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
This bird likes livers, kidneys, entrails — anything it can pluck that's freshly dead. But what if you served it ... a painting?
 
A secretive, nocturnal species that lives on a remote island off the coast of Mexico had not been spotted since 1936. Scientists have concluded it is genetically distinct from mainland neighbors.
 
The Smithsonian is set to unpack something it's never had before: a rare, nearly complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. It's a gift from a Montana museum that says this T. rex deserves to be famous.
 
A 325 million-year-old fossil find shows that the gill structures of modern sharks are actually quite different from their ancient ancestors.
 
Curators say they'll use the big grant from Boeing to better highlight how exploratory flight — from the Spirit of St. Louis to the <em></em>Starship Enterprise — has transformed the world.
 
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 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

Natural Selections: Plant Toxicity

The pungent tastes and smells of many plants are the result of toxic compounds they produce for defence. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss chemicals produced by plants.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Stranded Whales

Some of the world's smartest creatures appear to become confused, beaching themselves in large numbers with tragic consequences. How can this happen? Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss stranded whales.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Global Warming

Scientists are increasingly convinced that human activity is raising the global temperature, with possible dire consequences. Global warming, climate changes... Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley take on this hot topic in environmental science.  Go to full article

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