Field Frame Friday: We’re Baaaaaaaaack!

Just like this spooky little cormorant (Phalacrocoracidae), Field Frame Friday is back just in time for October! After a brief hiatus, Field Frame Fridays will now be posted every other Friday. This is no trick, but we are hoping these posts will be more of an anticipated treat with our slower schedule. See what I…

Sci Hero: Dr. Emma Milne

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…

Science Heroes: Dr. Emma Milne

Science Heroes: the column highlighting scientists and naturalists that if you don’t know, you should! This month highlights animal welfare advocate and veterinarian, Dr. Emma Milne!

Field Frame Friday: Lessons on the Range

Vegetation sampling is a crucial part of research involving rangeland cattle grazing. It is a way to quantify how much and of what type forage cattle are consuming throughout the grazing season. It can help range and animal scientists understand grazing patterns and preferences of cattle while also looking at the environmental impact of grazing…

Field Frame Friday: Inside Out Lunch

Seastars literally turn inside out when they are feeding! To start their meal, stars will force open the shell of the invertebrate (such as the cockle shown here) using their underbelly suction discs, after which they insert their stomach through their mouth parts and into the shell. The stomach will secrete digestive juices that breakdown…

Sci Hero: Minakata Kumagusu

Minakata Kumagusu loved nature, folklore, and cultural traditions so created his own learning path that went far beyond the walls of a classroom!

Science Heroes: Minakata Kumagusu

Science Heroes: the column highlighting scientists and naturalists that if you don’t know, you should! This month highlights naturalist, folklorist, and philosopher MinaKata Kumagusu!

Field Frame Friday: Plumbing Project or Pinniped Puzzle?

Before my field season, my garage turns into a Santa’s workshop- if Santa were a seal and the workshop made only food puzzles. Prepping for my field season means lots of trips to the hardware store and getting confused looks from the employees on why I have my arms full of PVC pipes while I…

Field Frame Friday: Shake that tail feather!

Spotted on the border of Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, this male African Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis) uses his long tail feathers to attract a mate, for life. During the mating season his 2 central tail feathers will grow to be 30 cm (or almost a foot) long, so that he can put on…

Field Notes: It takes a village

After last year’s field season was canceled because of the pandemic followed by a full year of virtual meetings, conferences, socializing, and the never-ending pinging of emails in my inbox, sitting at my laptop was about the very last place I wanted to be at the start of summer. Contrarily, being in the fog of the Marin Headlands,…

Field Frame Friday: Harbor Seal Class of 2021

The best part of my field season is seeing the subjects that I worked with while they were in rehabilitation get released back into the ocean! These harbor seal pups came to The Marine Mammal Center (MMC) in Sausaltio, CA as young as a few days old, malnourished, and separated from their moms. But after…

Sunday Sketch: Caribbean Reef Squid

The Caribbean reef squid’s (Sepioteuthis sepioidea) tentacles and head are made up almost entirely of muscle. They use these muscles to move fast, escape predators, and capture prey. On top of their already impressive athleticism, Caribbean reef squids also have some of the largest eyes relative to their body size of any animal in the…

Field Frame Friday: Don’t stick so close to me!

Ever been tidepooling and poked your finger in a squishy sea anemone just to see its petal-like arms grasp your finger? You may have noticed a somewhat sticky feeling as you shake those arms free, but how can something be sticky underwater? That sticky sensation you feel are actually nematocysts, which are microscopic stinging cells…

Sunday Sketch: Anise Swallowtail

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…

Field Frame Friday: The Sum of It’s Parts

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…

Field Frame Friday: Sugar Rush Memories

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…

Field Frame Friday: Caterpillars, Masters of Disguise!

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)….

Field Frame Friday: A seal’s sea sight!

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…

Sci Hero: Dr. Isabella Aiona Abbott

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: Dr. Isabella Aiona Abbott

Science Heroes: the column highlighting scientists and naturalists that if you don’t know, you should! This month highlights ethnobotanist Dr. Isabella Aiona Abbott!

Creature Feature: Sun bears

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!

Field Frame Friday: Amazon Warriors… Assemble!

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…

Field Frame Friday: Leafy Langurs

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…

Field Frame Friday: Slug Appreciation Day ft. The Banana Slug

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…

Creature Feature: Hawk moth

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 [1]. A closer look, however, reveals that she is a white-lined sphinx moth (Hyles lineata). Unlike many bees, she cannot bite or sting you [1]….

Sci Hero: Dr. Asha de Vos

Dr. Asha de Vos uses teamwork, story telling, and curiosity to learn about blue whales and save the oceans!

Science Heroes: Dr. Asha de Vos

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!