free counter
Science And Nature

These rodents slice the grass around their homes

Intriguing science news includes lawn-mowing voles, ancient hand grenades, and the biggest known land organism.

Published August 4, 2022

4 min read

Cutting their risks

Trimming the grass around their homes might be a chore for most humans, but also for Brandts voles its a matter of life and death, new research shows. The tiny rodents are located in grasslands in Mongolia, Russiaand China, where theyre regularly observed trimming tall grasses close to the openings of these burrows to allow them to watch the skies for predators such as for example shrikes, their chief avian adversary.

When shrikes are flying around, Brandts voles use their teeth to fell the bunchgrass dotting their house fields. However the rodents neither eat the plant nor take it to their burrows, scientists observed. As a test, the scientists put nets on the voles burrows so shrikes couldnt get closeand the voles stopped cutting the grass.

The shrikes appear to have adapted also: They began avoiding areas where their hunting cover have been mowed by the voles, based on the study. Its findings certainly are a reminder of what sort of single species, however small, can transform a whole ecosystem. Annie Roth

Grenades hurled in Crusades?

In the Near East, ceramic vessels in spheroconical shapes are normal artifacts. Recent chemical analysis suggests that some were used as explosive grenades through the Crusades in 11th- or 12th-century Jerusalem.

Incendiary devices werent new. Archaeologists have discovered proof hand grenades in 12th-century Cairo, naphtha firepots in ninth-century B.C. Assyria, and a chemical fireball used against Alexander the fantastic in 327 B.C. Adrienne Mayor

Acres of aspens = one colossal tree

At a lot more than 6,500 tons, a grove of quaking aspens growing on 106 acres in Utah is, by weight, Earths largest known land organism. What appear to be 47,000 separate trees are actually genetically identical stems rising in one root system. Deer and cattle eating new aspen shoots threaten to kill this peculiar beinga tree that for millennia has been its forest. Craig Welch

These stories come in the September 2022 problem of National Geographic magazine.

Read More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker