One Tree, Forty Types of Fruit

If you don't have room for an orchard-- and who does?-- then maybe you want a tree like that one that's being planted at the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose. It will offer 40 different types of fruit thanks to the horticultural talent of Sam Van Aken, a professor at the Syracuse University.

"I look at the Tree of 40 Fruit as an artwork, a research project and a form of conservation," Van Aken told an audience at TEDxManhattan in 2014.

The Museum is planting the tree this fall as part of their new Garden. 


Virginia Shows the Dolphins in the Native Habitat

Dolphin shows are under fire for keeping highly intelligent fellow mammals in a small cave and making them dance for their dinner.  While many humans are locked up in cubicles and forced to entertain their bosses, everyone knows it's not the same. Baltimore's aquarium has tried to solve this by ending the shows and just giving the animals the fish. 

Virginia Beach's aquarium is taking another approach. Each day, they take the guests out on a catamaran to see the dolphins in their native habitat. 

Aquaria Make Us Happier and Smarter

At least according to a study done by some aquaria. :-) Well, not exactly. A group of academics who have a real affection for aquaria. 

"What we were able to do here was - as far as we know in the world's first controlled experiment: we knew exactly the number of species and the number of [fish] that people were looking at, and they were systematically altered over time - monitor people's heart rate, blood pressure and various changes in mood over a 10-minute period while they watched the very large tank (500,000 litres), " Dr White explained.

More Turtles Return to the Sea

The National Aquarium saw the potential for publicity. Ocean City, Maryland is filled with vacationing city folk during the summer and the end of July may be the peak. So that's when they scheduled the release of three Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles who were rescued after an unusually cold winter eight months earlier. They called the press; they called the politicians; and most of all they called the beach goers who came and cheered the turtles as they returned to the sea. A good time was had by all. 

San Diego Zoo Breaks Ground on New Exhibit Exploring Africa

For more than 70 years, the large cats at the San Diego Zoo lived in once state-of-the-art concrete grottos on one path affectionately called the "Cat and Dog Canyon" . The zoo just closed them down and started construction on a brand new section called "Africa Rocks". The area, expected to cost more than $60 million, will be filled with monkeys, crocodiles and birds. They won't be as large or as dangerous, but they'll have more room to roam, at least relative to their size. 

Bugs Are on the Menu at the El Paso Zoo

In summer, the stomachs of America start thinking of ice cream, hamburgers, and -- if you're in El Paso-- yummy wax worms, grasshoppers and ant pupae. The El Paso zoo is hosting Bug Fest again where the guests can visit, learn a bit about bugs and maybe even try a full menu of dishes that present the insects at their very best. All thanks to the culinary genius of El Paso Zoo’s executive chef, Miguel Guillen.

Time to Look the Giraffes In the Eye in Cleveland

Some of the most memorable moments at the zoo are born when people get to look at an animal's eyes and bond. This is what drove Cleveland's Metropark Zoo to build a new deck next to the giraffe enclosure, a deck that would boost the visitors to the height of the giraffes' heads where they could look at each other, eye to eye.

Now every day between 11am and 3pm, guests can walk out on the deck Ben Gogolick Giraffe Encounter and feed the giraffes romaine lettuce. Two calves were born last year, boosting the zoo's group to six.