Tag Archives: science

As climates cool, adaptation heats up

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While natural selection is a big part of evolution, the theory now embraces much more than that. One of the big concepts that explains a lot of the pattern of evolution throughout history is called “adaptive radiation.” Adaptive radiation is a process in which environmental changes create new resources, challenges, and environmental niches, enabling rapid diversification of organisms from a single ancestral species.

Adaptive radiation provides a sound explanation that captures the effects of the interactions among organisms on species diversification. However, non-biological effects—the details of how environmental changes interact with species—are not easy to incorporate into this model and have not been extensively explored.

In a recent investigation published in PNAS, a team of scientists

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Grizzly Bears Have a Human Problem

In 2015, a woman named Barbara Paschke was attacked and killed by a black bear inside her home in northwest Montana. Paschke, who was 85 and suffered from Alzheimer’s, had been feeding bears regularly on her property, a practice that is illegal and, as her death showed, potentially fatal. Bears can quickly get used to foraging for easily accessible food sources close to human habitation, but they remain wild animals, imperiling both humans and themselves.

Nobody knows this reality better than the farmers, ranchers, and other humans living in areas with high bear populations. Unlike Barbara Paschke, most have no desire to feed the bears, but they often end up doing it unwittingly. “Nuisance bears,” as chronic offenders are described by wildlife biologists, invade trash cans, … Read the rest