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Meghan Bartels

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    Born Lucky: The Genetics of the Four-Leaf Clover

    Each year, from 1913 to 1917, the psychologist Edmund S. Conklin would hand out a questionnaire to his new psychology students. Conklin wanted to see which superstitious habits or beliefs were the most and least enduring. He found that just over a quarter of college students believed in lucky four-leaf clovers, making it the second […]

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    Is Poaching Causing Elephants to Evolve Without Tusks?

    Spotting evolution can be trickier than you might think. Take African elephants. Usually they boast massively overgrown (and ever-growing) teeth—their tusks. For male elephants, these are weapons in sexual competition, but all elephants also use their tusks to scrape bark off trees, uncover roots, and dig for water during dry spells. Humans have their own […]

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    This Doesn’t Sound Tasty

    How moths bat away their predators.

  • TLAS_HERO_tusks

    How an Elephant Loses Its Tusks

    Elephants without tusks are a response to the selective pressure of poaching.

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    New York City Battles on Against Dutch Elm Disease

    To many people in New York City, a beautiful summer day is all about the trees. To be more specific, the American elm trees in the Central Park Mall, which form a promenade through the heart of the park. “Everybody’s always impressed by the wonderful cathedral-like ceiling of the Mall, especially if they’re new to […]