Monday, June 25, 2007

International Polar Year

It is International Ploar Year! And to celebrate I will periodically share with you all some interesing things about the North and South Poles. I'll include research update, historical events, and snippets about arctic and antarctice wildlife and ecosystems.

Here's the first item, a news release about the AMAZING research at the poles funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Antarctic Icebergs: Unlikely Oases for Ocean Life.

Continue your Urban Science Adventures! ©

Thursday, June 21, 2007

“I can tell by just looking at her.”

"I can tell by just looking at her.”
You may have heard this statement before. It’s often said by older women (mothers, aunties, grandmothers, and the like) in reference to a girl they believe has recently lost her virginity. Though such conclusions can’t be definitively confirmed, there are many in our community who place a lot of stock in such deductions. And according to some interesting research being done on adolescent psychology and behavior, our grannies may have been right all along.

One thing that these wise mothers may be cluing into is how a young maiden who has “lost her innocence” behaves and carries herself upon gaining sexual experience. Sex makes teens feel older; and it seems to be especially true for girls. Plus, a teen girl who is dating an older boy or an adult man, tends to rate herself as much more mature than her peers.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Coral Reefs are in trouble

Seems the herp isn't just for humans anymore. Herpes Virus Killing Coral Reefs an article from Live But that's not all that's got Coral Reefs singing the blues. Marine Ecosytems around the world are in some serious trouble. In fact, they're very existence is threatened and it coral reefs are destroyed, then the rest of the marine and neighboring terrestrial systems are in trouble, too.

In fact, Scientists who student marine and coral ecosystems are at high alert and have issued a call to action alert. They need signatures NOW for the Scientists’ statement on the reauthorization of the US Coral Reef Conservation Act. Visit the Marine Conservation Blog for more information or find out how you can help.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Urban Wildlife Watch - The Buzz about Bees

Bees are perhaps one of the most interesting urban wildlife creatures. Bees are invertebrate insects belonging to the order Hymenoptera. Hymenoptera include all bees, wasps, hornets, and ants.

Bees like other Hymenopterans are comprised of female-dominated societies. If you’ve ever been stung by one of these creatures it was a female. That’s because the stinger of a bee is a modified ovipositor – or egg laying structure.

In urban areas, most people occasionally encounter bees at the park, open fields, and flower gardens. They can be pesky and even dangerous if you are allergic to bee stings. But bees are also important environmental engineers. Bees help pollinate flowers, trees, and crop plants. When you observe bees buzzing around a field or flowered tree they are doing an important job. Unlike animals, plants can’t move or travel in order to find mates. Bees carry pollen from one flower to another. Pollen is equivalent to sperm of animals. The bees collect nectar of plans and the yellow pollen attaches to their fuzzy abdomen and prickly legs. When they visit the next flower, some of the pollen gets left behind and they pick up new pollen. It’s like an unintentional delivery service for plants.

This seemingly innocent act of transferring pollen is no light matter. Some species plants depend almost entirely on bees for reproduction. That’s why the news of dwindling native bee species is such an alarm. If there are fewer bees or no bees, then we’re in trouble, too. Farmers who grow important crops like wheat, corn, and other grains depend on this simple act of Mother Nature to keep things going. Plus, honey is an important and delicious agriculture product.

So, the next you're outside enjoying the fresh air, keep an eye out for bees. And let me know about your Urban Science Adventures!©
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