science

As recently as 10 years ago, humans were thought to be the only species with the ability to plan.

Recent studies on great apes showed the ability is not uniquely human. Now, scientists in Sweden have come to the surprising conclusion that ravens can also deliberately prepare for future events.

"It is conservative to conclude that ravens perform similarly to great apes and young children," the researchers write. However, monkeys have failed similar experiments.

It has been an odyssey, but finally, a team of six Afghan girls will be able to travel to the United States to compete in a robotics tournament. Two previous attempts to secure visas, which involved traveling 500 miles to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, had failed.

Twenty years ago Tuesday, a plucky little probe named Pathfinder landed at Ares Vallis on the surface of Mars.

It didn't land in the traditional way, with retrorockets firing until it reached the surface. No, Pathfinder bounced down to its landing site, cushioned by giant air bags. It was a novel approach, and the successful maneuver paved the way for a similar system used by the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity in 2003.

Climate scientists agree that this century is getting much warmer and that such warming will likely bring economic pain to the U.S., but economists aren't sure how much. Now, a team of scientists and economists, writing in the upcoming issue of the journal Science, says it can at least tell which parts of the country are likely to suffer the most.

From Cara Cara oranges to clementines, California's farmers deliver novel navels, mandarins and tangelos.

But the state's growers have watched with worry as the devastating disease known as citrus greening has crippled Florida's citrus industry. It's a threat not just to California's orange industry, but to the collection of rare, wild and heirloom varieties used to breed new crops that the U.S. Department of Agriculture currently "stores" in the state.

Katie Lepri

Dr. Phillip Frost thinks it has become "heresy" to question the role of human factors in the changing climate.

"I don't question that [the climate] is changing. But what I also know for an absolute fact is that over centuries it has been changing all the time," said Frost during a wide-ranging interview with The Sunshine Economy in which he discussed business, his philanthropy and the science museum that now bears his and his wife's names.

Associated Press

The pesticide widely used to fight Zika-carrying mosquitoes in Florida and across the nation has been linked to deficits in motor functions in Chinese babies, according to a new study.

The overwhelming majority of bats are friends of humanity. They gobble up the insects that bite us and ruin our crops. They pollinate flowers and they replant forests by spreading seeds around. But as agriculture overtakes rain forests and jungles, humans have come into conflict with one bat species: the common vampire bat.

Most anyone who has encountered a flamingo has probably been impressed by its signature ability to balance on a single long, spindly leg for remarkably long periods of time.

But actually, scientists have now shown that what appears to be a feat requires almost no muscle activity from the bird.

The teeth of Tyrannosaurus rex have been called "killer bananas," and a new study in the journal Scientific Reports shows just how hard those fearsome chompers could clamp down.

"What we came up with were bite forces of around 8,000 pounds," says Gregory Erickson of Florida State University. "That's like setting three small cars on top of the jaws of a T. rex — that's basically what was pushing down."

A "body farm" where researchers can study how corpses decompose will open next week in the Tampa Bay area with the burial of four donated bodies.

Officials from Pasco County and the University of South Florida attended a dedication ceremony Friday for the Adam Kennedy Forensics Field, a three and a half acre patch of land on the grounds of the Pasco Sheriff's detention facility in Land O' Lakes, just north of Tampa.

Bears do it; bats do it. So do guinea pigs, dogs and humans. They all yawn. It's a common animal behavior, but one that is something of a mystery.

There's still no consensus on the purpose of a yawn, says Robert Provine, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Provine has studied what he calls "yawn science" since the early 1980s, and he's published dozens of research articles on it. He says the simple yawn is not so simple.

Katie Lepri / WLRN

The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science opened Monday in its new location in downtown Miami.

An enthusiastic crowd welcomed the open doors, a line wrapping around the corner of the entrance for parts of the day.

Read more about the new museum here.

“I think it’s really cool, like they really outdid themselves,” said 13-year-old Ava Santiesteban.

For 51 years, a small federal program has been paying scientists to keep American waterways healthy. It's called Sea Grant — part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — and President Donald Trump"s proposed budget for next year would eliminate it.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

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