Featured Photo: Little owl gets a ‘kiss’
Photographer Vladimir Kogan Michael snapped this amazing photo of two little owls in the Negev desert. We like to think of it as a cute little peck on the cheek — but if you want to know what’s most likely *really* going on, read the photo’s description here.

5,000-Year-Old Leopard Trap Discovered in Israel

Archaeologists have unearthed a 5,000-year-old leopard trap in the Negev Desert in Israel.

The trap, which was found along with a 1,600-year-old trap, was originally thought to be just a few hundred years old, and is nearly identical to traps that have been used by desert-dwelling Bedouins in the area in the last century.

“The most exciting thing is the antiquity of these carnivore traps, which is totally unexpected,” said study co-author Naomi Porat, a geochronologist with the Geological Survey of Israel.

The findings, described in the September issue of the journal Antiquity, suggest this technology has been used to lure carnivores since people first domesticated sheep and goats in the region. Read more.

ISRAEL, SDE BOKER : A couple dressed in costumes sit inside a hut during the 2015 Midburn festival in the Negev Desert near the Israeli kibbutz of Sde Boker on May 21, 2015. Some 6000 Israelis and foreigners attended the five days of the Midburn festival, the Israeli version of the popular Burning Man festival held annually in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA


10 incredible desert animals that adapted to thrive
A desert may seem like a dry and desolate place — but amidst the sand and rocks, select species thrive. Of course, not all of them are visible at first glance, since many have adapted ingenious methods of camouflage, and some of them only come out at night. Enduring terrain with scarce water and extreme temperatures, these animals are incredible examples of survival.


Vast but full of life: Explore Ramon Nature Reserve
Deep within the Negev Desert, a vast crater called Makhtesh Ramon seems lifeless at first glance. But this wide, dusty desert landscape is brimming with life, from the thriving creek-side plants to the charismatic, rock-hopping goats. 

China, Gobi Desert : Camels are seen during an off-road mapping recognition excercise ahead of the Silk Way Rally 2016 in the Gobi desert, some 2,000kms (1,100 Miles) northwest of Beijing on April 20, 2016.
The 2016 Silk Way Rally takes place in July and will see competitors race from Moscow’s Red Square to the Chinese capital Beijing. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS ASFOURI                        

Holy Land Farming Began 5,000 Years Earlier Than Thought

AVDAT, Israel — For thousands of years, different groups of people have lived in the Negev desert, building stone walls and cities that survive to this day. But how did they make their living?

The current thinking is that these desert denizens didn’t practice agriculture before approximately the first century, surviving instead by raising animals, said Hendrik Bruins, a landscape archaeologist at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

But new research suggests people in this area, the Negev highlands, practiced agriculture as long ago as 5000 B.C., Bruins told LiveScience. If true, the finding could change historians’ views of the area’s inhabitants, who lived in the region in biblical times and even before, he added. Read more.