Category Archives: Historical

Digital Herbarium is NOT an Oxymoron

By Keith Killingbeck From the annals of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show and The Magnificent Carnac, the answer is … KIRI. The question is: What is … a) a genetically engineered fruit from New Zealand similar to the kiwi? b) Google’s … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Education, Historical, Naturalists, News, Plants, Resources |

Marine Mammals of Rhode Island, Part 10, Pilot Whale

by Robert Kenney We’ve reached the point in this series where we need to talk about the differences between a dolphin and a whale. The truth is that there isn’t a real definition; it’s pretty much arbitrary. In general, bigger … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Historical, News |

Marine Mammals of Rhode Island, Part 9, Fin Whale

by Robert Kenney Although they don’t get the publicity that North Atlantic right whales or wandering belugas do, or the love from the public that humpback whales do, fin whales (also known as finbacks) are the most common large whale … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Historical, News |

Belugas are Back!

For the second year in a row, several beluga whales have appeared in Narragansett Bay, far from their typical haunts in the Arctic. The sighting of three belugas off Jamestown on May 10, which were spotted again the following day … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Climate, Historical, News |

Marine Mammals of Rhode Island, Part 8, Harp Seal

by Robert D. Kenney Now where were we? Installment 6 in this series on the marine mammals of Rhode Island was on harbor seals. The next was supposed to be about harp seals to contrast the two species, but the … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Biodiversity, Climate, Education, Historical, News |

Marine Mammals of Rhode Island, Part 7, Beluga

by Robert D. Kenney Installment 7 in this series on the marine mammals of Rhode Island was supposed to be on harp seals, but recent events have forced us to let the beluga cut in line without waiting its turn. … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Conservation, Education, Historical, Natives, Naturalists, News |

Marine Mammals of Rhode Island, Part 6, Sperm Whale

by Robert D. Kenney In a previous installment of “Marine Mammals of Rhode Island” we looked at the harbor porpoise, our smallest cetacean. We now turn to one of the largest—the sperm whale. Both species are toothed whales, or odontocetes; … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Historical, Naturalists, News |

Meet the Board: Pete August

To put more of a face on the Natural History Survey, we are including profiles of board members, staff, and members among our Rhode Island Naturalist blog posts. This time the celebrity treatment goes to Pete August, Rhode Island’s bat-man … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Historical, Naturalists, News |

Marine Mammals of Rhode Island, Part 4, Harbor Porpoise

by Robert D. Kenney The porpoises are six species of small toothed whales within one family—closely related to the dolphins. The harbor porpoise is the smallest cetacean, and the only porpoise species, that occurs in the North Atlantic. When I … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Biodiversity, Historical, News |

Marine Mammals of Rhode Island, Part 3, Bottlenose Dolphin

by Robert D. Kenney The bottlenose dolphin may be the most familiar species of cetacean for many people, for a couple of reasons. Small groups of bottlenose can be seen from the beach almost anywhere along the East Coast—year-round from … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Education, Historical, News |