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: Balance of Nature

Is there a balance in nature? How is it maintained? How is it disrupted? Dr. Curt Stager tackles this question with Martha Foley.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Dogs

When did wolves become dogs? How did they come to be "man's best friend?" Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley talk about canine evolution and domestication.  Go to full article
HIV virus buds from host cell
HIV virus buds from host cell

Natural Selections: Are Viruses Alive?

The simplicity of viruses leads to the question, "Are viruses alive?" Dr Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss what it takes to be numbered among the living. Disease-causing bacteria pass muster, but viruses may fall a little short.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Science Projects

Some suggestions for interesting, low-cost science projects! Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley offer ideas for budding scientists to try at home or at school.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Snow Flies

Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley talk about snow flies. This tiny wingless fly likes the cold, making their own antifreeze to survive the weather. They are a pest only to rodents, carrying the roundworm parasites that infect them.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Snow Fleas

Anyone who has had pets has heard of fleas. But snow fleas--that's a different story! As Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley explain, these tiny critters look like pepper on the snow on days just above freezing.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Cat Intelligence

Cats are pretty smart--the whole setup proves that. But just how smart are they? Dr Curt Stager and Martha Foley stack up man's second-best friend against other mammals.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Alcohol

Why is it that sometimes consuming alcohol can be pleasurable and at other times have devastating effect? Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley talk about how alcohol operates in the body and brain.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: White Meat, Dark Meat

The Thanksgiving holiday brought some questions to mind for Martha Foley about turkeys. For instance, why is dark meat dark? She and Dr. Curt Stager discuss turkey anatomy.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Blue Jays

If you've ever had a bird feeder in your yard, perhaps you've had the chance to admire blue jays hungrily munching away. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager talk about the habits of this year-round resident of the North Country.  Go to full article

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