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Why this coyote and badger 'friendship' has excited scientists

The video, taken by the nonprofit group Peninsula Open Space Trust, is an important discovery for scientists: It shows both the first example of coyote-badger cooperation ever taken in the San Francisco Bay Area and possibly the first video showing two species sharing a culvert—a tunnel that allows water to flow under a road and wildlife to bypass highways. If a coyote spends time near a badger, there’s a good chance the badger is going to scare up a squirrel, which the coyote can then run and catch. If the badger hangs around a coyote, there’s a likelihood the coyote will drive the prey underground, which then gives the badger—a superior digger Such studies have also shown the coyote-badger affiliations are more common in rural areas untouched by humans—making this video all the more exciting, notes Megan Draheim, a conservation biologist at Virginia Tech and founder of the District Coyote Project, which studies the predators in Washington, D.C.

A giant star is acting strange, and astronomers are buzzing

But if you’ve looked at Orion recently and thought something seemed off, you’re not wrong: The giant red star Betelgeuse, which marks the hunter’s right shoulder, is the dimmest it’s been in almost a century. However, it is unusual for one of the sky’s most prominent points of light to fade so noticeably, prompting scientists to consider the possibility that something more exciting could be about to happen: Betelgeuse might explode and die, briefly blazing brighter than the full moon before vanishing from our night sky forever. Even though Betelgeuse is nearby in astronomical terms, it’s nowhere near close enough for the explosion to affect life on Earth. Guinan and others say that supergiant stars like Betelgeuse have mottled surfaces containing massive convective cells that shrink and swell, which cause such stars to darken and brighten, but that’s not the whole story.

Every three minutes, an earthquake strikes in California

Cars lie smashed by the collapsed Interstate 5 connector just hours after California’s Northridge earthquake in the winter of 1994. While most of the quakes cataloged in the latest study are too small for humans to feel, researchers are hoping these tiny temblors can help decipher the physics behind earthquakes of all sizes

This is the world's most destructive oil operation—and it's growing

This is the world's most destructive oil operation—and it's growingIndigenous people and environmentalists want to prevent the expansion of Canada's oil sands development, and the water and air pollution that come with it. Large enough to be seen from space, tailings ponds in Alberta’s oil sands region are some of the biggest human-made structures on Earth

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