March 3, 2003

American-born J. Michael Fay left the States to journey through Africa for over a year. Fay talks with Todd about what motivated him to leave civilization for undisturbed jungle. He calls his trip the Megatransect, and explains how he hopes his observations about the African Congo will encourage others to reduce development and conserve resources.

In his book "On the Origin of Species", Darwin referenced an experiment that showed how the productivity of a plant community increases as it becomes more diverse. Until now, no one knew which trial this was. Andy Hector, a research fellow at Imperial College in England, found a dated manuscript that reveals the details of the study Darwin mentioned, and talks with Todd about what is possibly the first ever ecological experiment.

Some scientists believe that bird flight began with ancient tree-dwellers, others think it was dinosaurs. Kenneth Dial has presented a third option. He talks with Todd about his research that suggests that the ancestors of birds had feathery appendages that they used to "run" up trees. He explains how he thinks this led to wings and flight. Dial is a biologist at the University of Montana.