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Playlist: Animals

Compiled By: PRX Editors

 Credit: <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-85920p1.html">Eric Isselee</a>
Image by: Eric Isselee 
Curated Playlist

Lions, tigers, bears, and more.

These are picks chosen by PRX editorial staff.

For Kindred Spirits (and separate elements) (Series)

Produced by Paul Messing

This is a beautiful audio production about the more profound nature of our relationships with animals and the natural world. Hosted by NY Times bestselling author Susan Chernak McElroy (Animals as Teachers and Healers), it features her stories and guest interviews, music, and phoned-in messages - real stories from real people. This show comes in two parts.

Most recent piece in this series:

On Seeing a Porcupine

From Paul Messing | Part of the For Kindred Spirits (and separate elements) series | 01:53

Porcupine_small This story is lifted from my pilot program "For Kindred Spirits."

The Urban Chicken

From Andrew Parsons | Part of the Radio Waves series | 39:36

Stories about the upward trend of urban chicken raising in America. We talk to several urban chicken owners about chicken love, chicken life and even the history of urban farm animals.

Urbanchicken_small When Kate's friends found a chicken running down the street in Brooklyn, New York followed by a man yelling "Chicken soup! Chicken soup!", they knew they had to take her in. After several months living unappreciated in a punk house in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, they knew she couldn't stay. So Andrew took her in and soon fell in love with the remarkably affectionate bird. This story is just one of the many in this episode that hightlights the increasing presence of chickens in urban spaces. Radio Waves visits Declan Walsh, who raises chickens in Red Hook, Brooklyn and talk to Erika Shultz and Maggie Anderson who house them in Seattle, Washington. We also talk to Susan Orlean, who discusses the history of urban chicken raising and the industry that has built up around the recent fad.

The Loneliest Creature on Earth

From Lilly Sullivan | 11:41

Whales are highly social and usually travel in groups. So when scientists discovered a whale that seems to swim alone, they were surprised. The whale calls out regularly. And, to our knowledge, no other whales respond. Some people have taken to calling him “the loneliest creature on earth.” Scientists call him “52 Hertz.” Lilly Sullivan produced this piece as part of the Transom Story Workshop.

Tumblr_m8geldtn1o1ra496po3_1280_copy_small In 1989, Naval stations on the Pacific coast picked up unidentifiable sounds in the ocean. At first they thought it might be a submarine. Listening more closely, they realized it was a whale. This whale’s song, however, was completely different from any other whale song they’d ever heard. This whale vocalized at a different frequency altogether. Whales are highly social creatures, and they use sound to communicate. But when this whale calls out, he never gets a response. Scientists theorize that he’s unable to hear, or be heard by, other whales.

Year after year, he swims alone. To a whale, sound is everything. They use it to navigate, find food, and communicate. While most species follow a predictable path with their pods, this whale’s path changes each season. He always seems to be alone, but he continues to call out regularly. Great whales live almost 100 years, so people call him “the loneliest creature on the earth.

Joseph George was part of the team that tracked this whale for thirteen years. Just recently, Joe has decided to start looking for the whale again.

Lilly Sullivan produced this piece as part of the Transom Story Workshop.

Cat Bath

From Dmae Roberts | 03:23

Ever try to give your cat a bath?

Playing
Cat Bath
From
Dmae Roberts

769_small Dmae records a friend giving two cats a bath during flea season some years ago. When it aired on NPR in the late 80s, cats across America cried out in sympathy....all set to the tune of "Talk to the Animals" from Dr. Doolittle. This piece is a how "not" to instruction on the unpopular art of bathing cats. No animals were harmed in the making of this piece. But it is still cringe-worthy....

Street Dogs

From Jake Warga | 12:00

Homeless kids in Seattle and their Dogs

Playing
Street Dogs
From
Jake Warga

1sadie1_small Walk down the street in Seattle, it's easy to ignore the throngs of homeless grungy kids asking for spare change. But it's harder to ignore their dogs. All music is from street musicians, recorded on some of the same streets. Produced with my friend Matt Perry, posted Transom.org, aired "NextBigThing" and "RadioLab"

Snakes

From Jay Allison | Part of the Animals and Other Stories series | 11:04

The worth, or worthlessness, of the legless reptile

Playing
Snakes
From
Jay Allison

Animals A vintage montage meditating on the worth, or worthlessness, of the legless reptile. Civilized and primitive man collide...in discussing the snake, the human is revealed. (NOTE TO STATIONS: Be sure to frame this piece as "vintage," produced in the 1980s. While the content holds up fine, you need to note the fact that this story was made about 20 years old, so that you don't unintentionally mislead your listeners into thinking these are contemporary voices.)

Songs for Hippos and Wasps

From ARTSEDGE | Part of the Weird Jobs in the Arts series | 10:14

The work life of a composer who writes music for Nature Documentaries

Hippo_small The music in a nature documentary is not supposed to get in the way of the story. So when it's done well, you don't even notice it. Lenny Williams writes music for shows about Hippos, Wasps, Jellyfish and Spiders and he does it very well. He's won multiple Emmy Awards and his work is heard by millions. But it's safe to say that people who have heard it will be hard-pressed to remember it. In this un-narrated profile, Williams walks us through the process of creating music for a nature documentary; drawing on his training in classical composition and his years as a jazz pianist.

Bat Men

From Robbie Feinberg | 08:05

Greg Auger's life was forever changed when he met the bat researching legend Don Griffin. This is the story of the two men, a pond, and what happens when their bats begin to disappear.

Playing
Bat Men
From
Robbie Feinberg

Gregauger2_copy_small Greg Auger's life was forever changed when he met the bat researching legend Don Griffin. This is the story of the two men, a pond, and what happens when their bats begin to disappear.

Crocodiles vs. Alligators

From NPR | Part of the How To Do Everything series | 07:58

We tell you how to know the difference between a crocodile and an alligator.

Tumblr_m20nvu3rm81qhnncf_1333646074_cover_small We tell you how to know the difference between a crocodile and an alligator.

Dinoflagellates

From Atlantic Public Media | Part of the One Species at a Time ~ The Encyclopedia of Life series | 05:45

A musical from the bottom of the food chain ... billions of these microscopic luminescent creatures in every bucket of the salty sea.

Dinoflg3_0_small Public radio stations may adapt the podcast for broadcast, either by framing it as a podcast or re-editing the top and bottom of the pieces. The targeted audience for the podcast is tweens in science classes, but the material is of interest to all audiences. 

Greenland Shark ~ Somniosus microcephalus

From Atlantic Public Media | Part of the One Species at a Time ~ The Encyclopedia of Life series | 05:34

Surviving the Arctic ice water

Greenlandshark_large_small

Join shark expert Greg Skomal as he ventures under the Arctic ice in search of the Greenland shark. Sharing this icy, blue twilight with an apex predator is a thrill--so long as you don’t end up being mistaken for a ringed seal, the shark’s favorite meal. In this episode, we’ll learn how Skomal’s research is revealing how these evolutionary survivors endure despite astonishing obstacles. 

52 Hz

From Everything Sounds | Part of the Everything Sounds series | 07:00

52 Hz is the name given to a mysterious whale that vocalizes at a different frequency than other whales. Some refer to him as "The World's Loneliest Whale," but other scientists aren't convinced that its unique call has left the whale isolated at all.

Playing
52 Hz
From
Everything Sounds

Pinball2_small A mysterious 52 Hz signal was heard in the North Pacific in the late 1980's. It had the characteristics of a whale call, but it was a higher frequency than what is typical for baleen whales. After years of detecting the signal on hydrophone recordings, scientists have still never seen the whale and are unsure whether it's a hybrid species or a blue or fin whale that has a problem with its sound production. The whale has often been referred to as "The World's Lonliest Whale," because people think that other whales couldn't understand it's unique call. Learn more about the 52 Hz whale, underwater communication, whale tracking, and why this whale may not be as lonely as previously assumed.

(A 15-min. version is available here.) 

Red Paper Lantern Jellyfish ~ Pandea rubra

From Atlantic Public Media | Part of the One Species at a Time ~ The Encyclopedia of Life series | 05:33

Fragility speaks of life from the ocean's dark depths.

Pandea_rubra1_logo_light_small

Haiku to the delicate Pandea rubra 
a shooting star, the 
ocean floor too far below
to drop anchor

Lions ~ Panthera leo

From Atlantic Public Media | Part of the One Species at a Time ~ The Encyclopedia of Life series | 05:31

Does the mane make the lion?

Lion_small

Does the mane really make the lion? Certainly, luxurious locks are the feature that sets Panthera leo apart from the other large cats. But surprisingly, not all male lions have manes. And back in the early Pleistocene, manes covered more of the lion than just the head.

Ari Daniel Shapiro speaks with archivist Connie Rinaldo of the Biodiversity Heritage Library and Harvard University and curator of mammals Bruce Patterson of Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History to learn about the diversity of lions in the distant past and the challenges they face in the present.

 

Monarch Butterflies ~ Danaus plexippus

From Atlantic Public Media | Part of the One Species at a Time ~ The Encyclopedia of Life series | 05:31

An incomparable and mind-boggling migration.

Monarch_large_small Every year monarch butterflies begin a journey north from their overwintering grounds in Mexican forests. The epic migration spans generations and the better part of a continent. In this first of two episodes, we’ll meet a pair of women united by their fascination with this iconic insect. Mexican geographer Isabel Ramírez and American biologist Karen Oberhauser are working to save monarch habitat on both ends of this remarkable insect’s 2,500 mile journey.

Bartolo's Honey

From Diane Bock | 05:05

While visiting Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, I had the good fortune to meet a Maya subsistence farmer named Bartolo. When Bartolo found out I was interested in indigenous methods of beekeeping, he invited me on a trek into the jungle to harvest honey. I brought along my recorder, and documented what turned out to be a very special day.

Yucatan_honey_small Produced for the PRX Global Story Project, Bartolo's Honey is a narrated, sound-rich piece that illustrates the ancient, and rapidly disappearing, Mayan art of beekeeping. The story incorporates lots of ambient sound, active tape, and music from the region.
With news from Mexico dominated by violence, stories like Bartolo's Honey shine a light on the country's multifaceted and all-too- often misunderstood culture. 

Sheep Mystery

From KRCC-FM | 04:59

Scientist investigate the decline of bighorn sheep in Colorado.

Playing
Sheep Mystery
From
KRCC-FM

Westernskiesprxlogo_small Across the West, wildlife biologists are being stumped by the mysterious deaths of bighorn sheep lambs. KUNC's Brian Larson visits Rocky Mountain National park where scientists are investigating the decline in Colorado's state mammal.

Turkey Vultures

From Marfa Public Radio | Part of the Nature Notes series | 04:30

They eat roadkill. They urinate on themselves. When frightened, they vomit. The turkey vultures have returned. Why does this harbinger of spring have so many unsavory habits?

Turkey-vulture-small_small

They eat roadkill. They urinate on themselves. When frightened, they vomit. Forget sweet calls or melodic songs; the only sounds these birds are likely to utter are grunts or a rasping hiss. With their bald, red heads and feathers fit for funeral attire, turkey vultures would probably place last in an avian beauty contest. Do you ever find yourself wishing we had a more charming harbinger of spring?

Follow That Cat

From University of Montana Journalism | 03:59

Producer Cody Blum's feature about Animeals, a no-kill cat shelter in Missoula, Montana, follows Marlo to his new home amid "biosolids" at Eko Compost.

Animeals_kitty_small This piece was produced as part of UM Journalism's Advanced Audio class.

Horned lizards of our nation's Air Force

From Jordan Nelson | 03:32

After Texas Horned Lizards were found living at Tinker Air Force base, government biologists and private researchers began to study the animal. Piece by Jordan Nelson of KOSU in Stillwater, Okla.

Default-piece-image-0 After Texas Horned Lizards were found to be living at Tinker Air Force base, government biologists and private researchers began to study the animal.  Ray Moody, John Krupovage and Vic Bogosian are three of the people who help protect the species of concern on the base.  They manage the lizards' habitat, track their movements and advise base officials on how to limit base activities' impact on the habitat. Piece by Jordan Nelson of KOSU in Stillwater, Okla.

Loving Charcoal

From Eric Winick | 03:00

A woman and her hamster.

6a00d83451b91169e2016765e758f5970b_small From the files of Yarn AudioWorks.

Original music by Jay Kustka.

Featured as a "recommended 2012 ShortDoc" by the Third Coast International Audio Festival, for which it was originally produced. 

Producer's note:  Unnamed at the time, the hamster has since become known as "Lily." 

Jay Kustka is a Boston guitarist and singer/songwriter with 30+ years experience. A recent semi-finalist of Lee Ritenour’s Six-String Theory contest, his playing styles range from roots rock/blues to funk, reggae and beyond.  Check out his music at the links below:

http://www.jaykustka.com
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheDayRiffer
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jaykustka/with-a-little-help-my-first-album 

Buying a Camel

From World Vision Report | Part of the Stories from the World Vision Report series | 02:24

Camels are critical in parts of Africa and the Middle East. If you want to buy one, they’re not cheap and haggling over the price is a long established standard in Nigeria. Sarah Simpson takes us to the camel market in Maiduguri.

Wvus_podcast_logo_300x300-upd-font_small
If you air this piece, please include a back announce saying "This piece originally aired on the World Vision Report." or "This piece came to us from the World Vision Report."

Building a Frog

From This Land Press | Part of the Poetry to the People series | 02:17

We visit a group of campers who read "Building a Frog," an evocative poem by John Wooley. With the sounds of the forest, cicadas, crickets and frogs in the background, the campers reminisce about going frog "gigging"--otherwise known as hunting for frogs with tiny spears. Tastes just like chicken!

Building-a-frog_small We visit a group of campers who read "Building a Frog," an evocative poem by John Wooley. With the sounds of the forest, cicadas, crickets and frogs in the background, the campers reminisce about going frog "gigging"--otherwise known as hunting for frogs with tiny spears. Tastes just like chicken! 

Building a Frog by John Wooley

Guide the scalpel
with milk-wrinkled hands
fine-honed point tracing
delicate veins.
Gently peel back
transparent membrane, expose
organs, vessels.
Rest briefly, balance the point
on the tiny nerve
that runs down the leg
to the splayed foot.
They feel a sudden twitch
and jump
little wavy lines dissecting
all the ponds
in the universe.

Horse Companions

From Andrew Bales | Part of the Into It series | 01:47

When horses need social time they turn to everything from farm animals to spider monkeys.

Cat-horse_small When horses need social time they turn to everything from farm animals to spider monkeys.

Tiger Tally

From Catalina Island Conservancy | Part of the June 2010 - Isla Earth Radio Series series | 01:30

What's the best way to capture a tiger? Carefully! That's sure true for scientist Ullas Karanth of the Wildlife Conservation Society. He's carefully capturing tiger images.

Isla_earth_inlay What's the best way to capture a tiger? Carefully! That's sure true for scientist Ullas Karanth of the Wildlife Conservation Society. He's carefully capturing tiger images. Tiger populations are shrinking fast. In fact, three of the world's eight tiger subspecies have vanished in just 60 years. The reason? Poaching and habitat loss from human encroachment...

The Bear Story

From Sarah Cannon | 11:17

This is not a fish story. This is a bear story. One bear hunt changes two men forever.

Imgres_small This is not a fish story. This is a bear story. One bear hunt changes two men forever.

10,000 Tries

From Salt Institute for Documentary Studies | 06:16

Rebecca Lee has lived with a brain injury since shortly after birth. Throughout her life many people have helped her with the resulting physical and cognitive challenges. But what helps her most isn't a person at all - it's her horse, Mabel.

Carlisle_horse_small Rebecca Lee has lived with a brain injury since shortly after birth.  In the womb her umbilical cord was wrapped three times around her neck.  As she recovered on a heart-lung machine she had multiple strokes and bleeding occurred in her brain. Throughout her life many people have helped her with the resulting physical and cognitive challenges - she sees many specialists and doctors.  But what helps her most isn't a person at all - it's her horse, Mabel.