Chomp, chomp. An inconspicuous — albeit with a camera on its back — alligator slithers through a lake stalking and capturing nearby prey, then surfaces to crush and swallow it. This gator is one of a group of camera-toting American alligators that are revealing some surprising insights about their foraging behaviors in two coastal regions in Florida, scientists report in a new study. The resulting video footage revealed that the cryptic predators hunt most often at night, even though the probability of a successful catch is highest during the morning hours. [See Video of the Alligators Stalking Prey ] "We discovered that alligators forage at all times of the day, but increasingly during the night and evening hours, however they were most successful in the morning and while attacking prey below the surface," said the researchers, James Nifong from the University of Florida and colleagues, in a statement. In the past, scientists have relied on stomach contents of … [Read more...] about Alligators Stalk, Crush & Swallow Prey on Candid Camera
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It's official: Reptiles can use tools to help them hunt. New research shows that alligators and crocodiles can use small sticks to attract birds looking for nesting materials. If the birds get too close, they become a meal. The behavior has so far been observed among American alligators in Louisiana, as well as mugger crocodiles (also known as marsh crocodiles) in India. Alligators only engaged in this trickery during the nesting season and in areas where birds nested, said Vladimir Dinets, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. During nesting season, there's often a shortage of sticks in marshy areas where these reptiles and birds overlap, and birds sometimes even fight amongst themselves to procure sticks to build nests. The study, which Dinets co-authored and which was published in late November in the journal Ethology Ecology & Evolution, suggests that there is no other explanation for this behavior than as one of tool use. "What's really … [Read more...] about Alligators and Crocodiles Use Tools to Hunt, in a First
Paramount Plus is the subscription streaming-video service set to replace CBS All Access , costing $10 a month ad-free when it launches Thursday in the US and 18 Latin American countries. Paramount Plus will include live news and sports as well as on-demand shows and movies, including originals -- all of which leaning into parent company ViacomCBS ' brands like CBS , MTV , BET , Comedy Central , Nickelodeon and Paramount Network, plus movies from the Paramount Pictures studio. But Paramount Plus won't have the one show most associated with the Paramount name: Yellowstone . The first three seasons of the cowboy drama are streaming exclusively on rival service Peacock . Down the line, Paramount Plus will have exclusive Yellowstone spinoffs, like the prequel Y:1883 expected later this year. Paramount Plus will have a library of more than 30,000 episodes and 2,500 movies, plus 36 original series debuts this year. Among those originals will be a revival of … [Read more...] about Paramount Plus: Everything to know about CBS All Access’ streaming revamp
Researchers have learned a lot about the new coronavirus in the 233 days since officials in China reported cases of a then-unknown disease to the World Health Organization. Much of what they’ve learned upended their early assumptions about the virus. The changes aren’t just hard to keep track of; they also make it hard to adjust to new recommendations. Initially, researchers thought it spread almost entirely through droplets of mucus or spit between people in close proximity. Now, we know it can spread through the air. Researchers thought that it was mostly passed between people with obvious symptoms. Now we know that people can contract the virus and never be visibly sick. During an emergency like a pandemic, it’s entirely normal for conclusions to change quickly as new information emerges. But even though it’s normal, it can feel like whiplash trying to keep up with the research. It’s even harder because people are prone to grabbing on to the first piece of information they learn … [Read more...] about For COVID-19 facts, first impressions matter
It was only the other day that I was wondering whether it would be fun to have a cuckoo clock in my kitchen. more Technically Incorrect The Boeing 737 Max is back? Not everyone is convinced McDonald's customers just got great news. It began as an engineer's bit of fun IT leaders hardly ever get it wrong (say IT leaders) A QR code on your gravestone? It's dead serious An Amazon Alexa-powered cuckoo clock , that is. I concluded that the idea was arrant bonkers, as are most things Alexa-enabled. But we all have our prejudices and many Americans are only too delighted to have Amazon's Echos and Dots strewn about their homes to make their lives easier. Why, Alexa can even buy you your mummy , should you want. Yet perhaps Alexa-lovers should be warned that things may not be as delightful as they seem. Skills? Oh, Everyone's Got Skills. New research from concerned academics at Germany's Ruhr-University Bochum, together with equally concerned … [Read more...] about Why would you ever trust Amazon’s Alexa after this?