About Rebecca Whitaker

Posts by Rebecca Whitaker

Here's what you need to know about mosquitoes this summer

Have you ever noticed that some summers seem plagued with mosquitoes, while others aren’t? Do you feel personally attacked by mosquitoes year after year? It’s not just in your head. Mosquito numbers vary from year to year, and month to month. And yes, some people attract more mosquitoes than others! We spoke to experts who gave us the buzz on the most annoying (uninvited) guests at your summer BBQs.

Did you know that Horseshoe Crab blood is valuable to humans?

American Horseshoe crabs, or Limulus polyphemus, are a species older than the dinosaurs. Reaching up to 60cm in length, with big helmet-like shells and spikey tails, they look like aliens. Did you know their blood is highly valuable to humans? Horseshoe crab blood is worth approximately $60,000 a gallon. What are Horseshoe Crabs? American horseshoe … Continued

The Angora Rabbits were selectively bred for the fashion industry

The impossibly fluffy Angora Rabbit is bred for its soft wool and was once a popular pet of royalty. These fur balls are a result of hundreds of years of selective breeding. Although they are still bred for their wool today, these adorable creatures are also popular pets and prize winning show bunnies. Where did … Continued

Here's how pigeons played an important role in military history

When you think of pigeons, you probably think of pesky flocks hanging around hot dog carts. But did you know carrier pigeons (aka homing pigeons) were once heroes of war? That’s right. Pigeons had important and dangerous jobs throughout military history, including World Wars One and Two. So let’s show a little respect! What did … Continued

Parrots are not pets

Their beautiful colours and exotic good looks have made parrots a popular pet throughout history. Unfortunately many parrots are abandoned or put up for adoption by their owners every year, leading many to parrot rehab. What is parrot rehab? Parrot rehabilitation centres can be found all around the world. They care for parrots that have … Continued

Are polar bears endangered or not?

The WWF labels polar bears as vulnerable, so why is the word on the street this year that polar bears are doing just fine? A 2017 video of a starving polar bear went viral. The emaciated bear dragged itself slowly, nibbling on a discarded seat from a snowmobile. People everywhere were up in arms. But … Continued

The booming black market animal trade in Canada

Animal trafficking is the 4th largest illegal market in the world, raking in $20 billion dollars a year. You may think of the illegal animal market is far from home, but reports show that business is alive and well in Canada. From bear genitals to eel meat, the government has seized more than 4,000 animals … Continued

Here's how the Arctic Fox adapted to the cold while staying cute

The Arctic Fox has got to be one of the cutest animals around, but they are also extremely tough. These little guys live in some of the coldest regions on the planet, and have had to adapt accordingly! They change colour depending on the season, their compact bodies prevent heat loss, and they are totally … Continued

Did you know that dolphins have names?

Humans have known for a long time that dolphins are intelligent animals. They are among a handful of animals that recognize themselves in a mirror. They play, they show off for boats. They even have a sweet move called the “spy hop” in which they lift their bodies vertically out of water to have a … Continued

How do whales get beached?

In some unsettling news, as many as 145 pilot whales, were stranded on Monday, November 26. A walker discovered two whale pods on a remote beach Stewart Island, New Zealand. Sadly, by the time they were discovered, the whales were in poor condition and could not be saved. Every year, whales become stranded on beaches … Continued

The elephant trade in Southeast Asia: a slippery slope with sanctuaries

Asian Elephants These gentle giants are smaller than their African counterparts, with smaller ears and only one finger on their trunk instead of two. Raised in matriarchal herds, elephants are highly social and extremely intelligent. At the beginning of the 20th century, the population of Asian Elephants stood at approximately 100,000. Today that number is … Continued

The North Pole was once home to crocodiles

In December 1908, explorer Ernest Shackleton was shocked to discover evidence of palm trees frozen in the glacial ice of Antarctica. Baffled scientists explained this unlikely finding through the theory of continental drift, but something didn’t add up. The fossilized wood that Shackleton discovered dated only 250 years ago. By that time the continents were … Continued

The creative and cruel blood sport of fox tossing

For the sake of entertainment, animals have been subjected to human cruelty for a very long time. The Romans imported exotic beasts like lions and elephants for gladiatorial displays in the Circus Maximus. Bear baiting was popular in England up until the 18th century, involving a bear chained to a post and forced to defend … Continued

Snail telegraphs: how sexual snail energy became a method of communication

Snail Telegraphs Humans have always looked for ways to make communication faster. For most of human history, communication was dependent on how fast a message could be physically delivered by foot, horse or boat. Eventually, humans developed faster methods of communication, such as smoke signals and carrier pigeons, but these quicker methods were not necessarily … Continued