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Natural History

Orb weaver spiders can draw on a wide selection of silks that span a huge range of stretchiness and strength

Nice threads: Orb weaver spiders can draw on a wide selection of silks that span a huge range of stretchiness and strength Adam Summers All species of spider–about 40,000 at last count–extrude silk from modified limbs, called spinnerets, on their abdomens. Many species, including the orb weavers, produce a whopping seven different kinds of silk. […]

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Natural History

Chemical Talk – methods of communication among insects

Chemical Talk – methods of communication among insects – Brief Article Kirsten L. Weir New findings expand our understanding of communication in the animal kingdom. BEE BOUQUET When a bumblebee finds a nectar-rich flower, it tags the blossom with a scent mark, identifying the flower as being worth a return visit. Since bumblebees are social […]

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Natural History

Museum events in April

Museum events in April JOHN BURROUGHS ASSOCIATION Annual award ceremony and luncheon 4/1: Burroughs Medal award for nature writing (Wilderness and Razor Wire, by Ken Lamberton); Burroughs List of Nature Books for Young Readers awards, and Natural History Essay award. For reservations, call (212) 769-5169. Hall of Asian Peoples, 12:00 P.M. “BASEBALL AS AMERICA” Exhibition […]

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Natural History

Tuning In – natural selection

Tuning In – natural selection Carl Zimmer At the genetic level, the signs of natural selection are surprisingly subtle. More knowledge doesn’t necessarily translate into less confusion. In 1953, when James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the double-helix structure of DNA, biologists were poised for all the pieces of evolutionary theory to fall quickly into […]

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Natural History

human nature is the least predictable element in a battle for the last pristine ecosystem on Saint Croix

Island dreams: human nature is the least predictable element in a battle for the last pristine ecosystem on Saint Croix Thomas McNamee Conservation is supposed to be about conservation, right? Say you want to save the last untrammeled ecosystem on the island of Saint Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. You’ve got an upland wilderness. […]

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Natural History

Stupid design

Stupid design Bill Schubert I am an engineer, not a biologist, but I agree with the point made by Neil deGrasse Tyson in his article “The Perimeter of Ignorance” [11/05]: we are not engineered intelligently. A good engineer would have placed a single ear on top of our heads so we could hear equally in […]

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Natural History

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Categories
Natural History
Categories
Natural History

Land Of The Walking Marriage

Land Of The Walking Marriage Lu Yuan For the Mosuo of China, it’s a woman’s world. There are so many skillful people, but none can compare with my mother. There are so many knowledgeable people, but none can equal my mother. There are so many people skilled at song and dance, but none can compete […]

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Natural History

Sunbathing seals of Antarctica: the puzzle is’ how do they keep cool?

Sunbathing seals of Antarctica: the puzzle is’ how do they keep cool? – Weddell seals Terrie M. Williams Within an hour of the passing of a late October blizzard, there is little evidence of the storm on a vacant Antarctic beach. The bright Sun shines in a cloudless sky, and a light breeze riffles the […]