British researchers, writing in the journal “Evolution,” described a species of birds in Africa’s Kalahari Desert that appear to acquire food by running a “protection racket” for other birds.
The biologists hypothesize that because drongo birds hang out at certain nests and squawk loudly when predators approach, the nest’s residents grow more confident about security and thus can roam farther away when they search for food — but with the hunters gone, the drongos scoop up any food left behind. The researchers also found that drongos are not above staging false alarms to trick birds into leaving their food unguarded.
the other dies
Among human procreation technologies soft-pedaled to tamp down controversy is surgeons’ ability to selectively abort some, but not all, fetuses in a womb in cases where in vitro fertilization (IVF) has overproduced — usually involving mothers expecting triplets or greater, which pose serious health risks. More controversially, according to a National Post report, a Toronto-area couple told their physician that IVF-created “twins” would be too much for them to care for and that the doctor should terminate one fetus — randomly chosen? — and leave the other.
A Roman Catholic church tribunal in Modena, Italy, ruled in November that a marriage should be annulled on the grounds of the wife’s adultery even though she apparently only “thought about” having an affair.
Her now-ex-husband believes she never actually followed through on her desires for an “open marriage.”
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