Category Archives: Plants & Animals

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You Can’t Restore Habitat if You Can’t Get The Seed: Rainforest Version

Using the essential oils of fruit to attract bats for seed dispersal… would be an easy way of increasing the flow of native seeds to the area, and of ensuring a high diversity in the forest.

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Competition Makes for Drama, But Benefactors Set The Stage

The stage is set by those species that create habitat… The organisms and interactions that occur within the habitat, such as crabs eating snails or annual plants competing with one another, are just players and roles that we see because of that stage.

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Why the Giraffe’s Neck is So Long: The Field Experiment

This [study] provides the first real experimental evidence that the long neck of the giraffe might have evolved as a consequence of competition, which provides support for a previously untested textbook example of natural selection.

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The Secret Strategies of Squirrels and Trees

Somehow the squirrels could anticipate when the trees would be laden with cones, and only during these years they produced a second litter of young.

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This Bat Makes Some Flower Very Happy

One nectar bat can launch its tongue one and a half times its body length, longer than any other mammal and second only to chameleons among vertebrates, scientists recently discovered.

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Seed Dispersal Makes the Forest Go Round

Trees with smaller fruit tended to be less widely dispersed than trees bearing larger fruit, strengthening the argument that larger-bodied birds and mammals, in eating larger fruit, carry the seeds of these plants over larger distances. Wind-dispersed seeds were observed to have a surprisingly tight cluster radius, likely explained by the dense forest canopy stifling wind speeds.

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What Gorillas Teach Pharmacists

If Aframomum lives up to the current hopes for it… we will owe a great debt to early native healers in Africa… and the wild lowland gorillas whose habits they perhaps observed and mimicked.

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When Worms Garden

We are in a state of speculation as to why earthworms even collect seeds.

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One Plant Species, Two Different Pollinators — Where’s This Headed?

…The future of red and yellow varieties of a San Diego wildflower may depend on the fates of two different animals.

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For Mosses, Bigger Is Not Better

Textbooks state that moss sperm need to swim or splash to a female moss tuft. However, an experiment with a common moss species shows that sperm hitchhike on mites and tiny insects.