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Calls of the Wild

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The Language of Song: An Interview with Donald Kroodsma
A profile of a scientists who has spent thirty years recording and studying the songs of birds for clues to the evolution of vocal learning. By Jennifer Uscher. July 01, 2002

How do bats echolocate and how are they adapted to this activity?
Alain Van Ryckegham, a professor at the School of Natural Resources at Sir Sandford Fleming College in Lindsay, Ontario, Canada, offers his explanation.

Cluttered Surfaces Baffle Echolocating Bats
Background objects-leaf litter on the forest floor, for example- produce their own echoes, which confuse hunting bats. But research shows that bats have a strategy for just this kind of tricky circumstance: they turn down the sonar and wait for the insect to reveal itself.

Brainy Bees Think Abstractly
The capacity for abstract thinking does not belong to humans alone, as studies of other vertebrates, such as primates, pigeons and dolphins, have shown. Now new research indicates that invertebrates, too, possess higher cognitive functions. According to a report in the current issue of the journal Nature, the humble honeybee can form "sameness" and "difference" concepts-an ability that may help them in their daily foraging activities.

Experienced Female Elephants Ensure Family Survival
Matronly elephants hold the key to their family's well-being, according to a study published today in Science. These females guard the clan's social knowledge, which is essential for successful breeding.

Fly Ear Research May Improve Hearing Aids
A tiny fly and its extraordinary hearing ability may hold the key to better hearing aid technology, according to a study published today in the journal Nature.

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