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Cowbirds in Love. One of the kindest things a person can do for me is allow me to talk their ear off about cowbirds. So if you read that whole comic, thank you! But if we are ever hanging out and you want to do me a favor, trust me, I still have more stuff to say about cowbirds. I barely even touched on cowbird evolution or cowbird development! They are a really, really, fascinating animal! It’s a little peculiar that I love cowbirds so much, the comic is named after them, and yet, I’ve had very few cowbird comics. I am very happy to hear feedback on today’s comic, especially if I got something wrong. I know played slightly fast and loose in contrasting cuckoos and cowbirds. Come back tomorrow for facts about a group of animals I know WAAAAAY less about than the genus Molothrus… rodents! Untitled. Populus tremuloides Michx. Quaking Aspen Salicaceae -- Willow family D. A. Perala Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) is the most widely distributed tree in North America.

Habitat Native Range Quaking aspen grows singly and in multi-stemmed clones over 111° of longitude and 48° of latitude for the widest distribution of any native tree species in North America (48). -The native range of quaking aspen. Climate Climatic conditions vary greatly over the range of the species, especially winter minimum temperatures and annual precipitation. At the eastern end of the range, in the Maritime Provinces of Canada, the climate is mild, humid, and snowfall is extremely heavy, 300 cm (120 in) or more per year. In the central Rocky Mountains, where altitude plays an important role in the distribution of aspen, the lower limit of its occurrence coincides roughly with a mean annual temperature of 7° C (45° F). Quaking aspen occurs where annual precipitation exceeds evapotranspiration. Solis and Topography. Bird Song Hero Tutorial | All About Bird Biology • The Cornell Lab.

The new, visual way to learn bird songs. Train your brain to recognize over 50 bird songs with the Bird Song Hero matching game. Listen closely to featured songs and match each with the correct spectrogram visualization. You’ll be harnessing the power of the visual brain to help you identify the unique qualities of each song and commit sound patterns to memory. Bird Song Hero is a fun way to practice the key skills you need to ID all the bird songs you’re curious about. Sections inside: This short introduction to Bird Song Hero trains you to interpret spectrograms, the sound visualizations scientists use to help them understand sound patterns. Ordinary Extraordinary Junco | Remarkable biology from a backyard bird! Birdsong and human speech turn out to be controlled by the same genes. A rose-ringed parakeet rests on a power line in July in the Israeli Mediterranean coastal city of Netanya. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images New research on the bird genome has revealed that the same genes that give humans the ability to speak give birds the ability to sing.

Because of this similarity, researchers will be able to use birds as lab subjects to better understand how speech evolved. Duke University neuroscientist Erich Jarvis led a study on birdsong and speech published Thursday in Science. "I've always been interested in how the brain controls complex behaviors, and I became most interested in speech," Jarvis said. But birds fit the bill. Because the way birds learn to sing specific song patterns seems to mimic the way humans learn to form words (even some of the brain regions involved are known to be the same), Jarvis and his colleagues hoped that similar genes would be involved in the process, too. Rachel Feltman runs The Post's Speaking of Science blog. What Does Viper Venom Do To Blood?

Snakes routinely make the top 10 list of things people are afraid of, so it might surprise many of you to know that about 85% of snakes worldwide are not venomous. In fact, of the 2,700 known species of snakes, only about 30 of them pose any kind of danger to humans. But, given the amount of damage that a snake bite can inflict, it’s probably not very surprising that a few are giving the others a bad reputation. Take Daboia russelii: an old world viper found throughout India and surrounding countries. Each year, Russell’s Vipers are responsible for thousands of deaths.

Though there is a an effective antivenin available in the region, the widespread poverty and the fact that most bites happen in rural areas mean that not all victims are able to receive it. Immediately at the onset of the bite there is pain in the area, though blood begins to show up in the mouth within minutes and blood pressure will drop. Skin and muscle near the bite can begin to turn necrotic. Life of Mammals Pt.1: A Winning Design. BBC Weird Nature 3of6 Fantastic Feeding.avi.

1R0DRjH.jpg (530×353) Inside a dead, infected ant. Inside a dead, infected ant So, by now you've all seen what a by Ophiocordyceps infected, manipulated and killed ant looks like: Published by Andersen et al. in The American Naturalist, 2009 But what does it look like from the inside? Well, after the ant has been manipulated to go to an elevated position in the forest and has latched on to the foliage to secure it, its job as a vehicle for the fungus is done and its life ends.

At this point the whole body is already filled with fungal cells surrounding the different tissues (brain, muscles, gut etc.). The fungus now starts to use these tissues as a carbon source to produce the fruiting body which sprouts from the neck. Everything gets devoured and the ant's cuticle is soon nothing but a shell containing fungal material: However, before the life cycle gets to this stage the fungal parasite first has to deal with all the different tissues inside its unfortunate host.

I only have 4 days left to reach my goal, so please consider donating! Micro Monsters Episode 1. Live Wires. Today’s information age rests on a basic understanding of how electrons move. The remarkable success of computers, cell phones, and other devices, such as solar cells, depends on our ability to mediate the flow of electrons through the semiconductors and microchips that control the function of these machines and give them their intelligence.

But the importance of electron flow is by no means limited to these man-made systems; electron transfer is also central to energy storage and conversion in living cells. Organisms depend on the flow of electrons for key energy-generating cellular processes. Continuous electron flow is necessary for the formation of the electrochemical gradients that enable the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), life’s energy currency. In eukaryotes, including animals, this power generation is the specialty of mitochondria. So how do they do it? Rock breathers Shuttles and wires Living power cables A multicellular architecture? Mohamed Y. References. Animals That Do Drugs.


Behavior. Ecology/Evolution. Janine Benyus: Biomimicry in action. of New England.pdf. Junk DNA — Not So Useless After All. Junk. Barren. Non-functioning. Dark matter. That’s how scientists had described the 98% of human genome that lies between our 21,000 genes, ever since our DNA was first sequenced about a decade ago. The disappointment in those descriptors was intentional and palpable. It had been believed that the human genome — the underpinnings of the blueprint for the talking, empire-building, socially evolved species that we are — would be stuffed with sophisticated genes, coding for critical proteins of unparalleled complexity. But when all was said and done, and the Human Genome Project finally determined the entire sequence of our DNA in 2001, researchers found that the 3 billion base pairs that comprised our mere 21,000 genes made up a paltry 2% of the entire genome.

But it turns out they were wrong. (MORE: Decoding Cancer: Scientists Release 520 Tumor Genomes from Pediatric Patients) ENCODE has revealed that some 80% of the human genome is biochemically active. (MORE: Scientist Creates Life.