Sunday Sketch: Manatee Mammaries

Armpits may be a ticklish place for humans, but for manatees (Order: Sirenia), armpits are good for nursing young! Manatees are mammals and nurse their offspring with mammary glands that are located under the pectoral flippers for over a year. Sketch and fact contributed by Karli Chudeau Source: Berta, A. (2012). Diversity, Evolution, and Adaptations…

Field Fiasco: Fabric Fiesta!

Doing field research in a foreign country comes with many issues that you might not encounter in the United States—having to pack all of your equipment to meet airline regulations, adapting to a new culture, and speaking multiple new languages are all challenges I have had to overcome in order to study social relationships in…

Sunday Sketch: Goats and Smiles

If you want to befriend a goat, better say cheese! New research shows that goats can distinguish between human happy and sad faces, and prefer the pictures of humans that smile! When presented with images of the two facial expressions, goats spent 50% more time approaching and nudging the happy-face photos. This has important implications…

Field Frame Friday: Living that island life

Native to Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles, Aldabran Giant Tortoises (Aldabrachelys gigantea) don’t have to deal with predation, and with an abundance of tropical food, warm weather, and environmental protection, they spend their days grazing vegetation in the morning, and snoozing on beaches in the afternoon, taking dips into shallow pools of water to regulate their temperature. These tortoises are one way that local land plants disperse their seeds (Hnatiuk, 1978).

Transgenerational Plasticity: Lamarck’s Redemption

Dust off any high school biology textbook, flip to the evolution section, and you’ll see the stoic, world-weary face of Charles Darwin, father of evolutionary theory. His book On the Origin of Species laid the foundation for concepts, such as natural selection, that shape how we understand evolution and species diversity today. Pair his work…

Field Notes: Kiddie pools in Mongolia

This summer I was part of an international-interdisciplinary team studying a social-ecological system in the Selenge River Valley of northern Mongolia. I know: that’s two hyphens too many, but hang in there, there were also the largest salmon in the world, sheep as far as the eye could see, and crispy yogurt chips.  There were…

Field Frame Friday: Parasitism in the rainforest

While we often don’t consider them, parasites are a common occurrence in the natural world. Here, it might just look like unidentified snail from Kahuzi-Biéga National Park, D.R. Congo, but if you look closely, you’ll see a minuscule wasp on the snail (circled in frame). It is unclear if this is a parasitoid wasp laying…

Creature Feature: Ocean sunfish

Coolest fish in the ocean? Sunfish researchers are pushing for the evolutionary-unique sunfish to gain the unofficial title of “coolest ocean fish.”

Sunday Sketch: Monkey Mountain

In Kowloon and New Territory, Hong Kong, over 1000 free-ranging Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) and Long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) live just minutes from the busiest part of the city! These daring monkeys relax in the middle of roads, on overpasses, and on top of bus stops. Their charming personalities and surprising location have made these…