Archive for September, 2006

Over 200 Years of Hurricane Data Recorded in Trees, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 18, 2006   View Article

A chemical signature of just about every hurricane to roar across southern Georgia during the past 220 years is preserved in the region’s longleaf pine trees, according to a new study.

Further detective work should extend the record for the southeastern United States back another 400 years, says Claudia Mora, study co-author and a geochemist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Earliest Galaxies in the Universe Spied by Astronomers

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 15, 2006   View Article

The earliest known galaxies in the universe, which formed during the universe’s “dark age” nearly 13 billion years ago, have been spied by two teams of astronomers.

The discoveries, reported separately in this week’s issue of the journal Nature, suggest that galaxies were forming just 700 million years after the birth of the universe.

Neandertal’s Last Stand Was in Gibraltar, Study Suggests

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 13, 2006   View Article

A new cave discovery suggests that Neandertals survived until at least 28,000 years ago—2,000 years longer than previously thought.

The Iberian Peninsula—now home to Spain, Portugal, and Gibraltar—was a final holdout for Neandertals (often spelled “Neanderthals”) as modern humans spread across the rest of Europe and an ice age descended, a new study says.

Genetic Family Tree of All Life Is Bearing Fruit

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 6, 2006   View Article

New cures, supercrops, and secrets of evolution may emerge from the fast-growing branches of the “Tree of Life,” scientists say.

The increasing availability of genetic information—and the computer technology to analyze it—is allowing researchers to begin drawing a detailed picture of how life on Earth originated, adapted, and diversified.

Cricket, Katydid Songs Are Best Clues to Species’ Identities

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 5, 2006   View Article

In a nighttime chorus of insects, the easiest way to identify individual katydid and cricket species is by listening to their songs, according to one of the world’s leading authorities on the jumping insects.

“Without sound, we’d be in a pickle,” said Thomas Walker, an entomologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Relying on morphology—body shape, structure, and color—to identify some katydids and crickets is next to impossible, he says.

First Evidence That Wildlife Corridors Boost Biodiversity, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 1, 2006   View Article

Conservation corridors are a boon for plant diversity, according to a new study that researchers say proves a widely practiced but still controversial theory.

The corridors are narrow strips of land that connect isolated patches of wild habitat, such as nature reserves, often trapped in seas of human developments such as farms and subdivisions.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach