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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Don't Go Into the Light
20 June 2012 4:16 pm
The Chilean wineberry has to make a tough choice: soak up the sun and chance being eaten, or shun the light and risk starving to death. The quick-growing plant (Aristotelia chilensis) lives in a warm, rainy environment where it needs to make big leaves to catch the sun's rays, but also where slugs, weevils, and other herbivores are just waiting to eat its leaves up. To figure out how the wineberry deals with this conflict, researchers grew its seedlings under conditions where there was either an abundance of sunlight or lots of shade, and also in the presence or absence of herbivores. Without predators present, the plants grew to have the same size and amount of leaves. However, when slugs and weevils were around, shaded seedlings produced much smaller leaves. In essence, the team reports online this month in The American Naturalist, the Chilean wineberry has found a compromise: Grow your leaves big enough so that they can catch light, but not so big that they become the perfect meal.
See more ScienceShots.