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A Tongue and a Half
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Night of the living ants
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A Diamond Polish for Ancient Tools
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If Only Bones Could Speak
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A Pepper Part that Burns Fat
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Monkeys Count
A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
Human Body
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Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
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Gaining a Swift Lift
The Particle Zoo
IceCube Science
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White fuzzy mold not as friendly as it looks
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A Whole Lot of Nothing
Mercury's magnetic twisters
Holes in Martian moon mystery
Technology and Engineering
Searching for Alien Life
A Micro-Dose of Your Own Medicine
Supersuits for Superheroes
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
Pronouns
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Revving Up Green Machines
Reach for the Sky
Ready, unplug, drive
Weather
Watering the Air
Earth's Poles in Peril
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
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Who's Knocking?

Is it, or isn't it? That's been the question on every bird-lover's lips since April, when scientists announced that the ivory-billed woodpecker is still alive (see "Glimpses of a Legendary Woodpecker"). For the past 60 years, many experts supposed that the bird was extinct. Even after the recent rediscovery, some have refused to believe the reports. Researchers from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, placed digital sound recorders at more than 150 spots in the woodlands of Arkansas and left them there for weeks. In all, they collected about 18,000 hours of sound. Within the recordings, the Cornell scientists hear what they say could be the ivory-billed woodpecker's distinctive sharp calls, which sound like "kent." The recorders also picked up several dozen examples of a double-knocking sound, typical of the way an ivory-billed woodpecker is supposed to drum on a tree. On the lab's Web site (www.birds.cornell.edu/ivory/), the scientists have posted the new recordings, along with recordings from the 1930s. Computer analyses show that the recent calls are very similar to the 1930s sounds, which definitely come from ivory-billed woodpeckers. You can listen to the recordings, compare the sounds, and decide for yourself. Critics who challenged the first claims (which included seven sightings and 4 seconds of blurry video footage) have been more accepting of the new sound recordings. Still, doubts remain. The bird in the original video looks like a pileated, not ivory-billed, woodpecker to some people. Moreover, the sounds are not complete proof by themselves, the Cornell scientists say. Several people bird-watching in the Arkansas woods have said that blue jays there sometimes make an odd tooting sound. The recorded calls sound a little like them. To check this, the Cornell team plans to record blue jay calls in Arkansas. So far, there's no proof that will satisfy everyone. The only clincher, it seems, will be a clear, close-up photograph. Somebody still needs to take that picture.E. Sohn

Who's Knocking?
Who's Knocking?








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