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Submission + - White sky at night not a city bird's delight->

grrlscientist writes: Free-living songbirds show increased stress hormone levels when nesting under white street lights. But different light spectra may have different physiological effects as this study finds, suggesting that using street lights with specific colour spectra may mitigate effects of light pollution on wildlife
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Submission + - Life history trade-offs: why tropical songbirds have fewer chicks->

grrlscientist writes: Tropical songbirds produce fewer, high-quality nestlings per breeding effort than do songbirds that breed in temperate zones, according to a study published today. This study reports that tropical songbirds’ nestlings grow longer wings, and faster, which means they spend less time in the nest where they are vulnerable to predators
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Submission + - Ribbiting news: venomous frogs discovered in Brazil->

grrlscientist writes: A team of scientists have identified two species of venomous frogs, a unexpected discovery. While a number of frogs have toxins in their skin and thus are considered poisonous, the term “venomous” is reserved for animals, such as pit vipers, that can inject their toxins into other animals.
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Submission + - Are hurricanes more deadly than himmicanes?->

grrlscientist writes: A recently published paper claims that the gender of the name given to individual hurricanes is linked to the public's perception of the risk posed by that storm. In short, this study claims that hurricanes given female-sounding names are perceived to be less dangerous than those given male-sounding names (which we refer to here as "himmicanes"). This public underestimation of risk apparently results in hurricanes causing significantly more deaths than himmicanes. We reanalyse the data and find there is no relationship between hurricane name-gender and deaths caused.
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Submission + - Open and shut: These brainy birds open their own doors->

grrlscientist writes: When the University of Victoria in Canada opened a new campus bike centre in the parkade located under the University Centre last November, motion-activated doors were installed to discourage swallows from nesting in the new facility. But when the swallows returned to their familiar nest sites a few weeks ago, they were undeterred by this peculiar impediment: they quickly learned how to open the doors by flying in front of the infrared motion detector.
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Submission + - Half-siders: A tale of two birdies->

grrlscientist writes: Chimæras have been big in the news recently. Also known as "halfsiders" or tetragametic chimæras, these unusual animals (or humans!) are actually two genetically distinct individuals — twins — fused into one being. This science news story explores how this accident of nature occurs.
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Submission + - PCBs cause birds to sing a different tune->

An anonymous reader writes: Songbirds living along the Hudson River in New York state are exposed to levels of PCBs that don't kill them but do disrupt the songs they sing, reports a team of researchers from Cornell University. Their study reveals that birds residing in regions with higher environmental PCB contamination levels have higher total blood PCBs, which affects their singing behaviour: the team found these species' songs varied predictably based on their PCB load, and also based upon the type of PCBs. Thus, the scientists suggest that another of the many toxic effects of sublethal environmental PCB pollution are neurological effects that translate into observable behaviour changes that disrupt song quality used by birds to communicate.
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Submission + - http://gu.com/p/3tzxq/tw ->

grrlscientist writes: In this cool story, we learn that, addition to the amazing revelation that whales have earwax (!!), a team of researchers in the United States just published a paper detailing a new method that they developed for measuring a whale's lifetime exposure to a wide variety of chemicals pollutants — by studying their earwax!
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Submission + - Woolly mammoth extinction due to warming climate->

grrlscientist writes: In this scientific whodunnit, the latest research points a finger squarely at changing climate as the main culprit leading to the extinction of the woolly mammoth. This news story features images and a brief, readable summary of the study's findings and then below the jump, it goes into more detail about how the research team designed their study and worked together to figure everything out. The below-the-jump portion includes data images from the paper and relies on interviews with several authors and an expert who was not involved in the research.
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How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."