Wild Watch

A camphor by any other name

Aug 1, 2002 Growing among the the laurel-dominated evergreen forests of central and southern Japan is a tree with a host of names and a host of uses. ...

Trees' wondrous ways of turning over a new leaf

Jul 18, 2002 Now, at the height of summer, when the fresh green of the spring leaves has darkened, I will start this week’s column with a question: “Why is it that northern Japan’s Mongolian oak and Europe’s common beech retain their rustling brown leaves all winter, while sharing their temperate forest habitat mainly with deciduous trees that drop thei...

Welcome to the world's most successful societies

Jul 4, 2002 Ants have an amazing lineage. They have been around for at least 100 million years, since the middle of the Cretaceous Period, and for at least the last 50 million years they have been among the most abundant of all insects. We think we’re successful? Our population has recently topped 6 billion, but the great ant scientist, Harvard-based profess...

The ants' workaday world is wherever you look

Jun 20, 2002 Despite the name, I didn’t see any ants in Antarctica, though it’s the only place I’ve been that I haven’t seen any. Everywhere else, from Alaska to Australia, from Norway to New Zealand, I have encountered them. Ants are an extraordinarily numerous and successful group. ...

Don't go making a monkey of yourself, man

Jun 6, 2002 Monkey, primate, ape; the terms slip so easily off the tongue, but just what do they mean, and how do they differ? And what does it mean to talk of New World and Old World monkeys? ...

Puzzling over monkeys' many ways of life

May 30, 2002 PRIMATES...

Summer's serenaders of the moon, sun and stars

May 16, 2002 Summer really is here. It has spread north so rapidly that June- and July-like temperatures were reported in Hokkaido even before the end of April. The cherry blossom wave rushed northward, too, at such a pace it was as if it were trying to take a running jump at Sakhalin. ...

20 years of writing on the wild side

May 2, 2002 The biological exuberance of the equatorial region is staggering to behold. Walking through a temperate forest (as one might find in many areas of northern Japan, the northern United States or across much of central Europe), it is commonplace to have a clear view for hundreds of meters — even to the horizon in hilly country. The temperate forest ...

Back when the Badlands were lush

Apr 18, 2002 DINOSAUR PROVINCIAL PARK...

'Park on a possum' is far easier said than done

Apr 4, 2002 Back in 1848, some bright spark had a “good” idea. Let’s import common brush-tailed possums from Australia and fur-farm them in New Zealand, they thought. They followed up on that idea with action — action that New Zealand’s environment has been paying for ever since. ...

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