Magic Tricks May Fool You, but These Birds Can See Through Them

A small experiment using sleights of hand and illusions offers insights into how birds and people perceive the world.

#animal-cognition, #birds, #cambridge-university, #magic-and-magicians, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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Where Your Watermelon Came From

A genetic analysis of a melon found in Sudan may point to the wild fruit that gave rise to one of summertime’s sweetest treats.

#egypt, #genetics-and-heredity, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #research, #sudan, #watermelons, #your-feed-science

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Lockdowns Cut South Asia Smog. They Could Fill Reservoirs, Too.

Coronavirus restrictions reduced pollution that makes snow melt faster, which could help water supplies for 300 million last longer this year.

#air-pollution, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #reservoirs, #snow-and-snowstorms, #south-asia

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The Skin-Deep Physics of Sidewinder Snakes

A close-up on snake skin helped scientists work out what might help certain snakes navigate sandy surfaces.

#deserts, #physics, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #sand-and-gravel, #skin, #snakes, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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Dogs May Have Come From an Ice Age Meetup of Carnivores in Siberia

Researchers propose that some remote ancestors of Native Americans may have been the first humans to forge the bond with wolves that led to domestication.

#archaeology-and-anthropology, #dogs, #durham-university, #larson-greger, #native-americans, #north-america, #oxford-university, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #siberia, #southern-methodist-university, #wolves, #your-feed-science

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Yes, Masks Are Still Necessary

Short of a total lockdown, universal mask-wearing is the most effective way to slow the relentless rise in hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19.

#centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #content-type-service, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #filters, #masks, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #vaccination-and-immunization

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The Cold Case of What’s Heating Up Yellowstone’s Steamboat Geyser

Scientists ruled out earthquakes and excessive snowfall as culprits in the series of outbursts from the world’s tallest active geyser.

#earthquakes, #geology, #geysers, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #rain, #research, #volcanoes, #water, #yellowstone-national-park, #your-feed-science

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Why Are Pandas Covering Themselves With Horse Manure?

Researchers in China spent a decade studying this question.

#animal-behavior, #animals, #biology-and-biochemistry, #china, #feces, #horses, #manure, #pandas, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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A Record of Horseback Riding, Written in Bone and Teeth

Close examination of horse remains has clarified the timeline of when equestrianism helped transform ancient Chinese civilization.

#archaeology-and-anthropology, #bones, #china, #horses, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #research, #spine-body-part, #teeth-and-dentistry, #your-feed-science

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What Happened to South America’s Missing Mega-Mammals?

South America is filled with mammals from North America, but why more didn’t survive the reverse trip has been a natural history mystery.

#endangered-and-extinct-species, #mammals, #north-america, #panama, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #sloths-animals, #south-america, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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‘Super-Enzyme’ Speeds Up Breakdown of Plastic, Researchers Say

A new cocktail of enzymes that degrades plastic faster is a step to fully recycling soda bottles and other waste, British and American researchers said this week.

#plastic-bottles, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #recycling-of-waste-materials, #research, #waste-materials-and-disposal

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Cats Shed More Than Dogs. The Coronavirus, Not Fur.

A new experiment confirmed that cats can spread the virus to one another, and found dogs did not shed the virus. There’s still no evidence that pets transmit it to humans.

#cats, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #dogs, #ferrets, #pets, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-healthcare

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Singing Dogs Re-emerge From Extinction for Another Tune

The animal was believed to have disappeared from the highlands of New Guinea, but was found on the island’s Indonesian side.

#dogs, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #genetics-and-heredity, #indonesia, #new-guinea, #papua-province-indonesia, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #research

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Scientists Say New Strain of Swine Flu Virus Is Spreading to Humans in China

A new study warns that the strain of H1N1, common on China’s pig farms since 2016, should be “urgently” controlled to avoid another pandemic.

#china, #pigs, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #swine-influenza

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The Roman Republic Was Teetering. Then a Volcano Erupted 6,000 Miles Away.

Scientists have linked historical political instability to a number of volcanic events, the latest involving an eruption in the Aleutian Islands.

#alaska, #aleutian-islands, #archaeology-and-anthropology, #caesar-julius, #nile-river, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #research, #roman-civilization, #rome-italy, #volcanoes, #your-feed-science

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Hummingbirds Navigate an Ultraviolet World We Never See

New research shows that the nectar-drinking birds use their enhanced color vision to distinguish sources of food.

#animal-behavior, #eyes-and-eyesight, #flowers-and-plants, #hummingbirds, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #research, #stoddard-mary-caswell, #ultraviolet-light, #your-feed-science

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Scientists Take Aim at Another Coronavirus Study in a Major Journal

A report on masks relied on unfounded assumptions, researchers charged, and the authors were permitted to choose their own reviewers.

#academic-and-scientific-journals, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #masks, #molina-mario-j, #national-academies-of-the-united-states, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #research, #rumors-and-misinformation

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Mass Extinctions Are Accelerating, Scientists Report

Five hundred species are likely to become extinct over the next two decades, according to a new study.

#animals, #biodiversity, #ceballos-gerardo, #conservation-of-resources, #ehrlich-paul-r, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #international-union-for-conservation-of-nature, #missouri-botanical-garden, #national-autonomous-university, #population, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #your-feed-science

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Climate Change Is Making Hurricanes Stronger, Researchers Find

An analysis of satellite imagery from the past four decades suggests that global warming has increased the chances of storms reaching Category 3 or higher.

#global-warming, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #kossin-james-p, #national-oceanic-and-atmospheric-administration, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences

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Hurricanes Are Reshaping Evolution Across the Caribbean

A new study of lizards in countries struck by hurricanes suggests cataclysmic weather can reshape entire species.

#caribbean-area, #donihue-colin-biologist, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #lizards, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #turks-and-caicos-islands, #wind, #your-feed-science

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The Case of the Disappearing Exoplanet

Fomalhaut b was one of the first planets around another star to be directly imaged by telescopes. Some astronomers now say it was a cloud of asteroid debris.

#asteroids, #fomalhaut-b, #gaspar-andras, #hubble-space-telescope, #planets, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #research, #rieke-george-h, #space-and-astronomy, #stars-and-galaxies, #telescopes-and-observatories

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When Crocodiles Once Dived Like Dolphins and Whales

They didn’t have blowholes, but an ancient lineage of crocodilians returned to the oceans in a manner similar to some marine mammals.

#crocodiles, #dolphins-and-porpoises, #ears-and-hearing, #evolution-biology, #fossils, #oceans-and-seas, #paleontology, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #research, #schwab-julia-a, #whales-and-whaling, #your-feed-science

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