Archive for 2003

Why Did Ancient Britons Stop Eating Fish

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 24, 2003   View Article

When cattle, sheep, pigs, and wheat arrived on the shores of Great Britain about 5,000 years ago, fish quickly fell off the Neolithic menu, according to an analysis of human bones scattered throughout the island.

The research helps resolve a debate over whether the adoption of domesticated plants and animals introduced to Great Britain from the European mainland was a gradual or rapid process, said Michael Richards, an archaeologist at the University of Bradford in England.

World’s Largest Rodent: Buffalo-Size Fossil Discovered

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 22, 2003   View Article

The fossil remains of a giant rodent that weighed an estimated 1,500 pounds (700 kilograms) is helping scientists form a clearer image of what northern South America was like some eight million years ago.

Heralded as the world’s largest rodent, Phoberomys pattersoni looked more like a giant guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) than an oversized house rat (Rattus rattus) and it apparently flourished on a diet of vegetation, not scraps dropped on the kitchen floor.

Around the World, Parks Underfunded, Studies Say

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 12, 2003   View Article

The world’s parks and protected areas are underfunded and, as a result, lack the basic maintenance and infrastructure required to keep wildlife free from poachers and forests clear of illegal logging, according to a study presented today at the World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa.

The study was produced by an international panel of conservationists, scientists, economists, and government officials.

Female Moa Birds Liked the Little Guys, Studies Suggest

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 11, 2003   View Article

Female moa birds had a sweet spot for the little guys, according to two papers appearing in the September 11 issue of Nature.

The research teams, led by scientists in New Zealand and England, applied a pioneering technique in genetic analysis that allowed them to determine the sex of extinct moa by analyzing nuclear DNA extracted from fossils.

Monumental Quilt Honors 9/11 Victims

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 10, 2003   View Article

She watched Flight 175 ram the north tower of the World Trade Center and, like most TV viewers, sat stunned. Minutes later, the smoldering south tower collapsed. Then word came that Flight 77 had struck the Pentagon. Then the north tower crumbled. In Pennsylvania, dust settled around the crater left by Flight 93.

Jeannie Ammermann said the tragic events of September 11, 2001, changed her life forever. The next day, fidgety, she sat at her desk at a real estate office in Naples, Florida, and jotted down ideas of what she could do for the victims’ families.

Harvest Moon Allure Hasn’t Waned

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 9, 2003   View Article

Tomorrow’s full moon, the harvest moon, will flood the twilight sky with natural light just after sunset, providing folks a few extra hours to complete outside chores.

Unlike the rest of the year, the nearly full moon will continue to rise shortly after sunset for the next several days.

Rocky Mountains Separate Canadian Lynx, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 3, 2003   View Article

The Canadian lynx (Lynx canadensis) may creep for miles through dense, debris-strewn forest for the chance to pounce on a scarce snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus), but the stealthy feline is apparently seldom bothered to weather a crossing of the Rocky Mountains to find a mate.

Evolutionary ecologist Nils Chr. Stenseth together with geneticists Kjetill Jakobsen and Eli Rueness at the University of Oslo in Norway, and colleagues from Canada and Sweden, performed a large-scale genetic analysis of the elusive cat throughout its North American habitat and found populations of genetically distinct animals.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach