Travel News

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Can unmanned vehicles help speed up archaeological digs? That is the hope of Vanderbilt archaeologist Steven Werne and engineering professor Julie A. Adams. They have developed a product called SUAVe - for Semi-autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Pronounced "SWAH-vey," this revolutionary product aims to greatly reduce the time it takes to create a three-dimensional model of a site versus using current technology. As in 10-15 minutes compared to two to three entire field seasons faster!

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Every four years, the International Union for Conservation of Nature evaluates the status of animal species and determines if they belong on the Red List of Threatened Species, and the latest list has many conservationists worried. The number of bird species on the Red List jumped from 1,253 to 1,331 and the majority of the newly added species are found in the Amazon, specifically in the Brazilian Amazon Basin where the new Forest Code loosens protections on the Amazon.

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On your next Kenya & Tanzania safari, be sure to carefully scan the surfaces of rivers and lakes for hints of hippos gliding in the depths below. These giants may lumber about a bit clumsily on the land, but once they are in the water they find a natural grace that is best explained by example. Whenever your safari exploration leads you along the river banks in Africa, you should watch for these creatures.

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Most of the time agama lizards are pretty inconspicuous creatures that are brown or gray in color. However, when mating season rolls around, the males turn brilliant shades of red and blue to catch the attention of their female counterparts. This unique quality has earned them many nicknames from “Rainbow Lizards” to “Spiderman Lizards.”

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Low-level fires are a natural but infrequent occurrence in rainforests, but due to industrialization, logging and other deforestation, the severity of forest fires is increasing. This may pose a serious threat to the plants and animals of these regions, and many scientists are concerned for the future of the Amazonian rainforest. The impact of forest fires on local bird populations in Brazil was the focus of a recent study conducted by researchers from the U.K. and Brazil.

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The Galapagos Islands are legendary for their population of curious, approachable wildlife, and South Plaza island — one of the smallest in the chain — is a great place to see many of the Galapagos' endemic creatures.

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Lonesome George, the giant tortoise that became perhaps the best-known resident of Galapagos Islands passed away this past Sunday in his pen at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Scientists estimate that he was around 100 years old.

According to Galapagos National Park officials, Fausto Llerena, George’s keeper for 40 years, found him dead in his corral. With George’s passing, the Pinta Island subspecies of giant tortoise is now considered extinct.

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Choosing a tour can be a challenging undertaking. Where should you go? Which tour should you take? How long do you travel for? These are just some of the questions you'll want to answer when planning your trip. To help you choose the right tour and make the most of your next trip, here is a list of essential tips to keep in mind.

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Costa Rica is one of the most popular ecotourism destinations in the world, and the 2012 Happy Planet Index (HPI) recently named the Central American nation the happiest country on the planet. To determine the ranking of 151 nations, the New Economics Foundation (NEF) in the U.K. analyzes countries based on their average life expectancies, ecological footprints and experienced well-being.

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International Expeditions’ Patagonia tour is expanding in 2013 and will allow guests an rare opportunity to visit Tierra del Fuego’s Porvenir, home to world’s most accessible colony of king penguins. King penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) are the second largest member of the family and probably the most beautiful and charismatic species of the penguin world.

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