Ecology

Leaping into science: the lemurs of NC

May 19, 2020

By Whitney Bell From Crikey! It’s the Irwins!, to Wild Kratts, to Planet Earth, TV shows and channels like Animal Planet featuring animals are not in short supply. Those of us who were growing up in the mid-90s might remember a PBS TV show called Zoboomafoo which starred brothers Chris and Martin Kratt (the creators […]

Poison Ivy

Apr 28, 2020

By Alan Curtis Hiking can be a fun and rewarding form of exercise but it comes with plenty of dangers ranging from blistered feet to wild animals. One of the most common dangers, however, is a seemingly harmless plant called Toxicodendron radicans, or more commonly, poison ivy. Poison ivy is a hardy, flowering summer plant […]

Tis the season for…Pollen

Apr 07, 2020

By Alan Curtis Ah, Spring- a season of renewal, growth and beautiful colors! Flowering plants and trees use pollen to reproduce. Pollen is produced by male parts of the flower and spread through the air and peaks in the spring months.  For some North Carolinians, pollen makes spring a time of intense allergies. Puffy eyes, […]

The Amazing Horseshoe Crab

Mar 31, 2020

By Eva Vitucci The horseshoe crab, an animal that’s actually more closely related to sea spiders than sea crabs, has swum through our coastal waters for the past 445 million years – dating them beyond the existence of dinosaurs! While these animals are ancient, they are relatively well-equipped to handle today’s world. In fact, the […]

The magical minds of sunflowers

Mar 12, 2020

By Lane Scher Sunflowers are one of my favorite plants. I like them not just because they grow tall and make beautiful flowers but also because of their amazing tricks to get sunlight and attract pollinators. When I was in college, I got to work in a research lab that studied these behaviors in sunflowers, […]

The Once and Future Chestnut Tree

Jan 16, 2020

By Lane Scher The American chestnut tree used to be the most common tree throughout the entire eastern United States, from Alabama to Massachusetts. The trunk could grow to be 10 feet across with branches that stretched 100 feet tall. The trees were fast-growing and the wood was strong. It had so many uses in […]

Humpback Whales Top Tracks

Dec 19, 2019

By Emma Joy Goldberg Today’s top pop music charts include tracks from Ariana Grande, Post Malone, Harry Styles and Billie Eilish.  But what if I told you that just like humans, humpback whales have their own top hits? Yes, you read that correctly! Male humpback whales have been dubbed the “serenaders of the sea” and […]

Figs and wasps: Name a more iconic duo

Nov 21, 2019

By Lane Scher In 350 BC, Aristotle wrote about wasps crawling out of ripe figs and then tunneling into the figs of another tree in his book, History of Animals. This might have been the first record of the bizarre mutualism between wasps and figs.  Flowers need to be pollinated for a fruit to develop. […]