Prey or Mate – Can web-building spiders tell the difference?

After reaching maturity, male web-building spiders leave their webs in search of a mate. The real challenge occurs once the male reaches a female’s web because the female could easily mistake male vibrations for prey vibrations. Not wanting to be the female’s next meal, the male needs to produce unique vibrations to identify itself as a potential mate, not prey. The female must decipher male and prey vibrations and delay attack when a potential mate enters the web. Will this be enough to avoid tragedy? Click to find out!

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Why don’t cowbirds feed their chicks?

The brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater), a native of North America, doesn’t build a nest. It also doesn’t feed its chicks, stick around for their first flight, or comfort them during storms. How can a bird species survive when it doesn’t care for its young? The answer involves covert egg-laying, chick sabotage, and the unwitting generosity of other songbirds.

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Decoding the Waggle Dance: The Importance of Flowers in Urban Landscapes for Honey Bees

Bee populations are threatened due to habitat loss and fragmentation, partly due to the expansion and intensification of agriculture worldwide. By videotaping and analyzing the “waggle dances” of honey bees near London, scientists compared the distance that bees need to travel to reach nectar in urban and agricultural landscapes. Bees needed to travel less far to reach nectar and pollen in urban areas vs. agricultural areas, underscoring the importance of urban planted areas, like gardens, in supporting honey bee populations. Establishing flowering plants in agricultural landscapes could help support honey bee populations.

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How Climate-driven Ocean Changes Affect Right Whale Populations

It is no secret that the world is ever-shifting towards a warmer reality. With conditions changing greatly in the Gulf of Maine, researchers are now exploring how climate-driven changes have been affecting the North Atlantic right whale populations. Sadly, their findings have shone a light towards a worrisome reality – a reality where these whales might be driven into extinction.

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