Life as We Know It
Butterfly GPS, glowing mushrooms, bat-hunting songbirds and more
- By Amanda Bensen, Abby Callard, T.A. Frail, Abigail Tucker and Sarah Zielinski
- Smithsonian magazine, December 2009
Alligators resume long-term relationships during mating season. (Wayne Bennett / Corbis)
Like most reptiles, alligators tend to live a solitary existence. But during spring mating season, according to research conducted in Louisiana, they appear to resume long-term relationships. A ten-year genetic study of adults and offspring revealed that even though males and females often mated with multiple partners during any given season, many pairs reunited year after year.
Learn more about the American alligator at the Encyclopedia of Life.
"Luminescent Mycena: new and noteworthy species," Dennis E. Desjardin et al., Mycologia, October 6, 2009.
"Great tits search for, capture, kill and eat hibernating bats," Péter Estók et al., Biology Letters, September 9, 2009.
"Reciprocal Face-to-Face Communication between Rhesus Macaque Mothers and Their Newborn Infants," Pier Francesco Ferrari et al., Current Biology, October 8, 2009.
"Antennal Circadian Clocks Coordinate Sun Compass Orientation in Migratory Monarch Butterflies," Christine Merlin et al., Science, September 25, 2009.
"Multiyear multiple paternity and mate fidelity in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis," S. L. Lance et al., Molecular Ecology, October 5, 2009.