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Latest The American Naturalist Stories

Tiger Snake Size Depends On Offspring Mouth Size
2012-05-16 08:14:34

Tiger snakes in Australia are of varied size, with some isolated island populations being twice the size of those on the mainland. New research conducted by Fabien Aubret of La Station d'Ecologie Experimentale du CNRS à Moulis, published in “The American Naturalist,” theorizes that the mainland snakes eat mainly frogs and always have. When sea level rose after that last Ice Age, some tiger snakes were stranded on islands where frogs could not survive because of dry...

2012-01-26 13:27:38

Winged predators seek certain trees when foraging for caterpillars Location matters for birds on the hunt for caterpillars, according to researchers at UC Irvine and Wesleyan University. Findings suggest that chickadees and others zero in on the type of tree as much as the characteristics of their wriggly prey. Unfortunately for caterpillars, munching on tree leaves that are healthy and tasty can dramatically boost their own risk of becoming food. Study results, published online this...

Tree Frogs Chill Out To Collect Water
2011-09-30 04:08:40

Research published in the October issue of The American Naturalist shows that Australian green tree frogs survive the dry season with the help of the same phenomenon that fogs up eyeglasses in the winter. According to researchers from Charles Darwin University in Australia, tree frogs often plop themselves down outside on cool nights during the dry season in tropical Australia. When they return to their dens, condensation forms on their cold skin–just like it does on a pair of...

2011-09-27 14:33:14

The way in which global warming causes many of the world's organisms to shrink has been revealed by new research from Queen Mary, University of London. Almost all cold-blooded organisms are affected by a phenomenon known as the 'temperature-size rule', which describes how individuals of the same species reach a smaller adult size when reared at warmer temperatures. But until now, scientists have not fully understood how these size changes take place. Writing in the journal The American...

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2011-03-21 07:13:47

A puzzling example of altruism in nature has been debunked with researchers showing that purple-crowned fairy wrens are in reality cunningly planning for their own future when they assist in raising other birds' young by balancing the amount of assistance they give with the benefits they expect to receive in the future. Dr Anne Peters, of the Monash University School of Biological Sciences, together with co-authors Sjouke Kingma from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and Michelle L....

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2010-08-06 09:15:00

Why do we grow old and what can we do to stop it? This is the question asked by many, but it appears that we are now closer to an answer thanks to new research published by Monash University researcher Dr Damian Dowling. According to the research published in the August edition of the prestigious journal, The American Naturalist, a small set of genes in mitochondria (a membrane-enclosed organelle found in most eukaryotic cells), passed only from mothers to offspring, plays a more dynamic role...

2010-05-24 09:46:52

Scientists have caught male topi antelopes in the act of faking fear in front of females in heat as a way to improve their chances of having sex. The male antelopes, observed in southwest Kenya, send a false signal that a predator is nearby only when females in heat are in their territories. When the females react to the signal, they remain in the territory long enough for some males to fit in a quick mating opportunity. The signal in this case, an alarm snort, is not a warning to other...

2010-05-14 08:39:53

Do nice guys finish last, or will the meek inherit the earth? A new study published in The American Naturalist suggests that, at least for birds, the right answer is somewhere in between. Individual male birds can differ dramatically in their behavior, and this difference is often due in part to how much testosterone they produce. In many species, some males produce high testosterone and are more aggressive, while others produce lower levels and are more parental. Testosterone and the...

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2010-05-04 09:36:57

A field study of the relationship between testosterone and natural selection in an American songbird, the dark-eyed junco, has defied some expectations and confirmed others. Scientists from Indiana University Bloomington, the University of Virginia, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and the University of Southern Mississippi report in the June issue of The American Naturalist (now online) that extreme testosterone production -- high or low -- puts male dark-eyed junco at a...

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2010-04-02 12:32:00

Paleontologists can't always get what they want, to paraphrase the Rolling Stones, but sometimes they can get what they need, according to a study that will appear in the May issue of the American Naturalist. The fossil record captures both the broad sweep of evolutionary changes in life on earth as well as ecological responses to shorter-term local and regional environmental shifts. And yet the amount of variability seen among successive fossil assemblages tends to be low compared to that...


Word of the Day
mallemaroking
  • Nautical, the visiting and carousing of sailors in the Greenland ships.
This word is apparently from a confusion of two similar Dutch words: 'mallemerok,' a foolish woman, and 'mallemok,' a name for some persons among the crew of a whaling vessel.