Inside the Worlds Largest Gathering of Snakes

‘Each spring, masses of red-sided garter snakes congregate inside limestone caves [in the Narcisse Snake Dens of Manitoba, Canada

Garter Snake; Thamnophis sirtalis

] to form mating balls, in which up to a hundred male snakes vie for a single female. She, in turn, “is desperately trying to get out of the pit,” said [Paul] Colangelo, an environmental documentary photographer.

These slithery swarms appear to be a “frenzy, but a closer look reveals a much finer dance,” Colangelo said in his field notes. “The small males court the larger female by rubbing her head with their chins and maintaining as much contact between their long bodies as possible.”‘ (National Geographic).

Controversial Copenhagen Zoo Official: Zoos Are Selling Disney “Fairy Tales”

Controversial Copenhagen Zoo Official: Zoos Are Selling Disney

‘The zoo official who euthanized a giraffe and four lions earlier this year may be stoking more controversy.

Many zoos, especially in the United States, are perpetuating a fairy-tale world that masks the realities of nature from visitors, he said this week in Copenhagen.”We should not tell the Disney story that animals are only cute and only get born and never die,” said Bengt Holst, the Copenhagen Zoos science director, at the 2014 Euroscience Open Forum. “We have to tell the real story: Death is a natural consequence of life. If [we] dont tell that story, [were doing] a bad job, because then we dont work for conservation—we work for an imaginary world.”

Zoos in Europe have been euthanizing, or culling, captive animals for about 30 years. The goal has been to create a healthy and genetically diverse population of different species, many of which are threatened by extinction. Animals are sometimes killed to make room for other animals or to avoid inbreeding.European zoos also breed more animals than they need, because its impossible to predict how many females will get pregnant and give birth to healthy offspring. Holst told National Geographic on Wednesday that the need to euthanize is actually a “positive sign,” since it means that zoos are breeding animals well enough to create a surplus.’  (National Geographic).

David Duchovny on The X-Files: Its Not Done Until One of Us Dies

‘With the series finale of Californication airing this weekend, David Duchovny says he feels like he has comfortably closed the book on his character Hank Moody. Thats not the case, though, for another one of his iconic characters: The X-Files‘ Fox Mulder. During an in-depth interview with Rolling Stone about the end of the long-running Showtime drama, which will run next week after the finale, he said that he would be up for making a sequel to the 2008 movie The X-Files: I Want to Believe.

Duchovny said that he remains friends with both X-Files creator Chris Carter and his costar, Gillian Anderson. Moreover, he loves the Fox Mulder character. “Once I was able to branch out and do some other movies and do Californication, I didn’t feel like, ‘People only think I do that,'” he said. “I no longer have that anxiety.” ‘ (Rolling Stone).