9/11 dust study, gypsy-moth caterpillar killer, and hummingbird courtship

Studying the 9/11 WTC dust: Coinciding with the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently published a blog highlighting the agency’s study of the environmental and potential health risks of the massive dust cloud that swept across New York City as a result of the collapse of the World Trade Center. The dust was particularly dense, coating outdoor surfaces in a...

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From the Community: Parasitic wasps, flamingo pigment and spiny anteaters

Altered behavior in caterpillars carrying wasp eggs, preliminary thoughts on the 2010 election results, monitoring climate change from Mount Everest to Baffin Bay, insight into drug-resistant bacteria mutations and origins of the Black Death. Here is the latest in ecological science for the first week in November. Wasp hosts: The above video, featured on the blog Southern Fried Science for the Biodiversity Wednesday segment, and...

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From the Community: fish-mimicking octopuses, aquanauts and the evolution of ecology

An octopus that mimics toxic sea creatures, a plant’s chemical SOS when attacked by caterpillars, the genetic differences between ant social castes, unusually high records of jellyfish swarms this summer and Simon Levin discusses the evolution of ecology and where it is headed next. Here are stories in ecology wrapping up the month of August. Fish-mimicking octopus: According to Jess McNally of Wired Science, “the Indonesian...

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Incorporating science into home gardening

Blanketing a home garden in pesticides poses a clear risk to the humans and animals who dine on it. But when the garden is compared to a human immune system, another problem becomes apparent: Just like antibiotics, pesticides wipe out the “good bugs” with the bad. These helpful predators and parasitoids are called natural enemies and they help to naturally control pests like aphids and caterpillars. Certain plants attract natural...

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From the Community: Giant monitor lizard, seafloor scavengers and fruit fly aerodynamics

Climate change prompts migratory birds to stay home, Simpsons’ writer talks conservation and the U.K. announces newest and largest MPA. Here’s what is happening in ecology from the second week in April. Fruit flies in flight: Scientists analyze the locomotion of fruit flies and determine the key to their quick turnaround is simply a 9 degree wing-tilt difference (see above). Read more at “High-Speed Video Shows How Flies Change...

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From the Community: moth’s green islands, poison arrow frog controversy and life in unlikely places

Poison dart frog, Dendrobates auratus Credit: Dirk van der Made Moths create green islands in leaves, bats navigate long distances using a geomagnetic field and volcanic lake shows unexpected biodiversity. Here is what’s happening in ecology for the first week in April. Green islands: As leaves cease photosynthesis production in preparation for winter, leaf-miners use bacteria to protect islands of green for the growth of larvae. Read...

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