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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.

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.

“Tidal Giant” Roamed Coastal Swamps of Ancient Africa

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 31, 2001   View Article

Researchers have unearthed fossils of what appears to have been the second largest known creature ever to walk on Earth. The dinosaur, named Paralititan stromeri weighed in at an estimated 75 tons and measured as long as 100 feet (30.5 meters).

It dwelled 94 million years ago in mangrove swamps that once covered what is now a remote desert area in western Egypt.

Scientist Journeys Into Caves for Clues to Extreme Life

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 30, 2001   View Article

Caving is a highbrow sport. It takes intellectual prowess in the disciplines of geology and hydrology to know how a cave forms, and thus how to identify where hidden passages lie, said Hazel Barton, a microbiologist at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado.

Barton should know. She started caving as a teenager and has become one of the world’s foremost cave cartographers. Today, she employs her uncanny ability to seek out caves as part of her work in studying extremophiles—organisms that thrive in environments where human life could not.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach