Climate warming? Snakes are cool with that

Publication: NBC News   Date: January 11, 2013   View Article

Several snake species appear to have enough flexibility in what time of day they hunt in order to survive — and perhaps thrive — on a warming planet, according to a recent study.

The result is “contrary to what I had anticipated,” Patrick Weatherhead, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Illinois, told NBC News.

New Field Could Explain How Salmon, Turtles, Find Home

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 4, 2008   View Article

Sea turtles and salmon may use their sensitivity to Earth’s magnetic field to guide them home at the end of their epic coming-of-age journeys, suggest scientists aiming to solve one of nature’s enduring mysteries.

The newly proposed theory is one of several ideas being explored under the banner of an emerging scientific field dubbed movement ecology.

Newfound Fossils Reveal Secrets of World’s Oldest Forest

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 18, 2007   View Article

The world’s earliest forest may have been filled with slender trees that were three stories tall and capped with branches that resembled bottlebrushes.

That’s the picture painted by two newfound fossils that are providing unprecedented insight into the appearance and ecology of the first known forest, according to a new study.

Balance Earth’s “Eco Wealth” the Same Way as Finances, Group Says

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

By October 9 humans had already used more of Earth’s resources in 2006 than the planet can renew this year, according to an accounting tool that calculates our so-called ecological footprint.

The Ecological Footprint tool measures how much land and water area a population uses to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its waste.

Indigenous Group Keeps Ecology All in the Family

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 29, 2006   View Article

For the Raramuri people of the northern Mexico region of Chihuahua, conservation is a family affair.

The Raramuri (also known as the Tarahumara) speak a language that has no concept of—and thus no word for—wilderness, says ethno-ecologist Enrique Salmón.

Snap, Buckle, Pop: The Physics of Fast-Moving Plants

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 26, 2005   View Article

Fleet-footed animals, such as gazelles and cheetahs, aren’t the only livings things that rely on speed for their survival. The same is true for some plants and fungi.

Consider the Venus flytrap, the poster child for carnivorous plants: Its jaw-like leaves can ensnare insects in an eye-blurring one-tenth of a second.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach