Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
Where Have All the Bees Gone?
Middle school science adventures
Frogs and Toads
Salamanders and Newts
Pothole Repair, Insect-style
Little Bee Brains That Could
Helping the Cause of Macaws
Primate Memory Showdown
The Other Side of the Zoo Fence
Swine flu goes global
Chemistry and Materials
Silk’s superpowers
Earth from the inside out
Heaviest named element is official
Batteries built by Viruses
The hungry blob at the edge of the universe
Computers with Attitude
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Early Birds Ready to Rumble
Dino Flesh from Fossil Bone
Fossil Fly from Antarctica
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Warmest Year on Record
Wave of Destruction
Coral Islands Survive a Tsunami
Island Extinctions
Swimming with Sharks and Stingrays
Alien Invasions
Finding the Past
Fakes in the museum
Sahara Cemetery
Stone Age Sole Survivors
Saltwater Fish
A Jellyfish's Blurry View
Food and Nutrition
Yummy bugs
The Essence of Celery
Chocolate Rules
GSAT English Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
Problems with Prepositions
Capitalization Rules
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Mathematics
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Math of the World
Math Naturals
Human Body
Sleeping Soundly for a Longer Life
What the appendix is good for
From Stem Cell to Any Cell
Giant Squid
How children learn
Children and Media
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
The Particle Zoo
One ring around them all
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Surprise Visitor
Seeds of the Future
A Giant Flower's New Family
Boa Constrictors
Sea Turtles
Space and Astronomy
Unveiling Titan
Phantom Energy and the Big Rip
A Very Distant Planet Says "Cheese"
Technology and Engineering
Space Umbrellas to Shield Earth
Roll-Up Computer Monitors to Go
A Micro-Dose of Your Own Medicine
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Verb?
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Robots on a Rocky Road
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Either Martians or Mars has gas
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Earth's Poles in Peril
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Watery Fate for Nature's Gliders

Talk about winging it. The albatross is an amazing glider. In windy weather, these ocean birds can stay airborne for hours without flapping their enormous wings. They've been known to follow ships for days to feed on garbage. Today, there are about 17 species of albatross, and they are found only in areas around Antarctica and the northern Pacific Ocean. Scientists know that albatross once soared over the Atlantic, but they've never understood why these birds might have died out—until now. A new fossil discovery made in Bermuda suggests that the Atlantic population of at least one species of albatross, the short-tailed albatross, died out 400,000 years ago. Around this time, a period of global warming caused the polar ice caps to melt, making sea levels rise at least 20 meters. That spelled trouble for the birds. The rising sea level left very little land on Bermuda, reducing the number of places the albatross could nest and breed. Albatross must have nesting sites at high altitudes, and they need strong winds to make their gliding takeoffs and landings. In the Pacific Ocean, there are many more islands with high peaks than there are in the Atlantic Ocean. Researchers at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, think that's why the birds survived rising sea levels in the Pacific, but not in the Atlantic. The Bermuda fossil find was surprising to scientists for another reason: The only other albatross fossils they had found before were from 5 million years ago. The latest fossils, which are only 400,000 years old, indicate that albatross were cruising over the Atlantic more recently than scientists had realized. Today, the short-tailed albatross is an endangered species. The only surviving birds live in Japan. Let's hope these and all albatross can keep gliding well into the future.—S. McDonagh

Watery Fate for Nature's Gliders
Watery Fate for Nature's Gliders

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