Archive for July, 2001

Female Lions Are Democratic in Breeding, Study Finds

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 26, 2001   View Article

Motherhood is an equal-opportunity employer for female lions.

A long-term study of lions in Africa shows that the females living among a group of lions consistently produce similar numbers of surviving offspring and raise them collectively.

Book Report: Nature Returns to America’s Cities

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 23, 2001   View Article

The concrete jungle isn’t just for people anymore. Thirty years of good environmental stewardship combined with wildlife’s innate ability to adapt has given rise to a resurgence of nature in America’s urban centers.

In New York City, raccoons have walked through the front door and into the kitchen to raid the refrigerator. In southern California, mountain lions have been seen cooling off under garden sprinklers and breaking into homes near Disneyland. In Chicago, beavers gnaw and fell trees and snarl traffic.

Fossils Challenge Theory of Rapid Animal Evolution in Cambrian

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 20, 2001   View Article

Most major animal groups appear for the first time in the fossil record some 545 million years ago in a relatively short period of time known as the Cambrian explosion. The explanation of this sudden arrival is a scientific conundrum.

The fossil record suggests that exceptional evolutionary activity took place over 10 million years at the base of the Cambrian and generated the ancestors of nearly all the animal groups living on Earth today, as well as others that failed to see modern times.

Male Gorillas Make a Splash to Woo Females, New Study Finds

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 19, 2001   View Article

Cannonball!

Scientists have found that male gorillas in the forests of northern Congo (Brazzaville) deliberately splash about in swampland clearings to intimidate their competitors in the battle to woo female companions.

The discovery is the first evidence of a wild animal using its body to manipulate water for a visual effect.

New Clock Will Lead to More Accurate Measure of Time

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 13, 2001   View Article

Never be late again.

Scientists who specialize in the accuracy of time have created a new kind of clock—an optical atomic clock—that “ticks” one million billion times per second and is at least 20 times more stable than current atomic clocks that are based on microwaves.

The technological breakthrough is like acquiring a fine-grain view of nature, say its creators.

Book Report: Mummies Reflect Primal Urge to Extend Human Life

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 9, 2001   View Article

Most humans yearn for immortality. This desire to extend human life is the root of mummification all around the world, says a science journalist who explores the subject in a new book.

“Mummification is closest to [immortality],” says Heather Pringle, a science journalist from Vancouver, Canada. “It is a way of keeping something of us for future generations.”

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach