Wednesday, February 2, 2022

One Hip Hop at a Time

Environmental & Science Eduction, STEM, Behavior, Biodiversity, Nature, Wildlife

Ed Hessler 

An Arctic hare (Lepus arcticus) has hopped its way to the record books. 

Science News reports the results of research by Dominque Bertreaux (Universite du Quebec)  how these bunnies used the landscape. It was motivated because of their importance in arctic food webs. For foxes and wolves they are high on their menu list.

Bertreaux and his colleagues placed satellite tracking collars on 25 hares captured on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island. They had no idea that these hares were long trekkers, the prevalent idea is that they spent "their lives within a single, familiar territory where food is plentiful and easy to find."

Here is the travel log: Most traveled "anywhere between 113 (~70 miles) and 310 km (~193 miles)" but one, BBYY, traveled 388 km (~240 miles). BBYY ... "died of unknown causes about a month after reaching her final destination."

Ariana Remmel closes the reporting with a quote from Dr. Bertreaux that captures one of the great motivations of scientists. "[I]t’s exciting to find 'something unsuspected in an animal that we thought we knew quite well.'"

The research paper - behind a subscription wall - was published in Ecology.

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