Quantcast

Latest Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Stories

Biodiversity Preservation Efforts In Peril
2012-07-26 10:40:25

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Nature preserves have been remarkably successful in maintaining the biodiversity within their borders, but some threats to the species that live there are making those borders obsolete. A recent study published in Nature that included over 200 scientists from around the world found that many of these modern-day Noah´s Arks are facing a threat to their biodiversity through mismanagement and insufficient enforcement of preserve...

Turtle Fossil Found In Colombia Is Round Like A Car Tire
2012-07-12 11:12:35

Paleontologist Carlos Jaramillo's group at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and colleagues at North Carolina State University and the Florida Museum of Natural History discovered a new species of fossil turtle that lived 60 million years ago in what is now northwestern South America. The team's findings were published in the Journal of Paleontology. The new turtle species is named Puentemys mushaisaensis because it was found in La Puente pit in Cerrejón...

118271562
2012-03-14 15:20:33

According to new research published in the journal Naturwissenschaften, spiders do not stick to their own webs because of the way they move. The spiders ability to not stick to its own web was originally attributed to a special coating on their legs. However, researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and University of Costa Rica used modern imaging technology to record close-up footage that better explains the ability. The team combined a video camera and a...

Why Don't Spiders Stick To Their Own Webs?
2012-03-02 04:00:37

[ Video 1 ] | [ Video 2 ] Researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and University of Costa Rica asked why spiders do not stick to their own sticky webs. Repeating old, widely quoted but poorly documented studies with modern equipment and techniques, they discovered that spiders' legs are protected by a covering of branching hairs and by a non-stick chemical coating. Their results are published online in the journal, Naturwissenschaften. They also observed that spiders...

Ancient Camels From Panama Canal Excavation Named
2012-03-01 05:03:30

The discovery of two new extinct camel species by University of Florida scientists sheds new light on the history of the tropics, a region containing more than half the world's biodiversity and some of its most important ecosystems. Appearing online this week in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, the study is the first published description of a fossil mammal discovered as part of an international project in Panama. Funded with a grant from the National Science Foundation, UF...

Image 1 - Ancient Popcorn Found In Peru
2012-01-19 09:04:19

A new study suggests that people living along the coast of Peru snacked on popcorn 1,000 years earlier than previously believed, based on corncobs recently found at an ancient site. In the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, study coauthor Dolores Piperno, curator of New World archaeology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, and an emeritus staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, reports finding corncobs at the site dating...

Members Of Small Monkey Groups More Likely To Fight
2011-12-29 04:00:30

Small monkey groups may win territorial disputes against larger groups because some members of the larger, invading groups avoid aggressive encounters. In a new report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Margaret Crofoot, post-doctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Max Planck Institute of Ornithology, and Ian Gilby, professor at Duke University, show that individual monkeys that don't participate in conflicts prevent large groups...

2011-12-12 22:07:09

Smithsonian researchers report that the brains of tiny spiders are so large that they fill their body cavities and overflow into their legs. As part of ongoing research to understand how miniaturization affects brain size and behavior, researchers measured the central nervous systems of nine species of spiders, from rainforest giants to spiders smaller than the head of a pin. As the spiders get smaller, their brains get proportionally bigger, filling up more and more of their body cavities....

Image 1 - Air Pollution Fertilizes Tropical Forests
2011-11-04 03:15:28

Scientists braved ticks and a tiger to discover how human activities have perturbed the nitrogen cycle in tropical forests. Studies at two remote Smithsonian Institution Global Earth Observatory sites in Panama and Thailand show the first evidence of long-term effects of nitrogen pollution in tropical trees. "Air pollution is fertilizing tropical forests with one of the most important nutrients for growth," said S. Joseph Wright, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research...

2 New Bee Species Are Mysterious Pieces In The Panama Puzzle
2011-10-19 03:49:50

Smithsonian scientists have discovered two new, closely related bee species: one from Coiba Island in Panama and another from northern Colombia. Both descended from of a group of stingless bees that originated in the Amazon and moved into Central America, the ancestors of Mayan honeybees. The presence of one of these new species on Coiba and Rancheria Islands, and its absence from the nearby mainland, is a mystery that will ultimately shed light on Panama's history and abundant biodiversity....


Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
Related