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Your search has returned 436 articles:
  • News

    In the animal kingdom, what does it mean to be promiscuous?

    MILWAUKEE — When it comes to the sex lives of animals, scientists have a slate of explicit terms to describe the proclivities of species. But researchers may be playing a little fast and loose with one of those words. Just what sort of activity qualifies an animal as promiscuous?

    A review of almost 350 studies published in scientific journals in 2015 and 2016 found that the label was...

    08/13/2018 - 07:00 Animals, Ecology
  • News in Brief

    With one island’s losses, the king penguin species shrinks by a third

    What was once the king of the king penguin colonies has lost 85 percent or more of its big showy birds since the 1980s, a drop perhaps big enough to shrink the whole species population by a third.

    In its glory days, an island called Île aux Cochons in the southern Indian Ocean ranked as the largest colony of king penguins. Satellite data suggest numbers peaked at around 500,000 breeding...

    08/01/2018 - 16:35 Animals, Conservation, Ecology
  • Reviews & Previews

    Got an environmental problem? Beavers could be the solution

    EagerBen GoldfarbChelsea Green Publishing, $24.95

    Most people probably don’t think of beavers until one has chewed through the trunk of a favorite tree or dammed up a nearby creek and flooded a yard or nearby road. Beavers are pests, in this view, on par with other members of the order Rodentia. But a growing number of scientists and citizens are recognizing the merits of these...

    07/27/2018 - 10:49 Animals, Ecology, Conservation
  • News in Brief

    The giant iceberg that broke from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf is stuck

    Curl the fingers of your left hand over your palm and stick out your thumb like a hitchhiker. Now, you have a rough map of Antarctica — with the inside of your thumb playing the part of the Larsen C ice shelf, says glaciologist Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo.

    About a year ago, a massive iceberg roughly the size of Delaware broke off from that ice...

    07/23/2018 - 07:00 Earth, Oceans, Ecology
  • News in Brief

    Bloodflowers’ risk to monarchs could multiply as climate changes

    Climate change could make a showy invasive milkweed called a bloodflower even more of a menace for monarch butterflies than it already is.

    Monarch caterpillars, which feed on plants in the milkweed family, readily feast on Asclepias curassavica. Gardeners in the southern United States plant it for its showy orange blooms, yet the species “is turning out to be a bit of a nightmare,” says...

    07/10/2018 - 18:58 Climate, Ecology, Animals
  • Reviews & Previews

    Why humans, and Big Macs, depend on bees

    Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of BeesThor HansonBasic Books, $27

    When you hear the word bee, the image that pops to mind is probably a honeybee. Maybe a bumblebee. But for conservation biologist Thor Hanson, author of the new book Buzz, the world is abuzz with thousands of kinds of bees, each as beautiful and intriguing as the flowers on which they land.

    Speaking from his “...

    07/08/2018 - 08:00 Animals, Agriculture, Ecology
  • The –est

    Each year painted lady butterflies cross the Sahara — and then go back again

    Move over, monarchs. The painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) now boasts the farthest known butterfly migration.

    Though found across the world, the orange-and-brown beauties that live in Southern Europe migrate into Africa each fall, crossing the Sahara on their journey (SN Online: 10/12/16). But what happened after was a mystery because the butterflies disappeared. Researchers...

    06/20/2018 - 07:00 Animals, Ecology, Ecosystems
  • Wild Things

    Madagascar’s predators are probably vulnerable to toxic toads

    At some point eight to 10 years ago, some toads stowed away on a ship in Asia, possibly Ho Chi Minh City, and hitched a ride to Madagascar. Those invaders, Asian common toads, have been slowly spreading across the large island ever since.

    The toad’s skin contains a toxin that kills nearly anything that tries to eat the amphibian. Scientists have been warning of the toad’s danger to...

    06/19/2018 - 09:00 Ecology, Animals, Conservation
  • Introducing

    These newfound frogs have been trapped in amber for 99 million years

    About 99 million years ago, tiny frogs hopped through a wet, tropical forest — and an unlucky few ran afoul of some tree sap. Four newly described frog fossils, preserved in amber, offer the earliest direct evidence of ancient frogs living in a humid tropical clime — just as many modern amphibians do.

    None of the frog fossils is complete, making it difficult to place the frogs within...

    06/14/2018 - 09:00 Paleontology, Ecology, Animals
  • News

    In a conservation catch-22, efforts to save quolls might endanger them

    Conservationists are stuck in a catch-22: In trying to save some species, the would-be protectors may be giving the animals an evolutionary disadvantage. A new study describes how efforts to protect the endangered northern quoll, a spotted, kitten-sized marsupial native to Australia, by placing a population on a threat-free island may have actually undermined a key survival instinct.

    ...

    06/07/2018 - 12:33 Animals, Conservation, Ecology, Evolution