Christopher Joyce http://www.kplu.org en Maybe Dinosaurs Were A Coldblooded, Warmblooded Mix http://www.kplu.org/post/maybe-dinosaurs-were-cold-blooded-warm-blooded-mix If you go to a zoo on a cold day and watch the snakes, you'll see what it means to be <a href="http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/image_galleries/ir_zoo/coldwarm.html">coldblooded</a>. Not much action going on — most reptiles and other coldblooded creatures take on the temperature of their surroundings, so they tend to be most sluggish when the outside temperature is cool. The monkeys, however, act like they've had one too many cappuccinos. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 18:18:45 +0000 Christopher Joyce 17116 at http://www.kplu.org Maybe Dinosaurs Were A Coldblooded, Warmblooded Mix Looks Like The Paleo Diet Wasn't Always So Hot For Ancient Teeth http://www.kplu.org/post/looks-paleo-diet-wasnt-so-hot-ancient-hunters-teeth One of the hinge points in human history was the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/07/08/198453031/farming-got-hip-in-iran-some-12-000-years-ago-ancient-seeds-reveal">invention of agriculture</a>. It led to large communities, monumental architecture and complex societies. It also led to tooth decay.<p>When hunter-gatherers started adding grains and starches to their diet, it brought about the "age of cavities." At least that's <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/02/24/172688806/ancient-chompers-were-healthier-than-ours">what a lot of people thought</a>. Mon, 06 Jan 2014 20:35:31 +0000 Christopher Joyce 12300 at http://www.kplu.org Looks Like The Paleo Diet Wasn't Always So Hot For Ancient Teeth Meat Mummies: How Ancient Egyptians Prepared Feasts For Afterlife http://www.kplu.org/post/meat-mummies-how-ancient-egyptians-prepared-feasts-afterlife Meat mummies.<p>It's a word pairing that is, I dare say, pretty rare. Who among us has heard those two words together? What, indeed, could a "meat mummy" be?<p>Indiana Jones, of course, would have known the answer right away. A meat mummy is a section of animal prepared as if for eating, then bandaged and placed in a sarcophagus by ancient Egyptians. Egyptian royalty, even after death, got hungry. And royalty deserved something more than oats and tubers. Mon, 18 Nov 2013 23:23:10 +0000 Christopher Joyce 11137 at http://www.kplu.org Meat Mummies: How Ancient Egyptians Prepared Feasts For Afterlife Trapped In A Fossil: Remnants Of A 46-Million-Year-Old Meal http://www.kplu.org/post/trapped-fossil-remnants-46-million-year-old-meal Scientists who study why species vanish are increasingly looking for ancient DNA. They find it easily enough in the movies; remember the mosquito blood in Jurassic Park that contained dinosaur DNA from the bug's last bite? But in real life, scientists haven't turned up multi-million-year-old DNA in any useable form.<p>Fortunately, a team at the Smithsonian Institution has now found something unique in a 46-million-year-old, fossilized mosquito — not DNA, but the chemical remains of the insect's last bloody meal.<p>They started with a fossilized mosquito. Mon, 14 Oct 2013 20:23:30 +0000 Christopher Joyce 10456 at http://www.kplu.org Trapped In A Fossil: Remnants Of A 46-Million-Year-Old Meal Om Nom Nom: T. Rex Was, Indeed, A Voracious Hunter http://www.kplu.org/post/om-nom-nom-t-rex-was-indeed-voracious-hunter <em>Tyrannosaurus rex</em> is perhaps one of the most famous animals to have ever roamed the Earth. This huge, fierce meat-eater has graced Hollywood films as the perpetual villain, and it has played a notorious role in the science community that studies it, too.<p>Despite its vicious depiction in pop culture, paleobiologists have debated the feeding behavior of <em>T. rex</em> over the past 100 years, ever since the first evidence of the animal was discovered in the early 1900s. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 16:07:59 +0000 Christopher Joyce 9349 at http://www.kplu.org Om Nom Nom: T. Rex Was, Indeed, A Voracious Hunter Is The Sky The Limit For Wind Power? http://www.kplu.org/post/sky-limit-wind-power Wind power is growing faster than ever — almost <a href="http://www.awea.org/learnabout/publications/reports/upload/AWEA-Fourth-Quarter-Wind-Energy-Industry-Market-Report_Executive-Summary-4.pdf">half of the new sources of electricity</a> added to the U.S. power grid last year were wind farms.<p>But is the sky the limit? Several scientists now say it's actually possible to have so many turbines that they start to lose power. Wed, 27 Mar 2013 20:34:34 +0000 Christopher Joyce 8176 at http://www.kplu.org Is The Sky The Limit For Wind Power? Hey, Sexy Dino, Show Me Your Feathers http://www.kplu.org/post/sexy-dino-show-me-your-feathers-if-thats-why-you-have-em Some of the weirdest animal behavior is about romance. That's especially true with birds — they croon or dance or display brilliant feathers to seduce the reluctant.<p>This sort of sexual display apparently has a long pedigree: There's now new evidence that some dinosaurs may have used the same come-on.<p>The source is a kind of dinosaur that was built like a 400-pound ostrich. It lived about 75 million years ago and is called ornithomimus<em>,</em> meaning "bird mimic."<p>Scientists in Canada found the fossilized bones of one in 1995 that looked different from what they'd seen before. Fri, 26 Oct 2012 14:06:14 +0000 Christopher Joyce 6846 at http://www.kplu.org Hey, Sexy Dino, Show Me Your Feathers When fire met meat, the brains of early humans grew bigger http://www.kplu.org/post/when-fire-met-meat-brains-early-humans-grew-bigger If you're reading this blog, you're probably into food. Perhaps you're even one of those people whose world revolves around your Viking stove and who believes that cooking defines us as civilized creatures.<p>Well, on the latter part, you'd be right. At least according to some neuroscientists from Brazil.<p>They noticed (haven't we all?) that humans have very big brains. But they point out that gorillas and orangutans have bigger bodies than we do by far, but smaller brains and fewer neurons. Normally, brain size pretty much matches body size in primates. Wed, 24 Oct 2012 14:46:48 +0000 Christopher Joyce 6820 at http://www.kplu.org When fire met meat, the brains of early humans grew bigger Baby Beluga, Swim So Wild And Sing For Me http://www.kplu.org/post/beluga-sang-humans-speak Whales are among the great communicators of the animal world. They produce all sorts of sounds: squeaks, whistles and even epic arias worthy of an opera house.<p>And one whale in particular has apparently done something that's never been documented before: He imitated human speech.<p>The beluga, or white whale, is smallish as whales go and very cute, if you're into marine mammals. Wed, 24 Oct 2012 04:14:15 +0000 Christopher Joyce 6814 at http://www.kplu.org Baby Beluga, Swim So Wild And Sing For Me What drove early man across the globe? Climate change http://www.kplu.org/post/what-drove-early-man-across-globe-climate-change Anthropologists believe early humans evolved in Africa and then moved out from there in successive waves. However, what drove their migrations has been a matter of conjecture.<p>One new explanation is climate change. <br /> Tue, 18 Sep 2012 00:06:55 +0000 Christopher Joyce 6374 at http://www.kplu.org What drove early man across the globe? Climate change A Clear And Present Danger: How Glass Kills Birds http://www.kplu.org/post/how-glass-kills-birds-and-what-we-can-do-about-it <em>First of a two-part series. <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=157792377">Read Part 2.</a></em><p>Modern architecture loves glass. Glass makes interiors brighter and adds sparkle to cityscapes. But glass also kills millions of birds every year when they collide with windows. Biologists say as more glass buildings go up, more birds are dying.<p>So a group of biologists and architects is trying to do something about that. You'll find some of them at the <a href="http://www.powdermillarc.org/">Powdermill Avian Research Center</a> in western Pennsylvania. Wed, 08 Aug 2012 14:54:35 +0000 Christopher Joyce 5926 at http://www.kplu.org A Clear And Present Danger: How Glass Kills Birds Famous Cave Paintings Might Not Be From Humans http://www.kplu.org/post/famous-cave-paintings-might-not-be-humans The famous paintings on the walls of caves in Europe mark the beginning of figurative art and a great leap forward for human culture.<p>But now a novel method of determining the age of some of those cave paintings questions their provenance. Not that they're fakes — only that it might not have been modern humans who made them.<p>The first European cave paintings are thought to have been made over 30,000 years ago. Most depict animals and hunters. Fri, 15 Jun 2012 16:09:18 +0000 Christopher Joyce 5293 at http://www.kplu.org Famous Cave Paintings Might Not Be From Humans Is Japanese Dock A Noah's Ark Or A Trojan Horse? http://www.kplu.org/post/japanese-dock-noahs-ark-or-trojan-horse A bizarre event has drawn scientists to a beach in Oregon — a floating concrete dock from Japan has washed ashore. It had been ripped from its moorings by last year's tsunami and floated across the Pacific.<p>The dock is encrusted with mussels, barnacles and other marine life from Asia. Scientists are amazed these organisms survived the 14-month voyage, but they're also worried some of these organisms could become pests in U.S. waters.<p>Marine biologist John Chapman heard about the dock last Tuesday. Fri, 08 Jun 2012 20:49:52 +0000 Christopher Joyce 5230 at http://www.kplu.org Is Japanese Dock A Noah's Ark Or A Trojan Horse? The Dinosaurs' Nemeses: Giant, Jurassic Fleas http://www.kplu.org/post/dinosaurs-nemeses-giant-jurassic-fleas Fossil-hunting scientists are coming to grips with a new discovery that could change forever how we think of dinosaurs. What they've found is that dinosaurs may well have been tortured by large, flealike bloodsucking insects.<p>Yes, it appears that the greatest predators that ever roamed Earth suffered just as we mammals did — and as we still do. Mon, 07 May 2012 00:49:57 +0000 Christopher Joyce 4943 at http://www.kplu.org The Dinosaurs' Nemeses: Giant, Jurassic Fleas Scientists Link Rise In Quakes To Wastewater Wells http://www.kplu.org/post/scientists-link-rise-quakes-wastewater-wells Scientists who watch for earthquakes have discovered a big increase in the number of small quakes in the middle of the country. It's an area that's usually pretty quiet geologically.<p>The scientists suspect the quakes are caused by wastewater wells. They plan to discuss their findings later this month at a seismology conference, but they've shared the basics with NPR.<p>Bill Ellsworth, a seismologist at the U.S. Thu, 12 Apr 2012 16:05:46 +0000 Christopher Joyce 4733 at http://www.kplu.org