Rudolf von May has seen some pretty wild things in Peru’s Amazon rainforest. But this took things to a whole new level. There, caught on a team member’s cell phone video, was a giant tarantula, about the size of a dinner plate, weeble-wobbling through the leaf litter with the body of what was later identified as a mouse opossum hanging from its fangs.
“It was very surprising, to some...
The death of a millionaire with no heir draws an opportunistic crowd. So, too, does the demise of a land-dwelling hermit crab. Researchers working in Costa Rica found that the curious crabs are drawn to the smell of flesh torn from one of their own.
Dartmouth College biologist Mark Laidre, along with undergraduate student Leah Valdes, set out 20 plastic tubes on a beach, each holding...
News in Brief
Seabirds are like feathered buoys. Gently rafting on the ocean’s surface, these birds go with the flow, making them excellent proxies for tracking changes in a current’s speed and direction.
Oceanographers traditionally use radar, floating buoys or autonomous underwater vehicles to measure ocean current velocities, which can affect the climate, ecosystems and the movement of important...
News in Brief
First it’s mammal bad breath. Then it’s babies pestering for piggyback rides. A near-death experience is tough on pea aphids.
When warm, moist breath signals that some cow or other giant is about to chomp into foliage, tiny green aphids feeding on that foliage drop toward the ground by the hundreds (SN Online: 8/10/10). “It literally rains aphids,” says ecologist Moshe Gish, who in 2010...
In a broad swath of northwestern Alaska, small groups of recent immigrants are hard at work. Like many residents of this remote area, they’re living off the land. But these industrious foreigners are neither prospecting for gold nor trapping animals for their pelts. In fact, their own luxurious fur was once a hot commodity. Say hello to Castor canadensis, the American beaver.
Screwworm fly upsurge
Screwworms, the first pest to be eliminated on a large scale by the use of the sterile male technique, have shown an alarming increase, according to U.S. and Mexican officials…. The screwworm fly lays its eggs in open wounds on cattle. The maggots live on the flesh of their host, causing damage and death, and economic losses of many millions of dollars. —...