The first Homo sapiens appeared on the planet some 200,000 years ago. But even though they looked fully human, they didn't act fully human until they began creating symbolic art, some 100,000 years later. Paleoanthropologist Ian Tattersall discusses those human origins in his book Masters of the Planet.
Coyotes were first spotted in New York City in the 1990s. Now they are thought to be permanent residents of the Bronx, and have been seen in Queens and Manhattan. Wildlife biologist Mark Weckel, of the Mianus River Gorge Preserve, is documenting their immigration through camera traps in New York City parks.
New York City has been referred to as a concrete jungle. But researchers say it is more 'jungle' than you might think. A panel of experts discuss the plant and animal life found in city waters and green spaces. They also discuss the impact of urbanization and climate change on a city's biodiversity.
The mild New England winter means that more black bears are up and about, looking for food — and not just in the woods. In Northampton, Mass.,they're also exploring urban backyards and residential cul-de-sacs, where finding food scraps is a lot easier than berry-picking.
There seem to be a lot of bugs in certain parts of the country this spring. Richmond, Virginia reports an unusual amount of cankerworms this spring; Iowa experienced surprisingly thick swarms of fungus gnats about two weeks ago; and then there's the increasing issue of stinkbugs in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish talk about what people are seeing, and what experts think is going on.
The interviews are part of an ongoing investigation of government scientists who described seeing dead polar bears in Arctic waters in 2006. Investigators were apparently interested in archived aerial surveys, suggesting their probe remains focused on the scientific integrity of the 2006 paper.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.