Wild Things: Life as We Know It
Caterpillars, Bonobos, European Songbirds and More...
- By T. A. Frail, Jesse Rhodes, Jessica Righthand, Brandon Springer and Sarah Zielinski
- Smithsonian magazine, November 2010
Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus) perching on conifer branch, North Wales, UK (Alan Williams / Naturepl.com)
Name: The blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus, a European songbird.
At First Light: Males sing at dawn.
By Night Light: In areas with streetlights, males sing earlier in the morning and attract more mates, and females lay eggs 1.5 days sooner.
Not So Bright: “Light pollution influences the timing of breeding behavior,” says co-author Bart Kempenaers of the Max Planck Institute, and could override natural cues about when to mate and with whom.
“Web gigantism in Darwin’s bark spider, a new species from Madagascar (Araneidae: Caerostris),” Matjaž Kunter and Ingi Agnarsson, The Journal of Arachnology, 2010
“Mothers matter! Maternal support, dominance status and mating success in male bonobos (Pan paniscus),” Martin Surbeck et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B, September 1, 2010
“Are fish less responsive to a flow stimulus when swimming?” Karla E. Feitl et al., The Journal of Experimental Biology, August 27, 2010
“Artificial Night Lighting Affects Dawn Song, Extra-Pair Siring Success, and Lay Date in Songbirds,” Bart Kempenaers et al., Current Biology, September 16, 2010
“Parachuting behavior and predation by ants in the nettle caterpillar, Scopelodes contracta,” Kazuo Yamazaki, Journal of Insect Science, April 27, 2010