All posts by Eric R. Olson

Eric is a writer and producer specializing in science and natural history. He is the former digital producer for NATURE on PBS. Originally from Seattle, Eric now resides in Brooklyn, NY.

The Weed-Munching Goats of Brooklyn

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy ripped through the northeastern U.S., flooding coastal areas and causing an estimated 75 billion dollars of damage. Brooklyn’s scenic Prospect Park wasn’t immune–Sandy destroyed more than 300 trees. Some more than 150 years old. Where trees disappear, fast-growing weeds move in. Previously-wooded areas of the park have been overrun by poison […]

Animal Experts Weigh-In on the Death of Harambe

Over the Memorial Day weekend, a four year-old boy climbed over a barrier and fell into a gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo. The episode ended with Harambe, a male lowland gorilla, shot dead by the zoo’s dangerous animal response team. Harambe was part of the zoo’s captive breeding program for the critically-endangered Western lowland […]

Add the Nile Crocodile to Florida’s Growing List of Invasive Reptiles

With its balmy climate, swamps and lush greenery, Florida has proved to be the perfect home for large reptiles from other tropical parts of the world. For example, the Burmese python, a native of Southeast Asia, has taken root in the Everglades over the last several decades.  Other scaly invaders include the tegu, a large […]

Jungle Animal Hospital

Podcast: Update on the Animals of ‘Jungle Animal Hospital’ and more…

Alejandro Morales has a job that comes with both immense emotional rewards and moments of sheer heartbreak.  He is a veterinarian who rehabilitates animals recovered from the illegal pet trade in Guatemala and makes them strong enough to return to wild. (You can see Alejandro and his team at work in NATURE’s most recent episode […]

Featured Creature: Kiwi

Which came first: the kiwi or the kiwifruit? Was the bird named for the fruit or the fruit named for the bird? As it turns out, it was the latter. In the 1950s, commercial growers of the “Chinese gooseberry” noticed that their fruit bore a resemblance to an odd little New Zealand bird and a […]

Featured Creature: Hummingbird Hawk-Moth

Animals all face the same challenges: finding enough to eat and surviving long enough to pass on their genes. While there are endless ways Nature has addressed these challenges, it sometimes arrives at the same solution in species that are only distantly-related. This phenomenon, called convergent evolution, can be seen in the similar body shape […]

The Times Square Ivory Crush in Pictures

Today the United States government, in concert with a number of conservation groups, sent a powerful message to poachers by crushing more than a ton of illegally-traded elephant ivory in the middle of Times Square. “Many Americans don’t realize that the U.S. ivory market is one of the largest in the world. Or that it’s […]

First Fully Warm-Blooded Fish Identified by NOAA Scientists

NOAA scientists have discovered that a large ocean-going fish, called the opah, is fully warm-blooded. Their study, published in the journal Science, shows that the fish’s active style of swimming and a heat exchange mechanism in its gills help maintain a body temperature roughly 5 degrees above the surrounding water. Opahs are a genus of […]