Agriculture
Where Have All the Bees Gone?
Keeping Bugs Away from Food
New Gene Fights Potato Blight
Amphibians
Frogs and Toads
Newts
Salamanders and Newts
Animals
Big Squid
A Butterfly's New Green Glow
Helping the Cause of Macaws
Behavior
Supersonic Splash
Dino-bite!
The Electric Brain
Birds
Eagles
Hawks
Dodos
Chemistry and Materials
Boosting Fuel Cells
The newest superheavy in town
Diamond Glow
Computers
It's a Small E-mail World After All
Troubles with Hubble
New twists for phantom limbs
Dinosaurs and Fossils
An Ancient Spider's Web
Dinosaur Eggs-citement
Dino Takeout for Mammals
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Snowflakes and Avalanches
Petrified Lightning
Distant Quake Changes Geyser Eruptions
Environment
Easy Ways to Conserve Water
Will Climate Change Depose Monarchs?
Improving the Camel
Finding the Past
Traces of Ancient Campfires
Unearthing Ancient Astronomy
The Taming of the Cat
Fish
Eels
Parrotfish
Codfish
Food and Nutrition
Chew for Health
Making good, brown fat
The Color of Health
GSAT English Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
Who vs. Whom
Adjectives and Adverbs
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Mathematics
Math of the World
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Losing with Heads or Tails
Human Body
Electricity's Spark of Life
Sun Screen
Walking to Exercise the Brain
Invertebrates
Roundworms
Daddy Long Legs
Grasshoppers
Mammals
Wolves
Jaguars
Moose
Parents
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Physics
Thinner Air, Less Splatter
The Particle Zoo
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
Plants
The algae invasion
City Trees Beat Country Trees
Seeds of the Future
Reptiles
Copperhead Snakes
Snakes
Crocodilians
Space and Astronomy
An Icy Blob of Fluff
Roving the Red Planet
Planet Hunters Nab Three More
Technology and Engineering
Beyond Bar Codes
A Clean Getaway
Weaving with Light
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Adjectives and Adverbs
Pronouns
Transportation
How to Fly Like a Bat
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Weather
Earth's Poles in Peril
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Warmest Year on Record
Add your Article

Blotchy Face, Big-Time Wasp

"Winners never cheat, and cheaters never win." You may have heard people say this. Some wasps seem to live by the same motto. A new study shows that if female paper wasps pretend to be something they're not, their peers get angry. Some animals have colored markings, like badges, that show their status. High-ranking male house sparrows, for instance, often have a bigger dark patch of feathers on their breast than low-ranked birds do. The patch warns other birds to respect them. Scientists have wondered why less dominant animals don't sometimes develop status markings as a way to trick others into giving them more respect than they deserve. One possible explanation is that high-ranking animals must also prove themselves socially. Evidence for this idea, however, has been tricky to find. Researchers from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, went looking for some answers in paper wasps (Polistes dominulus). Each colony of paper wasps has about 10 queens, who fight each other and end up ranked from top queen to all-around loser queen. All the queens have spots on their faces, but each queen has a different numbers of spots, and some spots have curvier edges. The researchers found that queens with really spotty faces—with both lots of spots and lots of wavy edges—ranked higher that those with simpler patterns did. It's the first status badge ever found in an insect. To test the risks of wearing badges, Elizabeth Tibbetts used model-airplane paint to change the number and curviness of spots on some of the queens. For comparison, she also dabbed paint on the faces of some other queens in places that didn't change the outline of the spots. Wasp faces are tiny, so she learned to paint very carefully. Tibbetts then let regular wasp queens fight with the painted wasps. The fights where one wasp had the wrong spots for her rank went on much longer than fights involving a painted wasp who still had the natural outline of spots. This showed that faking spots could mean a lot of dangerous battles. The extra fighting might help keep the badge system honest. With wasps, as with people, it seems, it's always best to be yourself. As the saying goes, "Honesty is a virtue."—E. Sohn

Blotchy Face, Big-Time Wasp
Blotchy Face, Big-Time Wasp








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™