This Week: The cockroach
In the News: Methane on the menu in the Gulf of Mexico?
Geologic dating shows that water has been trapped more than 2 kilometers underground since before the Cambrian explosion. This water contains chemicals that support bacteria in other places. Could the deep biosphere contain relics of the most primitive life? Could such life exist on Mars?
And how did it traverse 460 kilometers of ocean? Apparently by crossing a narrow band of ice during the last Ice Age. A new study echoes evolutionary giants Darwin and Wallace and highlights the role of sea level in animal migration.
How will rising temperatures affect endangered species? Are there ways to abate the consequences, and are they being tested? Can we even be certain that climate change is the cause of specific declines?
Dig the dung beetle. Sample the belly button. Tilt your brain — and see what happens. Watch bees cook their enemies. Drive through the cabbie’s brain. Check out pretty pix of pretty chicks. All weird. All here!
Researchers are finding more links to obesity, cancer, and sleep disturbances. Light blocks the release of melatonin, a hormone involved in the body clock. Wildlife scientists are finding effects on competition, predation and reproduction. Could light pollution from streets, cars and buildings drive animal evolution?
A chemical from plastics “looks” like estrogen to the body. If it makes female fish more likely to flirt with males of a different species, could endocrine disruptors cause cross-breeding, and a decline in native fish after invaders enter their rivers?
As colony collapse disorder continues to attack honeybee hives, a new study shows that a common insecticide interferes with their return flights. Although the disorder probably has many causes, agricultural chemicals have long been key suspects, and this study adds to the suspicion!
Ecologists are desperate to forestall a devastating invasion of the Lakes. Can electric fences block carp from Lake Michigan, or should canal be closed?
Compared to regular airplanes, radio-controlled craft are safer, cheaper, and easier to use for observing wildlife and environmental conditions. Where are these robots being used? What are they finding? And as prices continue to fall, what stands in the way of much broader use?
The ocean’s most valuable fish are caught in a vise. Areas known as dead zones are encroaching on their living zones and pinning them closer to the surface, where they are more vulnerable to becoming the day’s catch. The predicament is yet another side effect of climate change.
Amphibians are disappearing faster than any other animals. A new study looks at the effects of changes in climate, land use and disease. The picture isn’t pretty, but looking at three threats at once shows the true danger facing frogs, toads, salamanders and their relatives.
Humans and cats have enjoyed each other’s company for millennia, but scientists have discovered some troubling secrets of free-roaming felines that have wildlife and health experts worried. A new study reveals what free-roaming cats do all day, and The Why Files investigates some implications of their outdoor habits.
White nose syndrome has killed a million bats in the eastern U.S., and spread to Nova Scotia, South Carolina and Tennessee. Why is the fungus deadly here, but not in Europe? Can quarantines, anti-fungals or heated bat houses help our bats survive the onslaught?
The gray wolf has made a dramatic recovery in the northern Rockies and upper Midwest. Is the wolf still endangered, or has it recovered? Should we start hunting and killing the dog wild relatives?
Pythons, anacondas and boas are breeding in South Florida. What are these snakes eating, besides alligators? Can they be trapped, hunted, poisoned?