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Science

Bye bye bugs? Scientists fear non-pest insects are declining

OXFORD, Pa. — A staple of summer ‚Äî swarms of bugs ‚Äî seems to be a thing of the past. And that’s got scientists worried.

Pesky mosquitoes, disease-carrying ticks, crop-munching aphids and cockroaches are doing just fine. But the more beneficial flying insects of summer — native bees, moths, butterflies, ladybugs, lovebugs, mayflies and fireflies — appear to be less abundant.

Side of seagrass please: Scientists find omnivorous shark

IRVINE, Calif. — Ruining the reputation of sharks as bloodthirsty predators, California researchers said they have found a shark that enjoys a side of seagrass with its prey.

Bonnethead sharks not only eat grass while chomping fish and squid — they also digest the plant and gain nutrition from it, scientists at the University of California, Irvine announced Wednesday.

Telltale bits of DNA help track past and elusive wildlife

NEW YORK — On a scorching summer day, Mark Stoeckle threw a bucket into the murky waters of New York’s East River to fill up three small plastic bottles.

The biologist hopes the water he collected contains the genetic trail of the river’s diverse life including all of its fish and of course, the occasional rat.