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Posts tagged with "Animal Biology"

  • Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter
    Ben Goldfarb

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    Recognizing their role in maintaining healthy watersheds, “beaver believers” work to rehab the rodent’s reputation

    Why should we care about beavers? Consider all they do. Beavers convert vegetation to marsh to wetland and back again. They facilitate water storage in ponds and recharge groundwater. Ponds and meadows sculpted by beavers concentrate nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Not only does this create fertile ground, it helps filter agricultural runoff. Beaver-dammed… Read More
  • Strange Survivors: How Organisms Attack and Defend in the Game of Life
    Oné R. Pagán

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    A friendly tour of unusual animal adaptations misses many highlights

    The Iberian ribbed newt (Pleurodeles waltl) is an evolutionary biologist’s dream. Unremarkable in appearance, with rough slate-colored skin, it’s found across the Iberian Peninsula and southward in Morocco. Nondescript perhaps, but the newt is superlative. When threatened, its ribs puncture the sides of its body like a row of defensive spears. At the same time… Read More
  • Robins!: How They Grow Up
    Eileen Christelow

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    Robins!

    Every year, many millions of American robins migrate from the southern United States and Mexico to the northern U.S. and Canada to breed. The males travel first, covering hundreds of miles to find and defend a suitable breeding place until the females arrive. Robins! tells the story of one robin couple and their offspring over… Read More
  • Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life
    Matin Durrani and Liz Kalaugher

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    A physics-focused tour of the animal kingdom offers inspiration for engineers and roboticists

    According to traditional flight physics, bees should not be able to fly. But fly they do, with mastery of non–steady state aerodynamics and little concern about our limited understanding of their capabilities. Human knowledge is catching up, however, with recent scientific insights revealing that these inconspicuous little creatures use aeroelastic deformation of their wings and… Read More
  • Hopping Ahead of Climate Change: Snowshoe hares, Science and Survival
    Sneed B. Collard III

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    Shorter winters leave some creatures mismatched with their habitat

    Age Range: 7 – 10 years Grade Level: 3 – 7 Hopping Ahead of Climate Change is a picture book by award-winning author Sneed B. Collard III that uses photos and diagrams to convey the effects of global warming on animals that change coat color with the seasons. It is simple enough for elementary school… Read More
  • The Great Monkey Rescue: Saving the Golden Lion Tamarins
    Sandra Markle

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    Monkey business

    Age Range: 9 – 12 years Grade Level: 4 – 7 The Great Monkey Rescue is a soberly written yet inspiring guide through the near demise and science-assisted rebound of a squirrel-sized primate known as the golden lion tamarin. The easy-to-digest text is packed with interesting facts and set against vibrant pictures of bright orange… Read More
  • Resurrection Science: Conservation, De-Extinction, and the Precarious Future of Wild Things
    M. R. O’Connor

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    Bringing back the dead

    Age Range: Young Adult Grade Level: 9 – 12 The idea of genetically resurrecting animals long vanished from the Earth seems at once familiar and fantastic. Jurassic Park popularized the concept and fired the imaginations of millions, but the dinosaurs’ human creators came off rather more one-dimensional, primarily motivated by greed and hubris. In her book Resurrection… Read More
  • Map of Life

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    Identifying species in the field? There’s an app for that.

    The field guide as we know it has not changed much since it was invented more than 100 years ago. It is a list of species and a description of their respective attributes, accompanied by some illustrations. More recent field guides also include maps of expected species distributions. However, publishing on paper imposes some limits… Read More