Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Coffee and Provocation

The Blurry World of Dogs, Wolves, Coyotes and Jackals
From Discovery:  "The dog-jackal hybrids, reported in the latest issue of Royal Society Open Science, add to the growing body of evidence -- mating between dogs and coyotes, grey wolves, and Ethiopian wolves has previously been documented -- that dogs can breed with just about any type of wild canine and produce fertile offspring."  Of course, this kind of genetic drift and cross-pollination between species is so common as to be an essential element in Darwin's theory of evolution

Bird Nests Preserved Centuries Old Documents
While doing restoration work on the the Assumption Cathedral built in the early 15th Century in Zvenigorod, Russian archaeologists found birds’ nests that were hundreds of years old and built of documents from different periods. Among the bits found: ads, manuscripts, candy wrappers, newspaper articles, and even part of a 1000 ruble note, which was a fortune at the time.

Ted Williams is a Force of Nature
"Ted Williams is a national treasure. I can think no one who so consistently—and effectively—bangs the drum on behalf of the environment, conservation, our game, fish and wild, open spaces. Williams calls out the miscreants and criminals who trash our environment, and praises the heroes who fight for it. His prose is candid, clear-eyed and concise. Williams is also opinionated but always supported by well-researched facts. He has become, in many ways, the modern-age equivalent of Rachel Carson for sportsmen."  Read the whole piece in Forbes.

The Finch Love Dance
High-speed footage reveals that some finch’s engage in very rapid mating dancing, with footwork so fast it is invisible to the human eye.

Coyote Benefits
From the Prairie Ecologist blog: "One of the most dramatic studies of coyote impacts on the structure and function of ecological communities took place on 20,000 hectares of west Texas land back in the 1990’s. Researchers halved the number of coyotes in one portion of the study area and left the population alone elsewhere. Within a year of coyote control, the area with fewer coyotes experienced higher populations of bobcats, badgers, and gray foxes. Perhaps as a result, 11 of the 12 rodent species in that area disappeared, leaving only a skyrocketing population of kangaroo rats. Jackrabbits also tripled their numbers in the coyote control area, much to the chagrin of ranchers, since jackrabbits compete with livestock for forage."

Tracking Bee colony Health Using AI
A camera and a computer program can monitor whole hive heath.

How Ralph Nader Changed America
Read this -- it will make you feel good. If you want to feel real good, read it twice. "Is it wrong to talk about defective cars, diseased meats, corporate cheating? Is it really distasteful that a person cares enough about issues like these to dedicate his life to changing them?”

Is Your Coffee Pot a Bacteria-laced Science Project?
Yes it is.


PipedreamFarm said...

hybridization between wild cat species has also been confirmed by genetic testing.

Hybridization between Canada lynx and bobcats: Genetic results and
management implications

PipedreamFarm said...

more on the wild produced Canada Lynx - bobcat hybrids

Canada Lynx-bobcat (lynx canadensis × L. rufus) Hybrids at the Southern Periphery of Lynx range in Maine, Minnesota and New Brunswick

Observation of an adult female hybrid with three kittens, as well as placental scars in the reproductive tract of a second animal, suggest that hybrids may be reproducing successfully.

PipedreamFarm said...

and another....

Continental-scale assessment of the hybrid zone between bobcat and Canada lynx


We conducted a continental-scale assessment of hybridization between bobcat and Canada lynx.

0.24% (7 of 2851) of the animals we sampled were introgressed.

Lynx–bobcat hybrids backcrossed with parental types of both species.

Backcrossing with abundant bobcat can result in loss of lynx in areas of sympatry.

We have read the argument that since dogs and wolves produce fertile hybrids dogs and wolves must be the same species. So now I ask, does this mean that Canada Lynx and bobcats must be the same species by the same argument or is the argument incorrect?

Lucas Machias said...

I agree about Williams.

We need many more like him.