes to spare can watch a snake scarf down an alligator, a deer, a pig, a crocodile or a cow.

But what’s the largest animal that a snake can devour?

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This Hairy Frogfish’s Bite is Too Fast For Slow-Motion

The fastest bite in the animal kingdom.

Watch the video next

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Four rare mountain gorillas ‘die in Uganda lightning strike’

There are just over 1,000 mountain gorillas in existence

Four rare mountain gorillas, including a pregnant female, have died in Uganda after being hit by lightning, a conservation group says.

The three adult females and a male infant were found in Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park with “gross lesions” on their bodies indicating electrocution.

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Queensland snake catcher finds green tree frog devouring deadly coastal taipan

A north Queensland snake catcher says seeing a green tree frog devour a highly venomous snake was a “once-in-a-lifetime experience”.

Jamie Chapel was called out to a Townsville property on Tuesday night to catch the coastal taipan, considered one of Australia’s deadliest species.

He was halfway there when the client told him a frog was eating the snake.

When he arrived at the property, the “quite large” frog had eaten all but the head of the 20-25cm taipan.

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Fearsome Triassic ‘ocean lizard’ was a tweezer-snouted weirdo

Its unusual skull is unlike any in reptiles alive today.

Artist’s depiction of Gunakadeit joseeae.
(Image: © Artwork by Ray Troll, copyright 2020)

Scientists just discovered the remains of a weirdo sea creature with a “tweezer snout” that would have roamed the seas hundreds of millions of years ago.

Known as thalattosaurs (“ocean lizard”), these reptiles measured up to 16 feet (5 meters) in length, and were around for about 40 million years during the latter part of the Triassic period (251 million to 199 million years ago). They are known from a scant collection of fossils, but the find in Alaska provided researchers with the most complete thalattosaur skeleton unearthed in North America.

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New Coronavirus may have ‘jumped’ to humans from snakes, latest study concludes

Where did this virus come from? A new study points to a slithering suspect: Snakes…!!!

A new study suggests snakes may be the source of the new coronavirus causing an outbreak in China. Above, an image of Naja atra, a type of snake common in southeastern China.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on Jan. 23 to include discussion of the controversy around the new study.

As an outbreak of a new coronavirus continues to grow in China and spread to other countries, one question remains: Where did the virus come from? Now, a controversial new study points to a slithering suspect: snakes.

The study analyzed the genetic sequence of the new virus, known as 2019-nCoV, and compared it with the genetic sequences of more than 200 other coronaviruses from around the world that infect various animals.

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