AIRPLANES AND MONKEYS RIVALS AS NOISE-MAKERS
The howling monkeys of the Canal Zone cherish deep resentment against airplanes. It is the first time they have ever encountered a serious rival in the production of noise, Dr. Frank Chapman, of the American Museum of Natural History, told the American Ornithological Union in reporting the activities of the station for the study of wildlife at Barro Colorado Island in Gatun Lake.
"If a coat of arms is ever devised for Barro Colorado," said Dr. Chapman, "it should show several howling monkeys shouting furiously at an airplane."
COWBIRDS "BORROW" NESTS
An attempt to trace the evolution of the bad habits of the cowbird, the social parasite of the bird world, has been made by Herbert Friedmann of Amherst College. The cowbirds eggs have been found by Mr. Friedmann in the nests of as many as 195 species of birds.
A whole series of South American relatives of the common cowbird show different stages of the practice of getting other birds to bring up their offspring, Mr. Friedmann reported recently to the American Ornithologists Union. One species of Argentinean cowbird has the parasitic habit only developed so far as it affects the use of nests. They have delayed their breeding season so late that they can occupy the nests built by other birds earlier in the season. Though, unlike the cowbird of the north, they incubate their own eggs and rear their young themselves, they will not make a nest of their own if they can possibly help it.
AIR CHANGES CAUSE STATIC?
Changes in atmospheric pressure may be one cause of static, greatest bane of the radio listener. This suggestion was made to the American Physical Society by Dr. Richard Hamer, assistant professor of physics at the University of Pittsburgh. Not only static, but the related phenomena of earth currents, and the variations in the earths magnetism, which make the compass needle change its direction, may possibly be explained similarly, he stated.
copyright 1997 Science Service