This Week: Ancient water = ancient habitat?
In the News: When dead men speak…
Coming Thursday: Roaches: A lot smarter than you thought!
Classroom Activity Page: One species of amoeba can transport and plant bacteria when it runs short of its normal food, bacteria in the soil. A recent study is the first proof that anything smaller than an ant can “farm,” and shows how evolution can produce alternative strategies to meet the challenges of survival.
Lake Vostok could house ancient bacteria, but we already know that bacteria can live in boiling water or light up a glowing squid. Countless weird-and-weirdest critters live between grains of sand… Curious about biology’s strange shelf?
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.
Turkeys got help for 75 years from conservation agencies. Coyotes spread across half the country all on their own. Why have these animals succeeded? How have they changed the environment?
The number of Canada geese in Wisconsin is very much on the rise, increasing exponentially since standardized bird counts began in 1966, according to Stan Temple, professor of wildlife ecology at UW-Madison. “If you go to any park or golf course in Madison, you have to watch where you step for all the goose poop,” [...]
Specialization may work in factories, but it does not make ant colonies more efficient. As the conventional wisdom about social insects goes topsy-turvy, what’s an ecologist to think?
Along the coast of Baja, California, a new study finds that parasites outweigh top predators. What does this mean for ecology, and what is the story with “castrating parasites”?
Small rodents spread lots of seeds in nature, but they were absent from New Zealand. Do giant grasshoppers replace mice and rats in transporting seeds?
The ivory-billed woodpecker is back — after 60 years. What does that say about extinctions, and about other rare forms of life? Seen any Tasmanian tigers lately? Does habitat preservation work?
Salvage logging of forests after natural disturbances is a bad idea, ecologists warn. Evidence from a forest whacked by a 1938 hurricane show how salvage logging changes the landscape.
How does dam removal restore rivers to health, and how long does it take?
If we put up a giant umbrella to shield the Earth from global warming, what will happen to plant productivity?
Brown future: New study finds large increase in number of threatened plants, calculates that 22 to 62 percent of plant species are threatened.