Rarely seen and, until recently, poorly understood, bats are a significant component of the Bay Area’s natural environment. Now, researchers are filling in the gaps by studying several of the area’s most at-risk species.
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Over 200 years ago, Swedish naturalist Karl von Linne (or, as he Latinized the name, Carolus Linneaus) devised a system for classifying all living things based on anatomical structures. Although Linneaus lived before Darwin, his method presaged later concepts of … Read more
Q: What’s the difference between bird songs and bird calls? [L.R., Santa Clara A: Bird song, usually produced by the male, is an advertisement of territory and breeding availability, and, in most species, is limited to the breeding season. As … Read more
The Pacific Coast north of San Francisco is justly renowned for its scenic beauty. It is also geology writ large, where evidence of powerful forces still at work on our region is exposed at many places. Goat Rock State Beach … Read more
A hike on the Hazelnut Trail at Montara Mountain leads you through several scrub communities and straight into a botanical puzzle.
The vast expanse of rugged country east of high-tech Santa Clara Valley, crowned by the Bay Area’s highest peak, has been a refuge for wild species—humans included—for a very long time.
The oak-dotted, rounded hills of Contra Costa and eastern Alameda counties are a familiar sight, but do you know how they got to be that way?
One measure of the ecological richness of the Bay is its role as a major nursery for five resident species of sharks.
At the precise moment we are looking at them, flowers are sending light rays back to us. But not all of them are sending us the same kind of light in the same way. The different colors are different wavelengths … Read more
On the edge of the tidal marsh fringing Suisun Slough, a streaky dark-brown sparrow gleans seeds of tules and other rushes from the exposed mud. A shadow passes: a northern harrier, cruising for mice. The sparrow vanishes into a tangle … Read more