The 20 Must-Read Books Of 2020 (Yes, We’re Calling It Now)There are few acts more soothing in their simplicity than wrapping a book if you're giving one as a gift: the sleek slide of scissors through glossy paper, the brisk fold-over, the symmetrical double tuck, the setting of tape. And when it comes to…63
Wading birds: shorebirds with unusual social structures,Waders like wet conditions. They look for insects and other creepy-crawlies in the damp earth. Some species, such as the Mexican snowy plover or the ruff have developed fascinating behavioural patterns. Clemens Küpper and his working group at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen is conducting long-terms studies of the social behaviour of these birds. Here, the issue of biodiversity is central, since like many groups of bird species, the numbers of wading birds are in dramatic decline.
Changes in cropping methods, climate decoy pintail ducks into an ecological trapAfter a severe drought gripped the Prairie Pothole Region of the U.S. and Canada in the 1980s, populations of almost all dabbling duck species that breed there have recovered. But not northern pintails. Now, a new study by a team of researchers suggests why—they have been caught in an ecological trap.
A new report says 50 billion years of evolution is being threatened by stupid humansBillions of years of evolutionary history are at risk of destruction due to the expansion of human activity, according to researchers with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). This history has been the driving force behind some of Earth's most…
Newly Discovered DNA Evidence Suggests Children Could Be Closely Related To HumansBERKELEY, CA—In what may pose a major paradigm shift in the rudimentary understanding of the small creatures, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley discovered evidence Wednesday that suggests children may, in fact, be closely related to humans. “After painstakingly extracting, sequencing, and analyzing dozens of ancient little-boy fossils, our team has come to the conclusion that there is a strong likelihood that contemporary homo sapiens are a direct, if distant, descendant of children,” said Dr. Evan Rollins of the findings, which seem to indicate that little kids and human beings may have a genetic difference of less than 1 percent. “Our two species have coexisted for millennia, and we can now say that babies—although much smaller and barely capable of using basic plastic tools—may, in fact, be our forebears. It’s all really quite astounding.” However, some researchers on the project are reevaluating the study after observing a child picking its nose and eating it.
A Loon Stabbing a Bald Eagle Through the Heart Is Probably a MetaphorNature is healing, and it’s just as murderous and bloodthirsty as ever. Today, let’s discuss a common loon who killed a bald eagle by stabbing it straight through the heart. If this is a metaphor, it seems a little heavy-handed.
Long childhoods and extended parenting help young crows grow smarterHumans are unusual, even among primates, in the length of our "extended childhood." Scientists think that this period of childhood and adolescence, which gives us lots of time to explore, create, and learn, is a key reason why we are smart enough to learn skills that take years to master. But humans are not the only species with an extended childhood. Elephants, some bats, whales, dolphins, and some birds—especially corvids—also have them. But does an extended childhood confer higher intelligence for other species, and if so, what is the role of parenting?
Loss of land-based vertebrates is accelerating, study findsIn 2015, Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich coauthored a study declaring the world's sixth mass extinction was underway. Five years later, Ehrlich and colleagues at other institutions have a grim update: the extinction rate is likely much higher than previously thought and is eroding nature's ability to provide vital services to people.
More Than 500 Vertebrate Species Are on the Brink of ‘Biological Annihilation’A new study finds further evidence that humans are driving the world’s sixth mass extinction. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Monday, this research focuses on terrestrial vertebrates—amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles—and found that more than 500 species are “on the brink of extinction,” per the paper.
Climate Change and Other Factors Threaten Ojibwe Tribe Wild Rice TraditionsFor the Ojibwe tribe living in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan, traditions involve wild rice, which is now in a sharp decline in the small lakes of reservations in part due to climate change, causing fear and uncertainty in many tribal members.
PFAS present throughout the Yadkin-Pee Dee river food chainResearchers from North Carolina State University have found per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in every step of the Yadkin-Pee Dee River food chain, even though the river does not have a known industrial input of these compounds. The study examined the entire aquatic ecosystem for PFAS compounds and identified strong links between ecosystem groups that lead to biomagnification, the process that leads to greater concentrations of these substances in animals that sit higher on the food chain—including humans.
Northern California’s coasts are turning into underwater desertsBut kelp forests along the Northern California coast are now nearly gone, according to a new study. Along the more than 217 miles between San Francisco and the Oregon border, kelp canopy is down by more than 90 percent. What’s left is mostly just purple sea urchins, in landscapes called sea urchin barrens.19
How Long You Should Really Boil Corn on the Cob for Perfectly Sweet EarsThe farmers’ markets are stocking their stalls with corn just in time to kick off the outdoor dining season. And even if your plans look a little different this year, outdoor BBQs still call for corn. Now is a great time to take advantage of all the fresh produce available at the outdoor markets and [...]3
92 Ways to Stress Less This WeekStress! As much as we try to fight it, it’s often unavoidable. Many of us are pulled in various directions throughout our days—balancing parenthood, pleasing our bosses, taking care of pets, and trying to squeeze in some basic self-care such as going for a walk or eating a nutritious meal. You may not be able [...]122
Invasive Vegetation Releases More Carbon, Worsening Global WarmingExotic plant and tree species that are fast-growing are usually planted in efforts ro sequestrate carbon and prevent climate change and global warming. Tree planting has been shown to ameliorate and mitigate the negative consequences of climate change.