This young whooping crane is on its first fall migration, guided by an Operation Migration ultralight aircraft. Each whooper in this population wears an identification band, and many carry tracking devices that record their movements in detail. Joe Duff/Operation Migration USA Inc. hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Duff/Operation Migration USA Inc.

Kesennuma, in the Tohoku region of Japan, was devastated in a March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami. A researcher studying recent mega-quakes says this one, centered some 300 miles from Tokyo, could actually mean an increased risk of a quake hitting Japan's capital, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. Suzanne Mooney/Barcroft Media/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Suzanne Mooney/Barcroft Media/Landov

A whale shark dives near the surface in waters off the coast of Mexico. Marj Awai/Georgia Aquarium hide caption

itoggle caption Marj Awai/Georgia Aquarium

Colorful covers of menus from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel (left) and the Monarch Room Royal Hawaiian Hotel. New York Public Library hide caption

itoggle caption New York Public Library

A side view of the new ant species Eurhopalothrix zipacna. Mounting glue and paper appear beneath the ant, one of 33 new species discovered in Central America by Jack Longino, a biologist at the University of Utah. John T. Longino/University of Utah hide caption

itoggle caption John T. Longino/University of Utah

The remains of a tree are seen in front of a boulder in the Dome Wilderness area of New Mexico in August 2012. The Las Conchas Fire torched the land in 2011, burning through more than 150,000 acres of forest. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

An out-of-control natural gas well in the Gulf of Mexico continued to burn Wednesday after it blew out and caught fire. Beams supporting some of the "Hercules 265 jack-up rig" have collapsed. U.S. Coast Guard via AP hide caption

itoggle caption U.S. Coast Guard via AP

Dead trees mark the path of the 2003 Winslow fire. Conservationists have considered the fire beneficial for the steppe habitat of the Centennial Valley. Smaller, contained fires like this one have been a crucial part of this ecosystem for thousands of years. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John W. Poole/NPR

An aircraft lays down a line of fire retardant between a wildfire and homes in the dry, densely wooded Black Forest area northeast of Colorado Springs, Colo., on June 13. John Wark/AP hide caption

itoggle caption John Wark/AP

Mind The Teeth: Fossils indicate that Tyrannosaurus rex was an active hunter, in addition to being a scavenger. And in Jurassic Park, it also had a sweet tooth for lawyers. Universal Pictures/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Universal Pictures/Getty Images

A geothermal energy plant near the Salton Sea in California taps deep underground heat from the southern San Andreas Fault rift zone. A new study ties the amount of water pulled from the ground by the geothermal plant here to the frequency of earthquakes. David McNew/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption David McNew/Getty Images

Trumpeter swans cruise a lake in Centennial Valley. Swan populations recovered in the valley years ago after ecologists dammed streams to enlarge wetland habitat. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John W. Poole/NPR

The wide-open prairie of the Centennial Valley in southwestern Montana. Sage grouse living here could be placed on the endangered species list if its numbers and prairie habitat continue to decline. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John W. Poole/NPR

A man checks the quality of ivory stocks before an auction at the London docks in January 1948. Popperfoto/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Popperfoto/Getty Images