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]….

Field Frame Friday: Sun’s Out Tongue’s Out

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…

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!

Field Notes: Risky Business

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.

Creature Feature: Superb Lyrebird

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…