All about the humble water shrew

Water shrew

Photo: Water shrew Erni Shutterstock

The water shrew is well adapted to an aquatic lifestyle: they have a dark brown (almost black), waterproof coat of short fur, and ears (visible as white tufts) that can close in the water. A fringe of stiff silvery hairs runs the length of the underside of the tail, which they use as a rudder, and their hind feet have similar fringes. They can dive … [more…]

America uses 322 billion gallons of water each day. Here’s where it goes.

America uses 322 billion gallons of water each day. Here’s where it goes.

Photo © iStockphoto.com/iofoto

From cooling power plants to quenching thirst and growing crops, water is part of everything we do.

February 22, 2019 — As climate change, urban development, irrigation and other factors are altering the availability of water, it’s important to understand how we use water on a daily basis in the U.S. — and where the opportunities are for using it more wisely.

A recent report from the … [more…]

Report: Galveston Bay Shows Resiliency, But Some Worrisome Factors

Report: Galveston Bay Shows Resiliency, But Some Worrisome Factors

Photo: Lisa Gonzalez, president and CEO of the Houston Advanced Research Center, was on Houston Matters to discuss the findings of the 2019 Galveston Bay Report Card. Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz/Houston Public Media

Galveston Bay is in overall good condition, but the loss of wetlands, along with a slight decline in water quality and sea level rise, are concerning factors, according to the 2019 Galveston Bay Report Card.

The annual report … [more…]

Ancient, near-indestructible ‘water bears’ have crash landed on the moon

Ancient, near-indestructible 'water bears' have crash landed on the moon

A 3D-rendered illustration of a tardigrade a.k.a. water bear a.k.a. moss piglet. (3Dstock/Shutterstock)

Microscopic tardigrades, Earth’s most resilient species, were aboard a privately funded Israeli spacecraft

Thousands of ancient, eight-legged, nigh-indestructible creatures have crash-landed on the moon — and they’ll probably be there long after the human species is wiped off the face of the Earth. They’re called tardigrades, and 10,000 of them were suspended in artificial amber and loaded … [more…]

Chicago water pollution may be keeping invasive silver carp out of Great Lakes, study says

Chicago water pollution may be keeping invasive silver carp out of Great Lakes, study says

Photo: Great Lakes. Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Invasive silver carp have been moving north toward the Great Lakes since their accidental release in the 1970s. The large filter-feeding fish, which are known to jump from the water and wallop anglers, threaten aquatic food webs as well as the $7 billion Great Lakes fishery. But, for the past decade, the invading front hasn’t moved past Kankakee. A new study, led by … [more…]