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Cacophony Acoustics
Roboroach and Company
Fishing for Giant Squid
Mice sense each other's fear
Double take
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Chemistry and Materials
Bang, Sparkle, Burst, and Boom
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Fingerprint Evidence
The solar system's biggest junkyard
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Dinosaurs Grow Up
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Explorer of the Extreme Deep
Slip Slidin' Away—Under the Sea
On the Trail of America's Next Top Scientists
A Change in Leaf Color
Plant Gas
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Finding the Past
Settling the Americas
Salt and Early Civilization
Stonehenge Settlement
Sting Ray
Food and Nutrition
The mercury in that tuna
Recipe for Health
Allergies: From Bee Stings to Peanuts
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. That vs. Which
Subject and Verb Agreement
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
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GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Mathematics
It's a Math World for Animals
Math and our number sense:
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Human Body
Tapeworms and Drug Delivery
Sun Screen
Sleeping Soundly for a Longer Life
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Black Hole Journey
Gaining a Swift Lift
Getting the dirt on carbon
The algae invasion
Sweet, Sticky Science
Copperhead Snakes
Space and Astronomy
Saturn's Spongy Moon
A Puffy Planetary Puzzle
Pluto's New Moons
Technology and Engineering
Smart Windows
Beyond Bar Codes
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Noun
Robots on a Rocky Road
Robots on the Road, Again
Where rivers run uphill
Watering the Air
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
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Jay Watch

When some birds store food for future meals, they pay close attention to who might be watching when they hide the food. In the presence of thieves, the birds go to extra trouble to save their hoards. Among western scrub jays, certain birds are ranked higher than others. High-ranked birds often steal food from birds of lower rank. Low-ranked birds never steal from their superiors, but they sometimes steal from others of the same rank. In a generous spirit, jays allow their mates to raid each other's hoards. In a recent set of tests, scientists gave some yummy waxworms to individual jays. They also provided two ice cube trays, filled with pellets, as hiding places. When a jay other than its mate was watching, a bird would hide more waxworms in the tray that was farther away from the watcher. Later, when revisiting the trays in private, any hider who'd been watched by a superior during the first episode shifted more treats to other hiding places than did a bird watched by a subordinate, a mate, or no other jay. Next, the researchers let a jay hide waxworms in a single tray while a jay of similar rank watched. In the second round, there was a different observer and a different tray for hiding food. When the hider came back to the scene and found one of the original observers watching, it remembered which tray it had used while that observer was watching. Then, it went about moving worms away from that tray to the other one. And the jay would be very sneaky while doing it. Keeping the food hidden in its beak, it would poke its beak into several possible hiding places. A spy couldn't easily tell into which spot the food was actually placed. Scientists were surprised to find evidence that birds could tell the difference between individuals and could remember what those individuals knew. The new findings are "just the last step in a long series of experiments showing that birds do all kinds of things," says Tom Smulders of the University of Newcastle in England. The term "birdbrain" may be a compliment after all!—E. Sohn

Jay Watch
Jay Watch

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