Profile: Joseph Bennington-Castro

Science Journalist

Joseph Bennington-Castro is a science journalist, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and a Master of Arts degree in science journalism from New York University. His work has appeared in Live Science, Space.com, National Geographic online, Scientific American, and USA Today, among other venues. Except for a brief adventure in New York City, Joseph has lived his entire life in beautiful Hawai'i — and he wouldn’t dream of it being any other way.

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NoteStreams By Joseph Bennington-Castro

The Complicated Sex Lives of Giant Pandas

As both a national treasure of China and the symbol of the conservation-oriented World Wildlife Fund, giant pandas are known by the world over — particularly for their formally low breeding success in captivity. But just what's involved in panda-bear mating, both in and out of the wild?
Live Science

Category: Nature

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Animal Sex: How Octopuses Do it

Often considered the smartest invertebrates (animals without backbones) on the planet, octopuses can use tools, unscrew jar lids and tightly control their body color to match their surroundings. They use this sharp intelligence especially in situations of survival — including when they are trying to avoid getting eaten by their hungry mates.
Live Science

Category: Science

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Animal Sex: How Polar Bears Do It

As the largest land carnivores currently on the planet, polar bears are fearsome predators and the masters of their Artic domain. But do these hulking animals also have a softer side toward each other, or are their mating behaviors just as cold and unforgiving as their frozen habitat? Video included.
Live Science

Category: Nature

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Animal Sex: How Meerkats Do It

Popularized by the character Timon in the animated Disney film "Lion King," meerkats are often viewed as meek animals constantly on the lookout for danger. But within their small groups, these creatures are anything but meek — including when it comes to their mating behaviors.
Live Science

Category: Nature

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Animal Sex: How Kangaroos Do It

Kangaroos are best known for having pouches that house their developing offspring (called joeys), but that's not the only interesting feature of their reproduction.
Video included!
Joseph Castro

Category: Nature

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Animal Sex: How Koalas Do It

They look cute and cuddly and pretty lazy - but when it comes to reproduction, it's a whole different story. Videos included.
LiveScience

Category: Nature

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Animal Sex: How Butterflies Do It

They flutter and fly, but they also get down. Here's how these flighty insects mate.
Live Science

Category: Nature

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Animal Sex: How Sloths Do It

They may be slow, but they get busy.
Live Science

Category: Nature

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Animal Sex: How Elephants Do It

You've always wondered, and now you'll know!
LiveScience

Category: Nature

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Animal Mating: How Scorpions Do It

It's an exotic dance like none other; the one and only dance of the scorpion mating ritual.

Category: Nature

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The Cost of Saving Sea Turtles from Gillnets

For nearly a decade, scientists with the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center have been working to develop mitigation measures to prevent sea turtle bycatch.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Category: Nature

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Animal Sex: How Love Dart–Shooting Snails Do It

You've always wanted to know, now Joseph Castro breaks it down.
Image above shows two Irish Helix aspersa (garden snails) before mating, one of them showing a love dart. Ouch.
Image by Eynar, (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Category: Nature

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Animal Sex: How Giraffes Do It

You've always wondered how these gangly giants get down and dirty. Well, now you'll know!

Category: Nature

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Animal Sex: How Tarantulas Do It

You've always wanted to know; now Live Science brings you the details!

Category: Nature

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How Honeybees Make Decisions

Honeybees choose new nest sites by essentially head-butting each other into a consensus, shows a new study.
When scout bees find a new potential home, they do a waggle dance to broadcast to other scout bees where the nest is and how suitable it is for the swarm. The nest with the most support in the end becomes the swarm’s new home.

Category: Nature

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Empathetic Rats Help Each Other Out

The act of helping others out of empathy has long been associated strictly with humans and other primates, but new research shows that rats exhibit this prosocial behavior as well.
In the new study, laboratory rats repeatedly freed their cage-mates from containers, even though there was no clear reward for doing so. The rodents didn't bother opening empty containers or those holding stuffed rats.

Category: Science

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Amazon Due for Numerous Species Extinctions

When species lose their natural habitat to deforestation and other causes, they don't immediately disappear. Instead, they gradually die off over several generations, racking up an "extinction debt" that must eventually be paid in full. New research shows that the Brazilian Amazon has accrued a heavy vertebrate extinction debt, with more than 80 percent of extinctions expected from historical deforestation still impending.

Category: Nature

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Weird Animals Described in Lost Report

The dodo bird was not the only wacky animal inhabitant of the island of Mauritius: Bad-tempered parrots, wart-faced pigeons and several other now-extinct but noteworthy indigenous animals called this land home, new research suggests.

Category: Science

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Dogs Can 'Read' Our Communication Cues

Dogs can understand our intent to communicate with them and are about as receptive to human communication as pre-verbal infants, a new study shows.

Category: Science

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How Do Enzymes Work?

Enzymes are biological molecules (typically proteins) that significantly speed up the rate of virtually all of the chemical reactions that take place within cells.

Category: Science

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First Americans Used Spear-Throwers to Hunt

Despite a lack of archaeological evidence, the first North Americans have often been depicted hunting with spear-throwers, which are tools that can launch deadly spear points at high speeds. But now, a new analysis of microscopic fractures on Paleo-Indian spear points provides the first empirical evidence that America's first hunters really did use these weapons to tackle mammoths and other big game.

Category: Science

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What Is the Illuminati?

The Illuminati was an 18th-century secret society made up of numerous influential intellectuals and freethinkers of the time.

Category: History

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Sea Slug Offers Clues to Long-Term Memory

Using sea slugs as models, scientists someday may be able to design learning protocols that improve long-term memory formation in humans, a new study suggests.
The researchers used information about biochemical pathways in the brain of the sea slug Aplysia to design a computer model that identified the times when the mollusk’s brain is primed for learning.

Category: Science

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