June 25, 2005 |
Bumblebees act like copycats, following another bee's lead when foraging for food in unfamiliar flowers, according to a study in this week's issue of the journal Current Biology. This research on the "bumblebee mind" may offer insight into the survival and growth of plant species that depend on bees for pollination. The insects' social interactions, such as "bee dances," are among the most complex systems of communication in the animal kingdom.
November 30, 2003 |
You wake up fast when there's a 400-pound gorilla standing outside your tent. "Ruth!" I called over in something of a whisper-yell to the woman in the tent next to mine. "Ruth! Wake up! There's a gorilla out here!" The male silverback mountain gorilla was only about 20 feet away. I inched my way out into the cool mist of the morning. The stench of the animals cut through the crisp air. The silverback noticed me, looked right at me but kept to his breakfast of leaves.
January 5, 2003 |
There is no hair club for bears. No nifty, bear-sized hair plugs. Not even a toupee. All this is a darn shame -- the lumbering Florida black bears in this great expanse of pines and palmettos northwest of Orlando could use the help. In utter defiance of their bearish reputation for thick, bristly hairiness, the Ocala bears are going bald.
May 23, 2002 |
How many times have we heard that California is so bountiful that you can reach out your window and pluck your meal from a tree? Being poor and jobless, and having watched the price of lettuce skyrocket, I've determined it's time to do some plucking. Foraging is actually quite the underground tradition in Los Angeles, but it isn't always for the weak.
June 3, 2001 |
How do people find what they're looking for on the World Wide Web? Most simply follow the call of the wild. The same theories that describe how animals behave while sniffing for prey can also predict how people ferret out information in the jungle of cyberspace, researchers say. Foraging theories, developed by ecologists decades ago, are now being applied to Internet usage in an attempt to understand how Web sites can be made more intuitive and less like a maze.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 27, 2001 |
Lori Carris crept through the forest, knife in hand, searching the ground for her tiny prey. Spotting it, she dropped to one knee and slashed with the knife. The morsel fell into her hand. "Lori is the mushroom queen," said an admiring Jack Rogers, a fellow mushroom hunter in the Thatuna Hills, near Moscow. Spring means the start of the monthlong morel mushroom season in Northwest forests.
March 28, 2001 |
As a child growing up in Pasadena, Christopher Nyerges used to sit in the hills, gaze down at the sprawl of Los Angeles and wonder how Native Americans managed to feed themselves without supermarkets. Three decades later, he knows, and he wants us to know too. He routinely leads trips through those same hills, teaching anyone who is interested how to harvest a meal from what looks like scrubland.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 17, 2000 |
Growing up, Tim Donnelly saw how bad it could get when a rancher's cows consumed too many pine needles. In one particular year, one in 10 cows on the ranch where he worked aborted their calves. Donnelly, who owns that ranch now, doesn't want to see that happen with his herd. He's cut down thousands of pine trees from the pasture he uses for winter grazing, but left behind junipers and ash trees.
June 18, 2000 |
It was the tail end of morel season and the black flies were out, but Robert Fuller wanted to check a patch of woods, just in case. With a knife in hand and a woven-wood basket strapped to his arm, Fuller crept among old maples and overgrown stone walls on a Vermont hillside. He stepped carefully amid matted brown leaves and tender green ferns. Then he stopped abruptly. "This feels like the right kind of habitat," he said, surveying a sandy, mossy spot below an opening in the canopy.
August 13, 1999 |
Drought is forcing so many black bears to rummage for food in the suburbs of New York and Philadelphia that Pennsylvania on Thursday issued a public advisory on how suburbanites can cope with the large but timid creatures. State officials said nearly 2,400 bear sightings have been reported so far this year in eastern Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey, particularly in upscale residential areas near the Delaware Water Gap, about 60 miles west of Manhattan.