Natural Selections podcast-logo

Natural Selections podcast

North Country PR

Each week join Martha Foley and Professor Curt Stager from Paul Smith's College as they discuss various topics from the world of nature.

Each week join Martha Foley and Professor Curt Stager from Paul Smith's College as they discuss various topics from the world of nature.
More Information

Location:

Canton, NY

Description:

Each week join Martha Foley and Professor Curt Stager from Paul Smith's College as they discuss various topics from the world of nature.

Language:

English


Episodes

What were the Adirondacks like before the Ice Age?

10/11/2018
More
(Oct 11, 2018) Before the last Ice Age, 100,000 year ago, the Adirondacks were a very different kind of place. The terrain was different, the climate, wildlife, and plant life bore little relationship to what we see today. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager go way back.

Duration:00:04:42

Why are bats so nimble in flight?

10/4/2018
More
(Oct 4, 2018) Bats are remarkably agile in flight, even more so than birds. How do they do that? Martha Foley and Curt Stager discuss the aerobatic anatomy of bats.

Duration:00:04:59

For cats, the comfort zone is shaped like a box

9/27/2018
More
(Sep 27, 2018) Of all the places a cat can hang out, why do do many of them want to hang out in boxes? According to researchers, cats that spend time in close confines are measurably less stressed than those remaining in the open. As Curt Stager tells Martha Foley, it's not just house cats who feel this way.

Duration:00:04:39

Couch Potato Bass evolving in response to human predation

9/20/2018
More
(Sep 20, 2018) The pressure to keep billions of humans fed can have a transformative impact on amimal populations. Overharvesting that targets the largest animals can result in reduction of the average size of species, as seen in Caribbean conch snails. And sport-fishing pressure on large mouth bass can winnow out the most agressive in the gene pool, resulting in a "lazier," more passive remnant population. Martha Foley and Curt Stager talk about the human factor in animal evolution.

Duration:00:05:03

How the bomb made archaeology harder

9/13/2018
More
(Sep 13, 2018) Fallout from atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons has distorted the background levels of the radioactive isotope carbon-14, used by archaeologists to date organic materials But it has an upside, providing a new scale by which to date more recent events, helping researchers track cell turnover in different parts of the body and in testing the age of everything from vintage wine to elephant ivory. Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss radiocarbon dating. Listen to Natural...

Duration:00:06:57

Are squirrels going over to the dark side?

9/6/2018
More
(Sep 6, 2018) Black squirrels are becoming more common throughout the St. Lawrence Valley. They are a normal variation of the more familiar gray squirrel species. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss melanism, an increase in the pigmentation of some species that can be a response to environmental factors.

Duration:00:05:58

Pitcher plants survive poor soil by turning trapped insects into potting mix

8/30/2018
More
(Aug 30, 2018) Most carnivorous plants, such as the pitcher plant commonly found in Adirondack bogs, live in poor soils. Unwary insects are drawn to a sweet bait to supplement their diet. Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss these botanical oddballs, which may live as long as 50 years.

Duration:00:06:22

More than Seven Sisters: the Pleaides

8/23/2018
More
(Aug 23, 2018) The Greeks called them "The Seven Sisters," but a look at the Subaru logo shows the Japanese saw them differently. This familiar star cluster constellation actually contains thousands of stars when viewed through a telescope, as well as brown dwarf proto-stars and dust nebulae and newly-forming solar systems. Martha Foley and Curt Stager look at the night sky.

Duration:00:05:34

Natural Selections: stellar distances

8/16/2018
More
(Aug 16, 2018) Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager talk about stars and the very clever ways we can tell their distance from the earth.

Duration:00:05:43

Hamsters may be going nowhere, but they came from Syria

8/9/2018
More
(Aug 9, 2018) All the pet hamsters in the world derive from a small wild population collected in Syria in the 1930s. Martha Foley and Curt Stager talk about hamsters, in the wild and working the wheel.

Duration:00:06:09

You don't need a microscope for "A Field Guide to Bacteria"

8/2/2018
More
(Aug 2, 2018) Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss Betsey Dexter Dyer's book, A Field Guide to Bacteria, and the distinctive traits of individual bacteria that are visible to the naked eye.

Duration:00:05:18

Ancient "bones" of the Adirondacks

7/26/2018
More
(Jul 26, 2018) "Old as the hills" is a relative term. The Adirondacks may be relatively young mountains, but their distinctive grey granite, anorthosite, originated 1.1 billion ago, so deep in the earth's crust that only continental collision could have formed it.Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss Adirondack geology.

Duration:00:05:47

The madcap collective behavior of whirligig beetles

7/19/2018
More
(Jul 19, 2018) Watching whirligig water beetles, found in circling clumps on the surface of calm fresh water, is a favorite childhood activity of many, including one-time child Martha Foley. Dr. Curt Stager explains the method behind their madcap collective behavior.

Duration:00:04:35

Life within the "glass houses" of diatoms

7/12/2018
More
(Jul 12, 2018) Diatoms are fascinating creatures that share some qualities of both plant and animal. Dr. Curt Satger and Martha Foley talk about these water-borne oddities that inhabit the base of the food chain in geometric "glass houses" of their own construction.

Duration:00:05:04

The seldom seen barred owl hoots (and hunts) by night

7/5/2018
More
(Jul 5, 2018) The barred owl is often heard but seldom seen. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss the habits of this nocturnal hunter, and Curt demonstrates his own highly-regarded version of its distinctive call.

Duration:00:04:59

The curious boreal nuptials of the spotted salamander

6/28/2018
More
(Jun 28, 2018) The first warm, rainy night of spring is the best time to spot this amphibian, while they migrate to forest pools for mating. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss this northern forest native and its curious boreal nuptials.

Duration:00:05:00

The tent caterpillar: nemesis of orchard and yard

6/14/2018
More
(Jun 14, 2018) A common (if unwelcome) sight on trees in the apple and cherry family is the nest of the tent caterpillar, whose voracious appetite can completely strip a tree of foliage. These moth larvae are unusual, both in their engineering feats and their social organization.

Duration:00:04:53

Why can't you tickle yourself?

6/7/2018
More
(Jun 7, 2018) Some people claim immunity from tickling, and no one seems to be able to tickle themselves. The ribs, underarms and feet are the most effective tickle targets. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley continue their discussion with the anatomy of tickling.

Duration:00:05:02

A little informal research on tickling

5/31/2018
More
(May 31, 2018) Why are humans ticklish? Does it have a purpose? How you react to tickling depends on who is doing the tickling.

Duration:00:03:50

Is it OK to create a glow-in-the-dark bunny?

5/24/2018
More
(May 24, 2018) Gene sculpting has gained cautious acceptance for medical research and treatment, but a bioluminescent rabbit created by a "transgenic artist" for aesthetic purposes pushes the limits of the debate.

Duration:00:05:28