Science Heroes: Dr. Temple Grandin

Welcome to Science Heroes, the column highlighting incredible scientists and naturalists, such as animal welfare scientist and autism awareness advocate, Dr. Temple Grandin!

Field Frame Friday: Gear up!

Throwback to last spring, just before leaving Davis for Lee Vining, CA for two months. In addition to the Potter traps that I use to catch birds, you can see I had to pack a lot of food for a 2-week quarantine due to the Covid-19 pandemic. [Photo and caption by Carly Hawkins] Carly studies…

Field Notes: Do You Prefer Your Salmon Hot or Iced?

If you’ve been following the information stream on climate change, you have likely heard of global warming. And, if you happen to be interested in fish or marine life (like yours truly), you also probably know that this means many of the world’s water systems are projected to increase in temperature . Even at face…

Creature Feature: Kea

Many animals are afraid of humans, and with good reason. Then there is the kea (Nestor notabilis), a playful bird known for its intelligence, wild curiosity, and general disregard for the “stay away from humans” rule. This New Zealand native was named by the Māori people for its distinct call: a bright, high-pitched keee-aaa!

Field Frame Friday: GoT vs. GoaT

“The Mountain” may have been a fearsome Game of Thrones character, but these mountain goats, hiking high above King’s Landing (the walled city of Dubrovnik, Croatia) on Mount Srđ, are anything but. Mountain goats in areas of human establishments are noted to be more alarmed by motor disturbances, such as cars on highways built near…

Ask A Scientist: A Rhino’s Horn Isn’t for Making Music

Rambunctious Rhino wonders, “Why does the rhino have horns?” Great question, Rambunctious Rhino! There are actually five different species of rhinoceros, but all of them have horns! The Asian species–Javan rhinos, greater one-horned rhinos, and Sumatran rhinos–have one horn on their snout, just above their nose. The African rhinos–the white and black rhino–have two, with…

Field Frame Friday: Don’t feed the neighbors.

Most coyotes (Canis latrans) are fearful of humans. Unfortunately, some coyotes lose this fear which can lead to less than ideal interactions between coyotes and humans or their pets. While this is very rare, the loss of fear is often facilitated by human behavior. This coyote is fed regularly by a homeowner whose property sits…

Creature Feature: Sea Cucumbers

What animal has no face, is named after fresh produce, resembles a flaccid turd, and can turn their bodies inside out when threatened? Well, if you guessed sea cucumbers (Class: Holothuroidea) you must be a fellow aficionado or… perhaps the title was a dead giveaway. Either way, these squishy marine invertebrates are unsung heroes of…

Field Frame Friday: GOODBYE 2020, HELLO 2021

Hello from your Field Series editors! We just wanted to pop in and say that 2020 was a difficult year for researchers all over the globe. For many of us animal behaviorists that rely on collaborators, animal managers, interns, and others in the academic and non-academic community for help and support, COVID required us to…

Sci Hero: Maria Sibylla Merian

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: Maria Sibylla Merian

Welcome to Science Heroes, the column highlighting incredible scientists and naturalists, such as ecologist and scientific illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian!

Field Frame Friday: Rockin’ Around the Ocean Floor

While some of us are rockin’ around adorning our bristly Christmas tree tops with twinkling stars, brittle stars (Class: Ophiuroidea) adorn sea floors around the world. This little star, found on the shores of western France, has relatives in the tropical reefs of Hawaii, the sediments of the Arctic, and even floors of the deep…

Field Notes: Ewe Wouldn’t Believe How Sheep Behave!

It has been two and a half years of collecting data for my oxymoronically entitled study, “An assessment of consistent individual differences during human-animal interactions in the pre and post-natal period in rangeland ewes”. Ewes are female sheep for those of ewe that do not know. I say my study seems like an oxymoron because prior to…

Creature Feature: Manatees

Many of us have slowed down our fast-paced lives during the pandemic, so it’s hard to recall how differently we lived last year. The morning grind to beat rush hour traffic, the hurried meal we scarfed down during our brief lunch break, the rushed exercise routine we somehow managed to squeeze in on our way…

Sunday Sketch: If the shrew fits

Elephant shrews (now in the Family Macroscelididae) were originally classified as true shrews due to their obvious physical similarities. However, studies using actual genetic sequences to analyze evolutionary relatedness show that elephant shrews are not closely related to shrews and actually belong to an African lineage which includes aardvarks, manatees, and elephants! Sketch by Nicole…

Ask A Scientist: So many animals!

Wondering Whale asks “How do you decide what animal to study?” Good question, Wondering Whale! Deciding what animal to study depends on a few different things, but one of the first things we can do to help us decide is to think about why we want to study animals. You may have a specific scientific…

Sunday Sketch: Bird’s Eye View

What big eyes you have! Ostriches have the biggest eyes of any land vertebrates– roughly the size of a billiard ball. Sketch and fact contributed by Amelia Munson Source: Brown, L. H.; Urban, E.K.; Newman, K. (1982). “Ostriches and to Birds of Prey”. In Curry-Lindahl, Kai (ed.). The Birds of Africa. I. London, UK: Academic Press. pp. 32–37. ISBN 978-0-12-137301-6.

Creature Feature: Aye-ayes

Primates are known for their behavioral diversity, but perhaps no primate is as bizarre as the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis). Their black-grizzled fur, combined with bat-like ears, rodent-like incisors, and long middle finger, make them look quite spooky—right on time for Halloween!