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Posts Tagged "ecosystems"

Anthropology in Practice

Editor’s Selections: Public Restrooms, Black Death, Social Cooperation, And Resilient Ecosystems

Part of my online life includes editorial duties at, where I serve as the Social Sciences Editor. Each Thursday, I pick notable posts on research in anthropology, philosophy, social science, and research to share on the News site. To help highlight this writing, I also share my selections here on AiP. The range for selections [...]

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Extinction Countdown

If Apes Go Extinct, So Could Entire Forests


Bonobo poop matters. Well, maybe not the poop itself, but what’s in it. You see, bonobos eat a lot of fruit, and fruit contains seeds. Those seeds travel through a bonobo’s digestive system while the bonobo itself travels through the landscape. A few hours later, the seeds end up being deposited far from where the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Hemlock Extinction Looms over Tennessee Forests

hemlock sq

The branches of the massive eastern hemlock loom more than 30 meters above us, but instead of craning our necks to look up Tennessee state botanist Todd Crabtree draws our attention closer to the ground and the thumbprint-sized dot of yellow paint near the base of the tree. This little dab of color is the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Dig This: Decline of Australian Digging Mammals Impacts Entire Ecosystems


How much soil would a bandicoot dig if a bandicoot could dig soil? Quite a lot, it turns out. The southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus) weighs just 1.4 kilograms, but over the course of a year this tiny digging marsupial can excavate more than 3.9 metric tons of soil as it builds its nests and [...]

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Extinction Countdown

South Africa Invests in Elephant Birth Control [Video]

elephant family

African elephants face two terribly contradictory threats: In some parts of the continent the animals are being hunted into extinction for their valuable ivory tusks, but in other countries elephants are so heavily overpopulated that they pose a threat not just to themselves but to entire ecosystems. South Africa faces the latter problem. There are [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Okapi Conservation Center Recovering after Militia Attack that Killed 6 People and 14 Animals


On Sunday, June 24, an armed militia group opened fire on the headquarters of the Okapi Conservation Project (OCP) near the village of Epulu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). By the time they receded into the forest two days later, six people and 13 of the 14 “ambassador” okapi that lived at [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Can Google’s page-rank algorithm help save endangered species and ecosystems?

Google HP on Earth Day 2008

When users seek information from Google, the search engine relies on a proprietary algorithm called PageRank™ to determine the order of the sites that show up in search results. Now, two researchers say a similar algorithm can be used to determine which species are critical to the preservation of ecosystems, allowing scientists to focus conservation [...]

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Life, Unbounded

There’s Something in the Air: Trans-planetary Microbes

Here come the microbes! (Credit: China Foto Press/Barcroft Medi)

Cover your mouth when you cough! We’ve all learned the hard way that microbial organisms, from bacteria to viruses, can be transported by air. But the extent to which organisms exist in the Earth’s atmosphere is only now becoming clear. There is good evidence that bacteria (or bacterial spores) can help nucleate water condensation, seeding [...]

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Googling E.T., Mind Reading and Other Crazy Ideas That Just Might Work

A talent search preceding this year’s TED conference turned up enough startlingly smart prodigies to lend an American Idol feel to the event. There was the 15-year-old who invented a better test for pancreatic cancer, the 18-year-old who presented his second nuclear reactor design, and the 13-year-old  who strung flickering light-emitting diodes around his family’s [...]

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Agroecosystems, Illustrated


I didn’t set out to draw science comics; I wanted to be an all-around science communicator. I just happened to find my voice with comics. But lately I’ve been wanting to do more–I want to explain current research in my Beatrice-y way. I took to Twitter to gauge interest in a science comic/illustrator/weirdo such as [...]

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