Sci Hero: Dr. Ernest Everett Just

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.

Field Frame Friday: Eating away an ecosystem

Kelp-craving purple urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) are contributing to an underwater housing crisis! Kelp are considered ecosystem engineers because they provide food and shelter for many marine species. Due to several disturbances in the kelp forest, this underwater ecosystem in Northern California has been thrown off balance. Without predators to keep purple urchin populations in check…

Science Heroes: Dr. Ernest Everett Just

Welcome to Science Heroes, the column highlighting incredible scientists and naturalists that if you don’t know, you should! This month highlights embryologist and marine biologist Dr. Ernest Everett Just!

Field Frame Friday: It’s for science, baby.

At 6-days old I take measurements of nestling White-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys). Each nestling is affixed with a small metal band around its leg, this band has a unique ID number so if it is ever caught anywhere in the world, we’ll know exactly where it is from. [Photo and caption by Carly Hawkins] Carly…

Whale Hello There!

Check out this whaley nice piece of art by one of our young explorers!

Creature Feature: Whale barnacles

If you look closely at a photo of a southern right whale (Eubalaena australis), you’ll see that few animals accessorize quite like they do. Their crusty white ‘bonnet’ (which looks more like a mustache, if you ask me) complete with their classic goatee and cumulus eyebrows truly set them apart as charismatic megafauna. But what…

Sunday Sketch: Color me impressed

Chromatophores are cells that change pigments and reflect light and incephalopods (e.g. octopus, squid) can be rapidly changed by shifting pigmentsand reorienting reflective plates in the cells using their muscles! Caribbean reefsquid (Sepioteuthis sepioidea) use their chromatophores for camouflage andcommunication! Flashes of changing colors and patterns between squids are oftenseen during courtship and sometimes these…

Sci Hero: Dr. Temple Grandin

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.

Field Frame Friday: Can you hear me now?

A male white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) on his song perch. It is important for my research to try to record a sample from every male’s song throughout the season. [Photo and caption by Carly Hawkins] Carly studies how bird songs influence mating strategies in white-crowned sparrows. She is interested in how traffic noise can impede…

Creature Feature: Tammar wallaby

Got Milk? This phrase, while ubiquitous in magazine and television advertisements cheekily paired with milk-mustachioed celebrities, is also an easy way to distinguish mammals from other species. While the first mammal you may think of in response to this question is likely a cow, human, or maybe even a goat, one lesser-known (and arguably the…

Field Frame Friday: Mask it to task it!

Coronavirus has changed the “face” of research for many graduate students. Keep those masks on. Graduate students Amelia Munson and HeeJin Chung socially distance in the lab while working on a project designed to understand how recent experiences shape anti-predator behavior in fish. [Photo and Caption by Amelia Munson]

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…

Field Frame Friday: Anthropomorphism never looked so cute.

This four-month-old titi monkey (Plecturocebus cupreus) infant stuck his tongue out at the camera! Though it’s easy to assume this behavior was intentional and comedic, due to these monkeys’ close relatedness to us humans, this little one likely was unaware of what humor is. Anthropomorphism, wherein human characteristics are given to animals or objects, is…