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Rock-paper-scissors game may spur evolution of new species

Competition among male side-blotched lizards takes the form of a rock-paper-scissors game in which each mating strategy beats and is beaten by one other strategy, research has shown. Barry Sinervo, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California in Santa Cruz (UCSC), has monitored the mating game in a population of…

Eagles “Tagged” From Fallen Feathers

DNA “fingerprinting” has become a reliable way to identify individual humans or animals. A biological sample such as blood, semen, or hair can be matched to an individual. Eastern imperial eagle chick in Kazahkstan picture courtesy Andrew DeWoody In the world of bird research a DNA match can be made with a feather. Each feather found in…

Corn Domesticated From Mexican Wild Grass 8,700 Years Ago

Maize was domesticated from its wild grass ancestor more than 8,700 years ago, according to biological evidence uncovered by researchers in Mexico’s Central Balsas River Valley. This is the earliest dated evidence — by 1,200 years — for the presence and use of domesticated maize. The researchers, led by Anthony Ranere of Temple University and…

Wild Chimps Find Technical Solutions to Crack Open Bee Hives

Wild chimpanzees using tools to raid bee nests have been observed in many parts of Africa. Now observations of chimpanzees in the Congo Basin indicate that they may have developed sophisticated technical solutions to gather honey that differ from those of apes in other regions. The Goualougo Triangle Ape Project research, funded in part by the…

National Geographic Names 2009 Class of Emerging Explorers

An epidemiologist, an aquatic ecologist, a geo-archaeologist, an ethnobotanist, and an urban planner, are among ten visionary, young trailblazers from around the world that have been named to the 2009 class of National Geographic Emerging Explorers, the National Geographic Society announced today. “National Geographic’s Emerging Explorers Program recognizes and supports uniquely gifted and inspiring adventurers,…

Croc-Catching, Snake-Wrestling Brady Barr Talks About His Work

Photo of Brady Barr with giant salamander courtesy National Geographic Channel Brady Barr, we once reported in National Geographic News, is a man whose work bites. “I’ve had so many bumps, bruises, and broken bones, it’s sometimes hard to get out of bed in the morning,” he told me earlier today. He’s also been bitten…

NatGeo News Contributor Stefan Lovgren Wins Top Award

Stefan Lovgren (right) and Zeb Hogan in Mongolia, holding a taimen. Photo courtesy Stefan Lovgren National Geographic News contributor Stefan Lovgren is the winner of this year’s AAAS Science Journalism Award in the online media category. Presented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society, the award…