A fruitful partnership between trees and birds

posted in: Tales of science | 2

Many rainforest trees begin their life in the beak of a wompoo fruit dove. And wompoos find it hard to survive without rainforest. This partnership is among the latest in a long series of trysts between rainforest trees and fruit-eating … Continued

Why are Australian swans black?

posted in: Tales of science | 4

Australian swans are black, while most swans are white. Why should this be? When I was a child, growing up in Australia, the only swans I saw were black. At Lake Wendouree in Ballarat, or in the Botanic Gardens of … Continued

The strangler fig: everyone’s favorite killer

posted in: Tales of science | 2

A rainforest tree is subject to many mortal perils: shade, cyclones, fires, chainsaws. One of the most grotesque and extended deaths is carried in a tiny seed, rained down from above by complicit birds and bats. Many such seeds drop … Continued