Ep. 71 - Nepenthes and Other Botanical Treasures with Stewart McPherson

Getting bit by the carnivorous plant bug can lead to a lifelong obsession with these botanical wonders. That is exactly what has happened to Stewart McPherson. He has dedicated his life to finding, photographing, and naming these amazing organisms. He is especially fond of the tropical pitcher plants in the genus Nepenthes. Over the last decade Stewart has explored some of the most remote corners of the globe in search of these plants. During this time he has managed to climb over 300 tropical mountains and has set foot on some of the most remote islands on the planet. With his company Redfern Expeditions, McPherson also offers plant enthusiasts the opportunity to see many of these plants for themselves. With a resume that includes 25 books, countless photos, a handful of documentaries, and the discovery of 35 new species, it is a real honor to have him on the podcast. Please join us for a fascinating conversation of world exploration, all of which centers around carnivorous plants. This episode was produced in part by Gregory, Mark, and Bryan. 

Safety Dance 7/?


Sometimes, it surprises you a little how nice it is to cuddle with AR. There’s nothing soft or padded about his lines or angles. He is all smooth metal heated by his internal workings, and you get the occasional buzz from his sensor circuitry against your skin, or radiating through your clothes. His limbs and appendages wrapped around you are hard and it should feel like being hugged by a suit of armor, but it really doesn’t.

You think about this, tired but not ready to fall asleep yet, idly tracing the intricate pattern of sensors along one of AR’s arms. You get as far as his shoulder, and are thinking about going for the ports at the nape of his neck when he suddenly shifts to give you a kiss. It’s not like kissing a metal mask or helmet face plate (like kissing “Iron Man” in his armor). AR’s face is surprisingly flexible and expressive. He can smile, frown, look pleased or annoyed, and those expressions are markers for what he’s feeling and they can be either unconscious or deliberate. (You are unabashedly fascinated by this.) You kiss back, hand curled around the back of AR’s neck.

Keep reading


The term “aardvark” comes from the Afrikaans meaning “earth pig” or “ground pig”.  It has also been colloquially called “African ant bear” or “Cape anteater”.  In reality, however, it is related to neither pigs or anteaters or bears.  It is a completely unique mammal, the most evolutionarily distinct mammal in the world.


Rare Sumatran rhino thought extinct seen for the first time in 40 years

On Tuesday, the World Wide Fund announced on Facebook that the first sighting of a Sumatran rhino in 40 years has occurred in Indonesian Borneo. "This unprecedented discovery and unparalleled operation boosts our hope to save one of the most endangered species and an iconic symbol of the majestic Asian rainforests,“ Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International said. Action is being taken to ensure the species’ survival.

Follow @the-future-now


Cu Rua, the world’s most important turtle, has died

Cu Rua, a rare Yangtze giant softshell turtle living in Vietnam, was found dead Tuesday after its body floated up to the surface of Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem lake. Thought to be over 100, its death brings the worldwide population of the rare turtle to three. For locals, the turtle’s demise hit hard.

Follow @the-future-now


Revealed: hunting strategy of the endangered African wild dog

A new study led by researchers at the Royal Veterinary College has revealed that African wild dogs may be more robust than previously thought.

The researchers used custom-built GPS collars to collect position and speed data to reconstruct the hunt behaviour of an entire pack of African wild dogs in northern Botswana.

The researchers found that given the the opportunity, African wild dogs hunt with frequent short chases. In addition, the pack showed no evidence of coopertive hunting, apart from travelling together and sharing the kills made by an individual dog. 

Understanding the hunting strategies of a species helps conservationists to identify which areas should be protected, or where new populations can be reintroduced most successfully. 

Read more

Image credit: Neil Jordan, Megan Classe,  Tambako The Jaguar


Drunk dudes may have killed the world’s rarest fish

On April 30, three men shot through the locks and motion sensors of a security gate to enter Death Valley National Park’s Devils Hole, a 40-acre detached unit of the national park that’s a part of the Nevada’s Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Not only did they leave beer cans and vomit around the site, but one man swam in pool, leaving his boxers behind — and one of the world’s rarest fish, the Devils Hole pupfish, dead. There are so few of these pupfish left.

Follow @the-future-now


The maleo is a megapode, which is a large, chicken-like bird known for using alternative means to incubate its eggs rather than body heat.  Most megapodes construct massive mounds of rotting vegetation with the eggs buried within, warmed by the heat given off by decay.  Maleos are endemic to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, and are found nowhere else in the world.

Resurrected From Dead, Oryx Returns to the Wild
Scimitar horned Oryx are now back in the wild thanks to a breeding and monitoring program.
By Jen Viegas

Thirty years after the scimitar-horned oryx was driven to extinction in the wild, the desert antelope is back in its native Chad. A dramatic reintroduction was was captured on video on Sunday.

The herd of about 20 – resulting from a successful captive breeding program – excitedly left their enclosure, except for one female that was not ready to venture out and a male that returned from his brief stint in the wild to be with her…

One of the most critically endangered birds in the world, the Kakapo is having a record breaking baby boom. 36 chicks have made it through the first months which is up from only 6 that made it through a few years ago. With only 123 adults alive this is a significant population increase that will help bring this species back from the brink of extinction. | Photo by: Theo Thompson | #kakapo #wildlifebiologist #reintroduction #wildlife #captivebreeding #wildlifeconservation #conservation #endangered #endextinction #criticallyendangered #wildlifewin #chick #bird #birds #birding #rare #nature #NewZealand #animals #KeyConservation

Made with Instagram