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Butterflies And Bats Aid In Research About Infectious Diseases
2012-06-11 12:08:09

[ Watch the Video ] Human activity, habitat disruption may affect migration patterns and spread of infectious diseases There's a most unusual gym in ecologist Sonia Altizer's lab at the University of Georgia in Athens. The athletes are monarch butterflies, and their workouts are carefully monitored to determine how parasites impact their flight performance. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Altizer and her team study how animal behavior, including long distance...

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2012-06-02 11:47:09

During the fall, hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies living in eastern North America fly up to 1,500 miles to the volcanic forests of Mexico to spend the winter, while monarchs west of the Rocky Mountains fly to the California coast. The phenomenon is both spectacular and mysterious: How do the insects learn these particular routes and why do they stick to them? A prevailing theory contends that eastern and western monarchs are genetically distinct, and that genetic...

Monarch Butterfly Population Continues To Decline
2012-03-23 06:32:38

A Texas A&M researcher has found evidence that the population of Monarch butterflies continues to shrink. Craig Wilson is a senior research associate in the Center for Mathematics and Science Education and a longtime butterfly enthusiast. He says, according to reports from the World Wildlife Fund, Mexico´s Michoacan State and a host of private donors, that the numbers of Monarch butterflies that cross the state of Texas will be dramatically reduced, by as much as 30%. These...

New Study Reveals That Butterflies Know Exactly Where To Go
2012-03-21 06:30:50

New research provides scientists with details about the migratory patterns of monarch butterflies and their endangered habitats. The Monarch butterfly (or Danaus plexippus) is a popular creature worldwide. Perhaps the most recognized and quintessential butterfly, the Monarch can be found as far south as Mexico and as far north as Canada. In fact, each year millions of these creatures begin their migration from Mexico to the great white north, breeding and laying eggs as they go. Most of...

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2010-10-12 08:00:00

Monarch butterflies appear to use medicinal plants to treat their offspring for disease, research by biologists at Emory University shows. Their findings were published online Oct. 6 in the journal Ecology Letters. "We have shown that some species of milkweed, the larva's food plants, can reduce parasite infection in the monarchs," says Jaap de Roode, the evolutionary biologist who led the study. "And we have also found that infected female butterflies prefer to lay their eggs on plants that...

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2010-02-12 09:31:50

Traveling long distances spurs the evolution of larger and pointier wings A University of Georgia study has found that monarch butterflies that migrate long distances have evolved significantly larger and more elongated wings than their stationary cousins, differences that are consistent with traits known to enhance flight ability in other migratory species. As part of a National Science Foundation and UGA-funded study, researchers in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and...

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2008-05-14 09:05:00

It's a paradox that has confounded evolutionary biologists since Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859: Since parasites depend on their hosts for survival, why do they harm them?A new University of Georgia and Emory University study of monarch butterflies and the microscopic parasites that hitch a ride on them finds that the parasites strike a middle ground between the benefits gained by reproducing rapidly and the costs to their hosts. The study, published in the early...


Word of the Day
sough
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'
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