Watch out for these unusual creatures next time you’re walking in a wet forest.
Why is this bird attacking my windows?
Q: How does photosynthesis occur in plants that are not obviously green, such as ornamental plum trees with deep purple-colored leaves? [Paul, Santa Cruz] A: Photosynthesis (which literally means “light put together”) is that very elegant chemical process that jump-started … Read more
What causes dragonflies to take flight in swarms of thousands or millions?
Q: What native land snails live in the Bay Area? Where do the common garden snails come from, and what’s the status of our native snail populations? [Erica, Mountain View] A: If you are a gardener like me, you eventually … Read more
Q: Are native bees suffering the same “colony collapse disorder” as honeybees? [Linda, San Ramon] A: Colony collapse disorder, or CCD, has gotten a lot of media attention, and with good reason. The western honeybee (Apis mellifera) is native to … Read more
Q: Do any local breeding birds mate for life? Why? [Leo, San Francisco] A: Some local birds do form long-lasting pair bonds of several different kinds. Ravens and scrub jay pairs hang out together all year, not just at breeding … Read more
Q: A group of families goes out every year, catching up to 300 crawdads for a big feast, releasing those with eggs. We often wonder if we’re depleting the supply. How long do they live? Are they native to the … Read more
Q: Off San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, I saw dorsal fins beyond the surfers. After 20 minutes, I saw two bearers of fins breaching the water. What were they? [Claire, San Bruno] A: Congratulations on being very observant. The animals you … Read more
Q: Which spot in the Bay Area gets the most yearly average rainfall and which spot gets the least? Why? [Diane, Bolinas] A: Nearly all the precipitation we receive comes between November and April in the form of rain from … Read more