Natural Selections

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About
Natural Selections

On Natural Selections each week, join a short conversation on the natural world. Topics range from evolutionary biology to geology and wildlife, from climate science to animal and human behavior.

Ellen Rocco
The program is hosted by NCPR news director Martha Foley joined by naturalist Dr. Curt Stager of Paul Smith's College.

Support for Natural Selections is provided by the Glenn and Carol Pearsall Adirondack Foundation, dedicated to improving the quality of life for year-round residents of the Adirondack Park, and by Paul Smith's, the College of the Adirondacks.

New Book: Deep Future

"The course we take in the coming decades will affect not just the next hundred years, but the next hundred thousand years of life on this planet." --Curt Stager

Deep Future
In bookstores now

Order at: Amazon | Borders
Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Powell's Books
And please remember your local independent booksellers. Find one near you.

 

Nature features

Curt Stager on On Point

Curt StagerListen to Dr. Curt Stager as the guest on On Point, 3/24/11, talking about his new book, Deep Future: the Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth.

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Natural History
Maybe it was messier than we thought, some scientists now say. Big brains, long legs and long childhoods may have evolved piecemeal in different spots, in response to frequent swings in climate.
 
Passenger pigeons used to be the most abundant bird in North America. But hunters drove them to extinction, and by 1914, only one was left. A century later, that pigeon, named Martha, is on exhibit.
 
This bird likes livers, kidneys, entrails — anything it can pluck that's freshly dead. But what if you served it ... a painting?
 
Museums are filled with dead insects, birds, fish, mammals and reptiles meticulously gathered worldwide in the name of scientific discovery. But some researchers now say scientists should think twice.
 
The Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., got its new <em>T. rex</em> just in time to close its fossil hall for five years of renovations — longer than some dinosaur fans have even been alive.
 
more science news from NPR

Natural Selections with hosts Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager airs Thursday mornings during The Eight O'Clock Hour.

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 Recent Natural Selections programs
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Natural Selctions: Bumblebee Fuzz

Are bumblebees actually furry? Martha asks Dr. Curt Stager to explain the nature and purpose of bumblebee fuzz.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Primates

A human male and a male chimpanzee have as much in common, genetically, as a man and a woman. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley look at our evolutionary cousins, primates.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Fat & Nutrition

Reducing dietary fat may not have predictable effects on health. A recent study suggests that cholesterol-reducing drugs are more effective at preventing heart disease than reducing fat in food. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss fat, cholesterol, and nutrition.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Carbon-14 Dating

Measuring the level of carbon-14, a natural radioactive isotope, in organic material has proven to be a reliable way of determining the age of archeological and paleontological remains. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss how it works.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Bird Migration

How do birds discover their migration routes? Are they taught, is it instinct, or a special sense? Dr Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss what's known and what's guessed.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Oil and Water

What you might think is an oil slick on pond or bog water may actually be a film of bacteria. And some oil that flattens ripples and makes rainbow shimmers comes from natural sources. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley: oil and water.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Oxygen

Dr. Curt Stager intoduces Martha Foley to the dark side of oxygen, that toxic waste product of plant metabolism responsible for aging and eventual death--our bodies as a chemical bonfire.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Mollusks

Scallops swim free and have many eyes, clams live buried in sand, and mussels cement themselves to rocks. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley talk about the eminently edible members of the mollusk family.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Lobsters

Lobster is the king of seafood in the U.S., and exists in abundance as human fishing wipes out their natural predators. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley talk crustaceans.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Robins

The American Robin is a type of thrush, while what Europeans call a robin looks more like a bluebird. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley profile the iconic bird of spring.  Go to full article

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