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Your search has returned 139 articles:
  • News

    Light pollution can foil plant-insect hookups, and not just at night

    For flowers, too much light at night could lead to a pollination hangover by day.

    Far from any urban street, researchers erected street lights in remote Swiss meadows to mimic the effects of artificial light pollution. In fields lit during the night, flowers had 62 percent fewer nocturnal visitors than flowers in dark meadows, researchers report August 2 in Nature.

    For one of the...

    08/02/2017 - 16:45 Conservation, Plants, Animals
  • News

    Peace and quiet is becoming more elusive in U.S. wild areas

    Even in the wilderness, humans are making a ruckus.

    In 63 percent of America’s protected places — including parks, monuments and designated wilderness areas — sounds made by human activity are doubling the volume of background noise. And in 21 percent of protected places, this racket can make things 10 times noisier.  

    Enough clatter from cars, planes and suburban sprawl is seeping...

    05/04/2017 - 14:00 Pollution, Conservation
  • Wild Things

    Improbable ‘black swan’ events can devastate animal populations

    Sometimes, the improbable happens. The stock market crashes. A big earthquake shakes a city. A nuclear power plant has a meltdown. These seemingly unpredictable, rare incidents — dubbed black swan events — may be unlikely to happen on any specific day, but they do occur. And even though they may be rare, we take precautions. A smart investor balances their portfolio. A California homeowner...

    04/17/2017 - 09:00 Animals, Conservation
  • Wild Things

    De-extinction probably isn’t worth it

    The prospect of resurrecting mammoths is back in the news after Harvard geneticist George Church announced last month that he may be only two years away from creating a mammoth-elephant hybrid fetus. That’s still a long way from a living mammoth — let alone herds of the animals — and scientists are skeptical that Church will be successful with even a hybrid fetus. The scientific hurdles that...

    03/09/2017 - 07:00 Animals, Conservation
  • Science Ticker

    Desert songbirds increasingly at risk of dehydration

    Desert songbirds, especially the little fit-in-your-hand ones, could soon face widening danger zones for lethal thirst in the southwestern United States, a new study predicts.

    Coping with heat waves can demand so much water evaporation to prevent heat stroke — from panting, for instance — that birds can die from dehydration, says Blair Wolf of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque...

    02/13/2017 - 17:11 Climate, Animals, Conservation
  • News

    Hot nests, not vanishing males, are bigger sea turtle threat

    Worries about climate change threatening sea turtles may have been misdirected.

    Warming that could lead to far more female hatchlings than males isn’t the most immediate danger from climate shifts. Lethally overheated beach nests are more important, researchers argue February 8 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

    Climate change can meddle with sex ratios of the seven species of...

    02/07/2017 - 19:05 Climate, Animals, Conservation
  • Wild Things

    A diet of corn turns wild hamsters into cannibals

    The first sign that something was wrong was that the female hamsters were really active in their cages. These were European hamsters, a species that is endangered in France and thought to be on the decline in the rest of their Eurasian range. But in a lab at the University of Strasbourg in France, the hamsters were oddly aggressive, and they didn’t give birth in their nests.

    Mathilde...

    02/07/2017 - 09:00 Animals, Conservation
  • Wild Things

    A message to rock climbers: Be kind to nature

    For the millions of people who have taken up the sport of rock climbing, a cliff face is a challenge, a vertical puzzle solved only with the proper placement of hands and feet. Look closely, though, and those crevices and cracks that provide hand- and footholds also provide homes for a variety of plants, invertebrates and other easily overlooked species.

    People who participate in outdoor...

    01/18/2017 - 07:00 Conservation, Plants
  • News

    Unusually loose skin helps hagfish survive shark attacks

    View the video

    NEW ORLEANS, La. – Skin that mostly hangs loose around hagfishes proves handy for living through a shark attack or wriggling through a crevice.

    The skin on hagfishes’ long, sausage-style bodies is attached in a line down the center of their backs and in flexible connections where glands release slime, explained Douglas Fudge of Chapman University in Orange, Calif....

    01/06/2017 - 18:26 Animals, Conservation
  • News

    Losing tropical forest might raise risks of human skin ulcers, deformed bones

    Clearing tropical forests may raise the risk of people being exposed to a gruesome disease called Buruli ulcer, a new study suggests.

    Mycobacterium ulcerans, the bacteria that cause Buruli skin lesions and bone deformities, can thrive in a wide range of wild creatures, especially tiny insects grazing on freshwater algae, says Aaron Morris, now at Imperial College London. Surveying more...

    12/07/2016 - 14:00 Ecology, Biomedicine, Conservation