Anise swallowtails’ (Papilio zelicaon) yellow-and-black wings stand out in their natural habitat and make them conspicuous to both people and predators. While many people think anise swallowtails are gorgeous, these high contrast wings send a message to predators: “Don’t eat me, I’m poisonous!” Sketch contributed by Hee Jin Chung. Fact contributed by Allison Lau. [Edited by…
It is pretty amazing the amount of enrichment supplies “The Manatee” (the name of my trusty Prius) can hold! While all this equipment may not look anything like what a seal interacts with in the ocean, to quote Aristotle, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” From PVC pipes to milk crates…
Check out this young explorer’s soaring bird artwork!
Let’s take a little journey back in time. Remember when you walked into a classroom on the first day of school in, say, 8th grade? If you lucked out and your teacher let you choose where to sit, you had a pretty challenging decision ahead of you, whether you recognized it at the time or not….
A fact about the tiny creatures behind one of the planet’s largest geological structures
Rainbow lorikeets (Trichoglossus moluccanus) are nectarivores (i.e. feed on nectar, pollen, flowers, and soft fruits) that use contingencies to remember what flowers they have recently fed at, so they do not waste energy returning to a nectar-depleted flower. This requires cognitive abilities to encode, retain and integrate relevant information while foraging! [Photo and caption by…
Why do ants steal my food?
A fact about an almost indestructible lil critter
Like many caterpillars in the family Papilionidae, spicebush swallowtails (Papilio troilus) are masters of deception. Young caterpillars mimic bird poop, while older caterpillars scare predators off with intimidating fake eyes (aka “eyespots”). During the day, they rest inside carefully constructed leaf rolls. The one you see above was made on one of its host-plants: sassafras (Sassafras albidum)….
Join our young explorers’ pandas for lunch time!
How does a butterfly see the world?
A fact about noise pollution’s affect on seals
For us terrestrial bound land-lubbers, going under the coastal waters of the eastern Pacific can be daunting; it is cold and quite dark! However, this is not a problem for harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) and other pinnipeds (i.e. seals, sea lions, and fur seals), who have sensory adaptations to thrive in this dark and murky…
The Ethogram believes that science should be accessible and diverse in order to increase the sense of belonging within the science community. As a part of our continuing effort to make science a more inclusive field, we will be highlighting a “Sci Hero” each month so that the next generation of scientists and naturalists may be inspired and identify with the diverse community that came before them.
Science Heroes: the column highlighting scientists and naturalists that if you don’t know, you should! This month highlights ethnobotanist Dr. Isabella Aiona Abbott!
A bat fact for Pollinator Week!
Check out this weeks field fiasco by Carter Loftus to find out the lengths to which researchers will go to save their data!
Check out the different shapes of these young explorers’ animal molds!
Imagine seeing an animal with slick fur, small ears, long tongue…is it a dog? But this animal also has super long claws and a golden crest on its chest…oh, it’s a sun bear!
A fact about finding shelter wherever you can in this world of ours
John Liu and Kirsten Sheehy brought their assembly A-game to the lab last week. These shelves are going to house the Laskowski Lab’s automated fish-tracking setup, which they will use to study the amazing Amazon molly’s (Poecilia formosa) behavior. They need to be strong enough to hold many gallons of water, but modular and flexible enough…
Celebrate pollinator week with these young explorers’ beautiful butterflies!
What can pigeons teach us about the parental brain? What do COVID-19 testing and animal behavior analyses have in common? Read more about Victoria’s Ph.D. research to find out!
Periodic cicadas don’t wait 17 years before reappearing on this blog
This fluffy, adorable leaf-eater is a dusky langur (Trachypithecus obscurus)! These primates live in Peninsular Malaysia, Myanmar and parts of Thailand. The white circles around the eyes and mouth bring attention to their faces, and give them their alternative common name of speckled leaf monkey. I stumbled across the male pictured above while he was…
What is the strongest apex predator and why?
A fact about defensive tool use by one of nature’s smartest critters
Check out this young explorer’s bright bird craft!
A fact about bears being picky eaters
If you are at all familiar with hiking in the woods of central and northern California, you may have come across an octopus’s terrestrial mollusk relative, the California banana slug (Ariolimax californicus)! Banana slugs have a mucousy membrane covering their body that is essential for breathing, mating, and deterring predators. This golden, slimy, charismatic invertebrate…
Check out how this Pre-K class celebrated World Otter Day!
At first glance, the animal hovering near the flower looks like a hummingbird. She is colorful with whirring wings and can fly at speeds up to 25 miles per hour . A closer look, however, reveals that she is a white-lined sphinx moth (Hyles lineata). Unlike many bees, she cannot bite or sting you ….
Check out this new parasitized crab study by researchers at East Carolina University, including the Animal Behavior Grad Group’s own Christofer Brothers!
A fact for the recent Endangered Species Day
Did you know that dairy calves perform a wide variety of oral behaviors? In this photo, you can see the calf beginning to stick her tongue out, right before she performs a tongue flicking behavior. These behaviors have been previously associated with coping with stress and can indicate frustration! Current work in the dairy industry seeks to…
Dr. Asha de Vos uses teamwork, story telling, and curiosity to learn about blue whales and save the oceans!
Science Heroes: the column highlighting incredible scientists and naturalists that if you don’t know, you should! This month highlights inclusive conservationist and blue whale biologist Dr. Asha de Vos!
Check out this young explorer’s mythical unicorn bear sketch!
Read all about how California ground squirrels assess risk in a human-dominated environment with our newest Field Notes piece by our own ABGGer Chelsea Ortiz.
Anything you can do, I can do better! Found frequently in Australia’s wet and temperate forest, male superb lyrebirds (Menura novaehollandiae) have evolved to produce an ever-escalating array of vocalizations and dance moves to impress females and stand out against other males. BBC Wildlife first showcased these intelligent, mimicking birds in a video that has…
A fact about how birds that can’t dive find food on the shallow end of the pool
How do I understand my dog?
A fact about a huge event that may be currently underway right now
Get up close and personal with this young explorer’s tiger art!
Cats that live outside? Check out this week’s creature feature to learn more!