Researchers use the OwlCam to learn what owls see

Barn owls have a pretty tough job: in near-darkness, they need to catch at least two little critters a day to feed themselves, and about 20 a day if they have offspring. Since the stakes are so high, the selective pressure acting on these birds’ vision is quite intense. Last we...

Researchers use the OwlCam to learn what owls see

Barn owls have a pretty tough job: in near-darkness, they need to catch at least two little critters a day to feed themselves, and about 20 a day if they have offspring. Since the stakes are so high, the selective pressure acting on these birds’ vision is quite intense. Last we...

Why eggs have such weird shapes, doubly domesticated cats, and science balloons on the rise

MasaMima/iStockPhoto This week we have stories on the new capabilities of science balloons, connections between deforestation and drug trafficking in Central America, and new insights into the role ancient Egypt had in taming cats with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi ta...

A surprisingly simple explanation for the shape of bird eggs

New works explains why eggs vary in shape; still to come: why their colors and sizes vary so much as well. Frans Lanting/MINT Images/Science Source A surprisingly simple explanation for the shape of bird eggs A sandpiper’s egg is shaped like a teardrop, an owl’s lik...

Commercial balloons in the stratosphere could monitor hurricanes and scan for solar storms

Commercial balloons in the stratosphere could monitor hurricanes and scan for solar storms The layers of polyethylene, as thin as plastic sandwich bags, sit neatly folded in a wooden box at the headquarters of World View Enterprises in Tucson, Arizona. It seems the stuff of sho...

Natural gas fracking can make local well water explosive

As most forms of energy in the US have been going up in price, natural gas has gone in the opposite direction. This is largely the result of a new extraction technique called “fracking,” in which fluids under high pressure are used to fracture rock formations deep undergro...

Natural gas fracking can make local well water explosive

As most forms of energy in the US have been going up in price, natural gas has gone in the opposite direction. This is largely the result of a new extraction technique called “fracking,” in which fluids under high pressure are used to fracture rock formations deep undergro...

It’s official: over-represented states take home more cash

The negotiations that produced the US constitution left us with a democracy that’s not quite representative. Even the most sparsely populated states have a single representative, and every state has ended up with two senators. That means that very populous states, like Californ...

It’s official: over-represented states take home more cash

The negotiations that produced the US constitution left us with a democracy that’s not quite representative. Even the most sparsely populated states have a single representative, and every state has ended up with two senators. That means that very populous states, like Californ...

Curiosity is firing lasers on Mars- without help from humans

An autonomous targeting system originally announced by NASA last summer has allowed the Mars Curiosity rover to drastically increase the number of times per day it blasts rocks with its laser instrument, allowing it to collect more data than ever before, the agency has revealed. Known a...
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