(140) results in Blog

December 30, 2015

Selected Science of 2015

With 2015 coming to a close, here’s a selection (and by no means a complete list) of some of the significant science stories of the year:   Homo naledi expands the Homo genus As Prof. Nathan H. Lents wrote...

December 18, 2015

Video of the Week: How hummingbirds stay cool

Ever watched a hummingbird feast on a flower or a feeder? Their wings beat so fast — up to 50 times per second — you can barely see them. Just like when a person works out,...

November 25, 2015

Turkey science: What’s on your plate?

The 45 million turkeys that end up on the Thanksgiving table are nothing like their wild ancestors. In fact, they are very different from the typical Thanksgiving turkeys of even half a century ago, according to...

November 4, 2015

Shake and quiver: Vibrational communication in animals

Living underground, moles experience a world very different from our own. The dark, subterranean environment lacks the usual cues for direction, distance, or time, forcing moles to use other methods to perceive their habitat. Using senses...

October 30, 2015

The scare factor and human survival: The science behind physical signs of terror

A bloodcurdling scream. Eyes wide. Mouth agape. Hands raised. Muscles tensed. Breathing accelerated. These classic signs of terror are not just box-office boosters for Hollywood horror flicks. Rather, they are part of the universal human survival toolkit....

October 19, 2015

Water, Water, Everywhere

We’ve long known that water was present in the atmosphere of Venus and that frozen water is trapped in the polar ice caps visible on Mars. However, it seems that there have been a slew of...

October 8, 2015

Discovery of Homo naledi demonstrates need to revise the Homo genus

Cross-posted with the permission of Dr. Nathan Lents, originally posted at The Human Evolution Blog. 2015 has been a very exciting year for Paleoanthropology. No doubt the pinnacle was the discovery of a brand-new hominin species: Homo naledi, a bombastic...

September 28, 2015

Water on Mars: Astrobiology Implications Must be Taken with a Grain of Salt

What do Mars, Antarctica, and the Jordan Rift Valley between Jordan, Israel, and Palestine have in common? A lot according to a new study to be published today in the journal Nature Geoscience. The answer is saltwater. Since...

September 25, 2015

The science behind sage grouse conservation

The greater sage grouse. (Credit: Bureau of Land Management via Flickr) On Sept. 22, the US Fish and Wildlife Service declared that the greater sage grouse — a chicken-sized bird that inhabits the open ranges of...

August 24, 2015

A self-cleaning leaf: the superhydrophobic Lotus

It might sound like an ad for a new product – the leaf that cleans itself!, waterproof!, 100% organic! – but the lotus plant (genus Nelumbo) really does have self-cleaning leaves.  Or, more accurately, the lotus has...