Posts tagged Environmental News Network

Female vs. male spiders: Who eats who?

There are few animals that people cringe at more than black widows. The name itself instills fear in many. The spider is known for its deadly bite and cannibalistic nature when mating – the female almost always eats the male after he fertilizes her eggs.

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A new study reverses the common assumption that all female spiders eat male spiders, as is the case of the black widow. Photo from Springer’s journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 

These spiders usually stick out in people’s minds, but a new study proves that males eat females in many other spider species, according to Environmental News Network.

This study, conducted by Lenka Sentenska and Stano Pekar from Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, shows that the cannibals took place soon after the first interaction (and before mating) between male and female spiders.

The study showed that most spiders are more cannibalistic in July because that is when they are the largest. The aggressive habitats of the spiders may be related to the size.

In the study, the large males preyed on the older females from the previous year. The size of the females did not matter; the age was the trigger.

The study was published in Springer’s Journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

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US Air Force keeps energy bills flying low

Since 2012, the U.S. Air Force has been cutting back on how much energy they use. Photo from usmilitary.about.com.

Since 2012, the U.S. Air Force has been cutting back on how much energy they use. Photo from usmilitary.about.com.

The largest energy user in the federal government, the U.S. Air Force, is reducing their energy usage. This group alone uses about 1 percent of the nation’s total energy.

Last year, the Air Force spent over $9 billion on energy and 85 percent of that went to aviation fuel, according to an Environmental News Network article.

Through investments and policy initiatives, the Air Force avoided $1.5 billion in energy bills compared to baseline years for its facility.

So far, the Air Force is on track to meet its goals of  “reducing facility energy intensity by 37.5 percent by 2020.” It is also well on its way to meet its goals of “increasing renewable energy use to 25 percent by 2025.”

A separate article in ENN said the Air Force is aiming to move away from foreign oil and to eliminate carbon dioxide output.

The Assistant Air Force Secretary William Anderson said the goal “was to reduce energy demand, look for cleaner power sources and to reuse captured carbon commercially, for instance to enhance the growth of biofuels or improve oil well production.”

Anderson said: “We believe that we have to find an environmentally friendly way to mine coal and to burn coal. We believe the technology is very close, and we believe that an organization with the market size and presence of the United States Air Force can help move technology forward to make coal a much cleaner and greener alternative across the board.”

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