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iD (Ideas & Discoveries)

iD (Ideas & Discoveries) January 2019

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iD (Ideas & Discoveries) is an intriguing science and technology magazine that delves deep to help readers discover answers to questions about science, nature, psychology, history, current events and more. With captivating photography and design and engaging editorial content, iD will have readers thinking about the world around them in a whole new way.

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United States
Heinrich Bauer Publishing, L. P.
6 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
id reader feedback

WHEN DO WE START TO DREAM? I’m very interested in the marvels of the human body, so the September issue’s feature on body facts was engrossing. I have many questions, but this one is top of mind right now: Much is known about when fetuses start to see, smell, and hear—and when their hearts beat for the first time. But I have not heard about fetuses’ waking and sleeping phases. At what point in development is a person really aware of being “awake”? And when does dreaming start? Tosca from Rhode Island Babies develop sleeping rhythm between the 28th and 36th week of pregnancy. But even before that developmental stage there are active and dormant phases that can be interpreted as “sleep.” From the 17th week on, fetuses are so conscious that they…

1 min.
filling the night sky with love and light

Thousands of lit lanterns float peacefully through the sky like scores of paper jellyfish. The enchanting spectacle of the Yi Peng lantern festival takes place each year in northern Thailand and coincides with the nation’s annual celebration of the Loy Krathong river festival. Yi Peng dates back to the medieval kingdom of Lanna, which was found in what is now the northern part of modern Thailand. Because Loy Krathong occurs on the night of the full moon of the 12th month of the traditional Thai calendar, its date changes every year. It usually takes place around mid-November, and the Yi Peng portion is celebrated in Chiang Mai for three days. (The 2018 Yi Peng dates: November 21–23.) The locals believe this is when the rivers are fullest and the moon…

9 min.
how wolves shape our forests

WHO’S THE BOSS HERE? Wolves are making a comeback in Germany—but does a modern industrial society really have room enough for people as well as large predators? After all, when standing on its hind legs, an adult wolf is as tall as a grown human being. And as wolves return to their former habitats, how are these new arrivals transforming the balance of the species as a whole? We now have some answers to these relatively recent questions. Since the beginning of this century, wolves have been reintroduced to German forests in one of the biggest wildlife restoration efforts in history, bringing them back to one of the more densely populated countries in Europe. German ecologists have learned from the experience of other countries, especially the United States, that the presence…

2 min.
why wolves hunt differently from big cats

Unlike large cats, which apply a fatal killing bite and then eat the dead prey, wolves will disable their prey until it is weak enough for the pack to begin feeding on it. Because of the long struggle, the moment of death is more difficult to determine. While a wolf’s long narrow snout reduces the amount of pressure it can bring to bear on its prey, lions and tigers have significantly more biting power. In addition, over time a wolf’s 42 teeth wear down with use and lose their sharpness. Wolves are also slower than the ruminant animals that serve as their most important prey. While a white-tailed deer can run about 30 miles per hour, wolves can sustain only about 25 miles per hour, although they can reach 35…

2 min.
the yellowstone wolf study: how do you save a national park?

Before wolves were reintroduced in 1995, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming had been through hard times. Massive fires in 1988 destroyed more than a third of the nation’s first national park. Afterwards, an overpopulation of deer kept trees from growing back. Then scientists at the National Park Service had an idea that would fundamentally change and restore the park’s ecological balance: Some 70 years after the last wolf was shot and killed in Yellowstone, 14 Canadian wolves were captured in Alberta, Canada, brought to Yellowstone, and released. After only a few years the effects became visible: The deer population was reduced by about a third. With these herbivorous animals gone, more trees began growing along the banks of the streams, attracting birds, beavers, and shade-loving fish. Even the bears benefited—and…

6 min.
5 questions about the interior of our planet

WHERE IS THE GRAVEYARD OF THE CONTINENTS? Where the Earth’s core and mantle meet, the temperature is 10,800°F. That’s as hot as the surface of the Sun. There, at a depth of 1,800 miles, lies the graveyard of the continents. This is where gigantic slabs called tectonic plates are pulled down toward the planet’s molten outer core. But this final resting place of the continental slabs is not final at all—it’s also a place of new beginnings. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, mushroom-shaped masses of magna from the interior of Earth rise up to the surface, emerging from the ocean as new volcanic islands, such as those of Hawaii. Seismologists have found one of these mantle plumes rising under Australia and New Zealand. And they’re certain: This is where…