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Chicken of the Sea
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It's a Math World for Animals
A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
Setting a Prime Number Record
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A Better Flu Shot
Football Scrapes and Nasty Infections
Walking to Exercise the Brain
Invertebrates
Grasshoppers
Daddy Long Legs
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Asian Elephants
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What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
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Spin, Splat, and Scramble
Invisibility Ring
Einstein's Skateboard
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Seeds of the Future
Tracking the Sun Improves Plant Pollen
Sweet, Sticky Science
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Space and Astronomy
An Icy Blob of Fluff
Galaxies Divide Sharply Along Color Lines
Super Star Cluster in the Neighborhood
Technology and Engineering
Smart Windows
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Beyond Bar Codes
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Preposition?
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Transportation
Flying the Hyper Skies
Robots on the Road, Again
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Weather
Catching Some Rays
A Dire Shortage of Water
The solar system's biggest junkyard
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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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