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.
 
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.
 
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: 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

Natural Selections: Salamanders

Salamanders of different varieties are hugely abundant in the Adirondacks. Drive carefully the first warm rainy night of spring. They'll be migrating over many of the back roads. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley talk about the secret life of salamanders.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Black Bear

Tha Adirondack black bear is numerous and far from timid. You may see one up close and personal if you are careless with camp food. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley look at their lives and habits.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Plant Defenses

Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley pick up a topic from late spring--plant defenses. How do plant protect themselves from other plants that creep into their space? Cucumbers spray herbicide.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Hawkowls

Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss hawkowls, a very rare arctic visitor to the Adirondacks. This daytime predator differs in many ways from its more temperate cousins.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Parasites

The relationships between parasites and their hosts is a complicated balance. Those that kill their hosts are failures in the long run. Dr Curt Stager and Martha Foley look at parasitism.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Roadkill

Most drivers have had the experience of being unable to avoid animals in the road. How much of a threat to wildlife are we and our vehicles? Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley tally the carnage.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Honeybees

Fewer honeybees doesn't just mean less honey. Honeybees also play a large role in the agricultural world. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foleytell why bees are such valuable resources.  Go to full article

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