Agriculture
Keeping Bugs Away from Food
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Chicken Eggs as Drug Factories
Amphibians
Frogs and Toads
Poison Dart Frogs
Salamanders
Animals
The History of Meow
Mating Slows Down Prairie Dogs
How to Fly Like a Bat
Behavior
Listening to Birdsong
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Making light of sleep
Birds
Condors
Eagles
Storks
Chemistry and Materials
Sugary Survival Skill
The hungry blob at the edge of the universe
The chemistry of sleeplessness
Computers
Music of the Future
Graphene's superstrength
Lighting goes digital
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Hall of Dinos
Downsized Dinosaurs
A Rainforest Trapped in Amber
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Bugs with Gas
Distant Quake Changes Geyser Eruptions
Farms sprout in cities
Environment
Sea Otters, Kelp, and Killer Whales
Indoor ozone stopper
Acid Snails
Finding the Past
Early Maya Writing
Stonehenge Settlement
Decoding a Beverage Jar
Fish
Saltwater Fish
A Grim Future for Some Killer Whales
Eels
Food and Nutrition
Food for Life
Recipe for Health
Eat Out, Eat Smart
GSAT English Rules
Pronouns
Who vs. That vs. Which
Adjectives and Adverbs
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Mathematics
Math Naturals
Deep-space dancers
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Human Body
Nature's Medicines
Taking the sting out of scorpion venom
Cell Phones and Possible Health Hazards
Invertebrates
Sea Anemones
Crawfish
Roundworms
Mammals
Rhinoceros
Blue Bear
Tigers
Parents
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
How children learn
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Physics
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Project Music
The Particle Zoo
Plants
Springing forward
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
Fast-flying fungal spores
Reptiles
Cobras
Black Mamba
Iguanas
Space and Astronomy
A Puffy Planetary Puzzle
Older Stars, New Age for the Universe
A Star's Belt of Dust and Rocks
Technology and Engineering
Algae Motors
Crime Lab
A Micro-Dose of Your Own Medicine
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Noun
Transportation
Charged cars that would charge
Where rivers run uphill
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Weather
A Change in Climate
Recipe for a Hurricane
Where rivers run uphill
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™