Christopher Joyce http://wgcu.org en Dance Of Human Evolution Was Herky-Jerky, Fossils Suggest http://wgcu.org/post/dance-human-evolution-was-herky-jerky-fossils-suggest A trio of anthropologists has decided it's time to rewrite the story of human evolution.<p>That narrative has always been a work in progress, because almost every time scientists dig up a new fossil bone or a stone tool, it adds a new twist to the story. Discoveries lead to new arguments over the details of how we became who we are.<p>But anthropologists generally agree on this much: A little more than 2 million years ago in Africa, the human lineage emerged. Fri, 04 Jul 2014 07:37:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 12024 at http://wgcu.org Dance Of Human Evolution Was Herky-Jerky, Fossils Suggest Maybe Dinosaurs Were A Coldblooded, Warmblooded Mix http://wgcu.org/post/maybe-dinosaurs-were-cold-blooded-warm-blooded-mix If you go to a zoo on a cold day and watch the snakes, you'll see what it means to be <a href="http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/image_galleries/ir_zoo/coldwarm.html">coldblooded</a>. Not much action going on — most reptiles and other coldblooded creatures take on the temperature of their surroundings, so they tend to be most sluggish when the outside temperature is cool. The monkeys, however, act like they've had one too many cappuccinos. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 18:03:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 11278 at http://wgcu.org Maybe Dinosaurs Were A Coldblooded, Warmblooded Mix Spiders Tune In To Web's Music To Size Up Meals And Mates http://wgcu.org/post/spiders-tune-webs-music-size-meals-and-mates <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EkEsTafD38</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kjh7bQSc8ag</p> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 07:48:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 11172 at http://wgcu.org Spiders Tune In To Web's Music To Size Up Meals And Mates Hybrid Trout Threaten Montana's Native Cutthroats http://wgcu.org/post/hybrid-trout-threaten-montanas-native-cutthroats Many parts of the U.S. have been getting warmer over the past several decades, and also experiencing persistent drought. Wildlife often can't adjust. Among the species that are struggling is one of the American West's most highly prized fish — the <a href="http://www.nrmsc.usgs.gov/research/WCT">cutthroat trout</a>.<p>In springtime, you can find young cutthroats in the tiny streams of Montana's Shields Basin. Tue, 27 May 2014 21:09:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 10758 at http://wgcu.org Hybrid Trout Threaten Montana's Native Cutthroats Former Commando Turns Conservationist To Save Elephants Of Dzanga Bai http://wgcu.org/post/former-commando-turns-conservationist-save-elephants-dzanga-bai <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kGVqDmYZhI</p> Fri, 09 May 2014 07:34:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 10143 at http://wgcu.org Former Commando Turns Conservationist To Save Elephants Of Dzanga Bai Civil War Invades An Elephant Sanctuary: One Researcher's Escape http://wgcu.org/post/civil-war-invades-elephant-sanctuary-one-researchers-escape Ivory poachers are killing some 22,000 African elephants a year. Among the recent casualties was a group of rare <a href="http://www.birds.cornell.edu/brp/elephant/cyclotis/cyclotis.html">forest elephants</a> in the Central African Republic.<p>Those elephants were featured in an NPR program, Radio Expeditions, in 2002, when former NPR host and correspondent Alex Chadwick and sound engineer Bill McQuay went to central Africa to <a href="http://blog.allaboutbirds.org/2014/05/07/elephant-npr-sounds-video/">record them</a>.<p>The Central African Republic was peaceful back then. Thu, 08 May 2014 07:02:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 10113 at http://wgcu.org Civil War Invades An Elephant Sanctuary: One Researcher's Escape A T. Rex Treks To Washington For A Shot At Fame http://wgcu.org/post/t-rex-reveal-itself-smithsonian This week, scientists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History will start unpacking some rare and precious cargo. It's something the Smithsonian has never had before — a nearly complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex.<p>Most people don't know it, but the T. rex that's standing tall in the Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C., is a fake — a cast, a copy of the bones. It's an accurate replica, but for decades the Smithsonian has coveted a real skeleton of a T. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:43:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 9351 at http://wgcu.org A T. Rex Treks To Washington For A Shot At Fame The 500-Pound 'Chicken From Hell' Likely Ate Whatever It Wanted http://wgcu.org/post/500-pound-chicken-hell-likely-ate-whatever-it-wanted For the past decade, dinosaur scientists have been puzzling over a set of fossil bones they variously describe as weird and bizarre. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 09:02:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 8446 at http://wgcu.org The 500-Pound 'Chicken From Hell' Likely Ate Whatever It Wanted When Big Carnivores Go Down, Even Vegetarians Take The Hit http://wgcu.org/post/when-big-carnivores-go-down-even-vegetarians-take-hit Big, fierce animals — lions and tigers and bears, for example — are relatively scarce in nature. That's normal, because if you have too many, they'll eat themselves out of prey.<p>But top predators are now so rare that many are in danger of disappearing. That's creating ripple effects throughout the natural world that scientists are still trying to figure out.<p>What they're exploring is ecology — the interplay of animals and plants in nature. It's not rocket science. Fri, 10 Jan 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 6207 at http://wgcu.org When Big Carnivores Go Down, Even Vegetarians Take The Hit Looks Like The Paleo Diet Wasn't Always So Hot For Ancient Teeth http://wgcu.org/post/looks-paleo-diet-wasnt-so-hot-ancient-hunters-teeth One of the hinge points in human history was the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/07/08/198453031/farming-got-hip-in-iran-some-12-000-years-ago-ancient-seeds-reveal">invention of agriculture</a>. It led to large communities, monumental architecture and complex societies. It also led to tooth decay.<p>When hunter-gatherers started adding grains and starches to their diet, it brought about the "age of cavities." At least that's <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/02/24/172688806/ancient-chompers-were-healthier-than-ours">what a lot of people thought</a>. Mon, 06 Jan 2014 20:22:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 6087 at http://wgcu.org Looks Like The Paleo Diet Wasn't Always So Hot For Ancient Teeth Federal Flood Insurance Program Drowning In Debt. Who Will Pay? http://wgcu.org/post/federal-flood-insurance-program-drowning-debt-who-will-pay Millions of American property owners get flood insurance from the federal government, and a lot of them get a hefty discount. But over the past decade, the government has paid out huge amounts of money after floods, and the flood insurance program is deeply in the red.<p>Congress tried to fix that in 2012 by passing a law to raise insurance premiums. Now <em>that</em> move has created such uproar among property owners that Congress is trying to make the law it passed disappear.<p>Caught in the middle is the <a href="http://www.fema.gov/">Federal Emergency Management Agency</a>. Wed, 01 Jan 2014 08:03:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 5953 at http://wgcu.org Federal Flood Insurance Program Drowning In Debt. Who Will Pay? Centuries Before China's 'Great Wall,' There Was Another http://wgcu.org/post/centuries-chinas-great-wall-there-was-another The Great Wall of China, built more than 2,000 years ago, stands as one of the monumental feats of ancient engineering. Stretching thousands of miles, it protected the newly unified country from foreign invaders.<p>But before the Great Wall, warring Chinese dynasties built many other walls for protection. Sun, 29 Dec 2013 10:04:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 5864 at http://wgcu.org Centuries Before China's 'Great Wall,' There Was Another More People Have More To Eat, But It's Not All Good News http://wgcu.org/post/more-people-have-more-eat-its-not-all-good-news Among the things to celebrate this holiday season is the fact that there are fewer hungry people in the world. Just how many? Well, since 1965, researchers in Europe have been tracking the world's food supply and where it's going.<p>The good news is: The percentage of the world's population getting what the researchers say is a sufficient diet has grown from 30 percent to 61 percent.<p>In 1965, a majority of the world survived on less than 2,000 calories a day per person. This was especially true in parts of the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, China and Southeast Asia. Thu, 26 Dec 2013 08:18:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 5794 at http://wgcu.org More People Have More To Eat, But It's Not All Good News Scientists Battle Over Fate Of Yellowstone's Grizzlies http://wgcu.org/post/scientists-battle-over-fate-yellowstones-grizzlies Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>The North America's grizzly bear is protected under the Endangered Species Act. Its population was virtually wiped out in the lower 48 states. One group of bears, though, may soon lose that protection - the Yellowstone grizzly. Some scientists say that group is thriving. Others disagree. NPR's Christopher Joyce has more on the battle over the bear.<p>CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: The U.S. Fri, 13 Dec 2013 12:52:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 5425 at http://wgcu.org Long Island Wins Ultimate Faceoff Against Hurricane Sandy http://wgcu.org/post/long-island-wins-ultimate-faceoff-against-hurricane-sandy Hurricane Sandy last year did more harm to coastal cities and homes than any hurricane in U.S. history, except Katrina. Most of that damage has been repaired. But there's other damage that people can't see to the underwater coastline, known as the shore face.<p>Apparently, Long Island's shore face did remarkably well against the storm of the 21st century.<p>The shore face is the underwater slope that runs up to the shore. Its shape influences how fast and high water moves onto land. Sandy pushed water up the shore face and into towns and bays. Thu, 12 Dec 2013 22:48:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 5416 at http://wgcu.org Long Island Wins Ultimate Faceoff Against Hurricane Sandy How And Where Should We Rebuild After Natural Disasters? http://wgcu.org/post/how-and-where-should-we-rebuild-after-natural-disasters The physical damage from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is catastrophic. Hundreds of thousands of people are now homeless.<p>Soon, though, people will start to rebuild, as they have after similar natural disasters.<p>How they do it, and where, is increasingly important in places like the Philippines. Mon, 18 Nov 2013 22:05:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 4667 at http://wgcu.org How And Where Should We Rebuild After Natural Disasters? Meat Mummies: How Ancient Egyptians Prepared Feasts For Afterlife http://wgcu.org/post/meat-mummies-how-ancient-egyptians-prepared-feasts-afterlife Meat mummies.<p>It's a word pairing that is, I dare say, pretty rare. Who among us has heard those two words together? What, indeed, could a "meat mummy" be?<p>Indiana Jones, of course, would have known the answer right away. A meat mummy is a section of animal prepared as if for eating, then bandaged and placed in a sarcophagus by ancient Egyptians. Egyptian royalty, even after death, got hungry. And royalty deserved something more than oats and tubers. Mon, 18 Nov 2013 21:16:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 4660 at http://wgcu.org Meat Mummies: How Ancient Egyptians Prepared Feasts For Afterlife A Rancher And A Conservationist Forge An Unlikely Alliance http://wgcu.org/post/rancher-and-conservationist-forge-unlikely-alliance Trout fishing is a magnet that draws people from around the world to places like Ovando, Mont. Just ask the owner of Blackfoot Angler and Supplies, Kathy Schoendoerfer.<p>"Every state in the nation has been through this little shop in Ovando, Montana, population 50," says Schoendoerfer with a mix of pride and perhaps a little fatigue. "And we've also had everybody from Russia, Latvia. We get a lot of Canadians, France, Finland, Brazil, Scotland, Germany, South Africa. We get a lot of business out here. You know, fly-fishing is huge."<p>But Western trout may be in trouble. Fri, 15 Nov 2013 08:04:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 4558 at http://wgcu.org A Rancher And A Conservationist Forge An Unlikely Alliance As Climate Warms American West, Iconic Trout In Jeopardy http://wgcu.org/post/climate-warms-american-west-iconic-trout-jeopardy In the mountain streams of the American West, the trout rules. People don't just catch this fish; they honor it. And spend lots of money pursuing it.<p>But some western trout may be in trouble. Rivers and streams are getting warmer and there's often less water in them. Scientists suspect a changing climate is threatening this iconic fish.<p>I joined two such scientists from the U.S. Thu, 14 Nov 2013 08:07:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 4515 at http://wgcu.org As Climate Warms American West, Iconic Trout In Jeopardy How'd They Do That? The Story Of A Giant Rock And A Road Of Ice http://wgcu.org/post/howd-they-do-story-giant-rock-and-road-ice Great works of ancient engineering, like the Pyramids or Stonehenge, inspire awe in every beholder. But some onlookers also get inspired to figure out exactly how these structures were made.<p><a href="http://www.princeton.edu/mae/people/faculty/stone/">Howard Stone</a>, an engineer from Princeton University, had such a moment in Beijing's Forbidden City — a city-within-a-city of palaces and temples built in the 15th and 16th centuries. A carved, 300-ton slab that formed a ramp to one structure particularly caught Stone's eye. Mon, 04 Nov 2013 22:13:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 4196 at http://wgcu.org How'd They Do That? The Story Of A Giant Rock And A Road Of Ice