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Alisa Opar
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Articles editor at Audubon magazine.
Articles editor at Audubon magazine.

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For more than a century, nearly everyone believed birds had a poorly developed or even nonexistent sense of smell. They were wrong.

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Want to learn how to draw birds? Audubon magazine is giving away 10 copies of a great new guide. http://www.audubonmagazine.org/articles/living/win-copy-laws-guide-drawing-birds
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2013-08-21
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A new twist on an old sport: Science-based shark tournaments are helping to unlock the mysteries of the apex predators, like this great hammerhead. http://www.audubonmagazine.org/articles/conservation/safer-waters-sharks  [Photo: Neil Hammerschlag]
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Just in time for the holiday weekend—top picks for the safest sunscreens, plus eight products/ingredients to avoid.

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Once upon a time, before humans diverged from chimpanzees or the Grand Canyon had been carved out of its rock, an extraordinary bird walked and flew the earth in the area we now call Nebraska. The bird stood some four feet tall and had a wingspan of more than six feet. Its Miocene neighbors included the saber-toothed deer—which sounds like a Monty Python joke but really existed—and prehistoric versions of the rhinoceros and the camel. The camels and the weird deer are gone, but astonishingly, the bird—or its structurally identical relative—is still around. We know it as the sandhill crane....   Jonathan Rosen's lovely feature story from Audubon's Jan-Feb issue.

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I edited a story about wolf watching in Yellowstone for Audubon's Jan-Feb issue, written by Jeff Hull. Just after we went to press, it was reported that collared wolves being studied inside the park had been shot by hunters outside its borders. Two of those wolves star in the story: an alpha female who was charmed by two lazy brothers, mated with them both, and  eventually emerged as the best hunter of the trio. Typically it takes four wolves to bring down an elk; she learned to do it by herself. The female and one of her mates were killed.

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Personal salvation through taxidermy—this was the bizarre philosophy that carried a God-fearing, gun-toting midwestern farm boy named William Temple Hornaday into the most colorful career in American conservation history.

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President Obama answers 10 questions about climate change, energy development, and conservation.
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