02 February 2006

Today in the Science News: Part 2: Animals

A study on hibernation:
which I bring up only to note that yes, I am enjoying the unseasonably warm winter. It's about 70 degrees outside today, with the clearest blue sky you ever saw.

"Rats with wings" to blog:
I wish I were kidding.
The pigeon bloggers are due to be released at the Inter-Society for Electronic Arts' annual symposium in San Jose on 5 August. The data they send back will be displayed on the blog in the form of an interactive map. As well as providing local residents with real-time data on air quality, da Costa hopes the pigeon blog will inspire people to come up with new ways to monitor the environment. The pigeons will also carry cameras around their necks and post aerial photos to the blog.
Now that's just wrong.

On the bright side, we may have finally discovered an explanation for spurwing plover.

Monkey dads exhibit sympathetic weight gain:
Sort of interesting. Apparently, males of two monkey species (common marmosets and cotton top tamarins) gain weight during their mate's pregnancy because they will have to carry the babies around after they're born. Matings in these species are for life, and they tend to be monogamous. Also see the LiveScience story, which has much the same information, but unfortunately doesn't have the humorous caption about how the weight gain wasn't visible because the monkeys were too damn hairy.

Grey wolves may no longer be endangered:
Which would allow people to shoot them. I like wolves, particularly of the were- variety, but I can't say I think it's a good thing that grey wolves are running around killing people's livestock and pets.

Those damn dirty whales don't play fair:
A killer whale spits fish onto an iceberg, waits for a seagull to swoop down after it, and then eats the seagull (and the fish, presumably).

I ask you, what's a gull supposed to do?


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