Monday, December 08, 2008

Nature-Related Articles

I came across some really good nature-related articles on Science Daily that I thought I would share:

When Good Maples Go Red: Why Leaves Change Color In The Fall

ScienceDaily (2008-11-26) -- On a hushed autumn morning, when leaves have ripened to the fall, who hasn't stood under a flaming maple and wondered why it goes red? ... > read full article

Bee Swarms Follow High-speed 'Streaker' Bees To Find A New Nest


ScienceDaily (2008-11-24) -- How does a swarm of bees find its way to a new nest site when less then 5 percent of the community knows the way? Filming bee swarms as they relocated to new nest site and analyzing the insects' apparently chaotic course, scientists have found that "streaker" bees fly through the swarm at high speed to guide it. ... > read full article


How Cockroaches Keep Their Predators 'Guessing'

ScienceDaily (2008-11-19) -- When cockroaches flee their predators, they choose, seemingly at random, amongst one of a handful of preferred escape routes, according to a new report. ... > read full article


Python Snakes, An Invasive Species In Florida, Could Spread To One Third Of US

ScienceDaily (2008-02-24) -- Burmese pythons -- an invasive species in south Florida -- could find comfortable climatic conditions in roughly a third of the United States according to new "climate maps" developed by the U.S. Geological Survey. Although other factors such as type of food available and suitable shelter also play a role, Burmese pythons and other giant constrictor snakes have shown themselves to be highly adaptable to new environments. Non-native giant constrictor snakes, such as the Burmese python are now spreading from Everglades National Park in Florida. New "climate match" maps show where climate in the U.S. is similar to places in which Burmese pythons live naturally (from Pakistan to Indonesia). A look at the map shows why biologists are concerned. ... > read full article


Snakes Locate Prey Through Vibration Waves

ScienceDaily (2008-02-25) -- It is often believed that snakes cannot hear. This presumption is fed by the fact that snakes lack an outer ear and that scientific evidence of snakes responding to sound is scarce. Snakes do, however, possess an inner ear with a functional cochlea. Scientists now present evidence that snakes use this structure to detect minute vibrations of the sand surface that are caused by prey moving. Their ears are sensitive enough to not only "hear" the prey approaching, but also to allow the brain, i.e., the auditory system, to localize the direction it is coming from. ... > read full article


Bats Pick Up Rustling Sounds Against Highway Background Noise

ScienceDaily (2008-09-26) -- When bats go hunting by listening for faint rustling sounds made by their quarry on a quiet night they don't have any problems. But what happens when a bat goes foraging next to a noisy highway? Can they still hear the faint sounds? ... > read full article

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