Quantcast

Latest Larrea tridentata Stories

c79d723b6d61989807efe9b283e289171
2010-04-26 08:02:42

NSF-supported researchers study the germination of plants in the Sonoran Desert to determine the impact of the later arrival of winter rains Global warming is a hot topic, and it's causing concern for scientists studying winter annuals in the Sonoran Desert. While desert winters have become warmer and drier over the years, climate changes have pushed the arrival of winter rains later in the year, forcing winter annual plants like the curvenut combseed (Pectocarya recurvata) to emerge later...

2009-04-07 08:38:32

U.S. biologists say they have narrowed their hunt for the genes that allow rodents to eat toxic creosote bushes in the southwestern United States. As that region grew warmer 18,700 to 10,000 years ago, juniper trees vanished from what is now the Mojave Desert, robbing packrats of their favorite food, the scientists said. Instead, the rodents are consuming toxic creosote. University of Utah Professor Denise Dearing and colleagues captured eight packrats -- also known as woodrats -- from each...

bf1f40a6e55cef7bdea2b02b8dfad7c9
2009-04-06 07:45:46

As the U.S. Southwest grew warmer from 18,700 to 10,000 years ago, juniper trees vanished from what is now the Mojave Desert, robbing packrats of their favorite food. Now, University of Utah biologists have narrowed the hunt for detoxification genes that let the rodents eat toxic creosote bushes that replaced juniper. "It was either eat it or move out," says biology Professor Denise Dearing, senior author of the study, published online Tuesday, April 7 in the journal Molecular Ecology. During...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'