Richard Kemeny

All Stories by Richard Kemeny

  1. A close-up photo of a locust biting into another locust. It is frankly unsettling.

    Swarming locusts can deploy a chemical to avoid being cannibalized

    Releasing a “don’t-eat-me” pheromone signals a locust has become a toxic treat. The finding could lead to new ways to control destructive swarms.

  2. A photo of yellowed corn crops in a field.

    ‘Flash droughts’ are growing increasingly common

    Droughts are forming faster more often in much of the world due to climate change, a new study finds.

  3. painting on the side of a Maya vase that depicts a ruler speaking to a kneeling attendant while tamales are prepared

    In Maya society, cacao use was for everyone, not just royals

    Previously considered a preserve of Maya elites, cacao was consumed across all social strata, a new study finds.

  4. black and white illustration of buildings at the ancient settlement Abu Hureyra

    Humans may have started tending animals almost 13,000 years ago

    Remnants from an ancient fire pit in Syria suggest that hunter-gatherers were burning dung as fuel by the end of the Old Stone Age.

  5. A close-up of a 'zombie' fungus erupting from the body of a fly. The fungus has long, thin stalks ending in puffy 'heads'.

    An award-winning photo captures a ‘zombie’ fungus erupting from a fly

    The winner of the 2022 BMC Ecology and Evolution photo competition captures a macabre cycle of life and death in the Peruvian Amazon.

  6. A beaver in a cage, partially submerged in water and surrounded by grass

    Relocated beavers helped mitigate some effects of climate change

    Along a river in Washington state, the repositioned beavers built dams that lowered stream temperatures and boosted water storage.

  7. A vampire bat in flight at night

    Lost genes may help explain how vampire bats survive on blood alone

    The 13 identified genes underpin a range of physiological and behavioral strategies that the bats have evolved.

  8. a group of Arctic sponges

    Deep-sea Arctic sponges feed on fossilized organisms to survive

    Slow-moving sponges, living deep in the Arctic Ocean where no currents deliver food, scavenge a carpet of long-dead critters.

  9. an anole clinging to a wire fence

    Urban animals may get some dangerous gut microbes from humans

    Fecal samples from urban wildlife suggest human gut microbes might be spilling over to the animals. The microbes could jeopardize the animals’ health.

  10. image of a pair of albatrosses with cliffside and ocean in the distance

    Albatrosses divorce more often when ocean waters warm

    In one part of the Falkland Islands, up to 8 percent of the famously faithful birds ditch partners in years when the ocean is warmer than average.