Environment

  • Photo of Songbirds’ reproductive success reduced by natural gas compressor noise

    Songbirds’ reproductive success reduced by natural gas compressor noise

    Some songbirds are not dissuaded by constant, loud noise emitted by natural gas pipeline compressors and will establish nests nearby. The number of eggs they lay is unaffected by the din, but their reproductive success ultimately is diminished. That’s the conclusion of a team of Penn State researchers who conducted an innovative, elaborate study that included unceasing playback of recorded…

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  • Photo of Want to know how fish see the world? Build them a TV…

    Want to know how fish see the world? Build them a TV…

    Researchers have built a television display to find out how clownfish see the world. Scientists have known for a long time that many animals see colours differently from humans. In animal vision studies, televisions and computer monitors are often used to display images and colours. But the problem is, screens for human use generally use three colours – red, green and…

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  • Photo of Unusual breeding behavior reported in treefrogs for the first time

    Unusual breeding behavior reported in treefrogs for the first time

    Paranapiacaba Treefrogs (Bokermannohyla astartea) mate and lay spawn in small pools of water inside the tanks of bromeliad plants, Leo Ramos Malagoli from the Universidade Estadual Paulista in Brazil and colleagues report in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. The 3cm-long tadpoles must then make their way to a stream to complete development. The study, publishing February 17, is the first…

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  • Photo of Tropical paper wasps babysit for neighbors

    Tropical paper wasps babysit for neighbors

    Wasps provide crucial support to their extended families by babysitting at neighboring nests, according to new research by a team of biologists from the universities of Bristol, Exeter and UCL published today in Nature Ecology and Evolution. The findings suggest that animals should often seek to help more distant relatives if their closest kin are less in need. Dr. Patrick…

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  • Photo of Birds use massive magnetic maps to migrate—some could cover the whole world

    Birds use massive magnetic maps to migrate—some could cover the whole world

    Every year, billions of songbirds migrate thousands of miles between Europe and Africa—and then repeat that same journey again, year after year, to nest in exactly the same place that they chose on their first great journey. The remarkable navigational precision displayed by these tiny birds—as they travel alone over stormy seas, across vast deserts, and through extremes in weather…

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  • Sounds influence the developing brain earlier than previously thought

    Scientists have yet to answer the age-old question of whether or how sound shapes the minds of fetuses in the womb, and expectant mothers often wonder about the benefits of such activities as playing music during pregnancy. Now, in experiments in newborn mice, scientists at Johns Hopkins report that sounds appear to change “wiring” patterns in areas of the brain…

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  • Photo of Increasing forest diversity insufficient in the face of extreme drought events

    Increasing forest diversity insufficient in the face of extreme drought events

    Trees of different species tend to compete less with each other in the use of forest resources. That is why forest diversity may exert a beneficial effect on their productivity stability when facing climate changes. But does this solution always work? A research group led by the Complutense University of Madrid in which the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has…

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  • Photo of Bark beetles and forest fires determine not a better future for forests

    Bark beetles and forest fires determine not a better future for forests

    Bark beetle outbreaks and wildfire alone are not a death sentence for Colorado’s beloved forests — but when combined, their toll may become more permanent, shows new research from the University of Colorado Boulder. It finds that when wildfire follows a severe spruce beetle outbreak in the Rocky Mountains, Engelmann spruce trees are unable to recover and grow back, while…

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  • Photo of The beginning of the birth of lightning caught on video

    The beginning of the birth of lightning caught on video

    A new slow-motion video offers the best view yet of the split-second collision of electric currents that creates a flash of lightning. The video captures a thread of electric current, or lightning leader, zipping down from a thundercloud to meet another leader reaching up from the ground. When the two touch, it triggers a much stronger current to surge between…

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  • Photo of Ghostly Arctic Fox and a Snail on a mission win the Travel Photographer of the Year awards

    Ghostly Arctic Fox and a Snail on a mission win the Travel Photographer of the Year awards

    While a lot of us are stuck at home and locked away, some lucky bleeders have been able to get out there and photograph places, animals and life in general. Instead of getting all jealous, we thought we would be more constructive by bringing you a gallery of some of those amazing award-winners to lift all of our spirits. So…

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