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NCPR News Staff: Natural Selections

Stories filed by Natural Selections

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A forested floodplain: Lousiana bayou along the Pearl River. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/99012321@N00/3499802982/">Josh Kellogg</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
A forested floodplain: Lousiana bayou along the Pearl River. Photo: Josh Kellogg, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Natural Selections: Flood-plain forest restoration

Trying to put nature back the way we found it can be more complicated than just leaving things alone. Dr. Curt Stager talks with Martha Foley about attempts to restore "green tree reservoirs," flood-plain forests that have been reduced 80 percent in size by human encroachment.  Go to full article
A male Siamese Fighting Fish flaring at his reflection in a mirror. Photo: Maldeez via <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Betta_Fighting_Reflection.JPG">Wikimedia Commons</a>
A male Siamese Fighting Fish flaring at his reflection in a mirror. Photo: Maldeez via Wikimedia Commons

Natural Selections: Winners and Losers

Animals, like humans, keep an eye on their fellows, particularly when the action is hot. Siamese fighting fish who witness a conflict treat the winners and losers differently. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager talk about nosiness in nature.  Go to full article
Lionesses love the mane. . . Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/digitalart/3240381175/">Art G</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Lionesses love the mane. . . Photo: Art G, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Natural Selections: Lion Manes

Why would a heavy fur cape, like a lion's mane, be appropriate on a tropical savanna?

As with male fashion in humans, it appears the that the lionesses of the Serengeti like it--the thicker and darker, the better. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager talk hair.  Go to full article
Gecko walking on the wall of a glass enclosure. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithmarshall/3934863305/">Keith Marshall</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved. Inset: microstructure of Gecko toe, by <a href="">Douglasy</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved.
Gecko walking on the wall of a glass enclosure. Photo: Keith Marshall, Creative Commons, some rights reserved. Inset: microstructure of Gecko toe, by Douglasy, Creative Commons, some rights reserved.

Natural Selections: Gecko feet

Geckos have a remarkable ability to run up vertical surfaces, and even across ceilings. But their feet do not form suction cups, nor are they sticky with any kind of secreted glue. Dr. Curt Stager tells Martha Foley the secret of the lizard's gravity-defying feet, which has as much to with atomic physics as biology.  Go to full article
Diagram of a mitchondrion. Graphic: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mitochondrion_mini.svg">Kelvinsong</a>, released to the public domain
Diagram of a mitchondrion. Graphic: Kelvinsong, released to the public domain

Natural Selections: Mitochondria

Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley explore the role of mitocondria--components that burn food molecules and produce energy--in cells.  Go to full article
Kid's around a life-size model of a whale heart at the Carnegie Museum. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nosuchuser/4152475705">feral godmother</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Kid's around a life-size model of a whale heart at the Carnegie Museum. Photo: feral godmother, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Natural Selections: Animal hearts

From worms to whales, most creatures have hearts. In a worm it's a simple tube, in a whale it can pump 60 gallons of blood per minute.

Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss the variety of hearts in the animal kingdom.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrishunkeler/7760119788/">Chris Hunkeler</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Chris Hunkeler, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Natural Selections: Laughter

What is laughter? Is it exclusive to humans? Is it different for women and men? Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss "the best medicine."  Go to full article
A degassing jet now helps keep Lake Nyos in Cameroon from exploding again. Photo: <a href="http://mhalb.pagesperso-orange.fr/nyos/">Degassing Nyos</a>
A degassing jet now helps keep Lake Nyos in Cameroon from exploding again. Photo: Degassing Nyos

Natural Selections: Exploding lake

When local legend in Africa spoke of an exploding lake, western researchers scoffed. They were wrong--Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager talk about the exploding lake, Lake Nyos.  Go to full article
Common Chaffinch, singing in Munster, France. Photo <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/33866697@N05/4211692413/">Amy Evenstad</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Common Chaffinch, singing in Munster, France. Photo Amy Evenstad, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Natural Selections: Bird vocabulary

Birds we think of as quiet will sometimes raise a ruckus. And Curt Stager noted that European birds seem to have a wider and more improvisational range of songs than their American cousins.

Martha Foley and Curt Stager discuss the vocabulary of birds.  Go to full article
Beaver meadows are slow to reforest because they lack a soil fungus needed by black spruce. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/38983646@N06/3975369109">Putneypics</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Beaver meadows are slow to reforest because they lack a soil fungus needed by black spruce. Photo: Putneypics, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Natural Selections: Fungus and forest

Tall trees may be the kings of the forest, but there is another kingdom of forest life that passes unnoticed. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley talk about the arboreal network of fungus.  Go to full article

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