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Shadows in Flight

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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.

Taxonomy 101

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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

Goat Rock State Beach

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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

Old Hills, New Economies

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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.

Out of an Ancient Sea

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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?

Peering into Muddy Waters

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One measure of the ecological richness of the Bay is its role as a major nursery for five resident species of sharks.

What makes wildflowers so colorful?

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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