Sunday Sketch: Glow-In-The-Dark Pocket Shark

A new species of pocket shark (Mollisquama mississippiensis) that was found in the Gulf of Mexico has recently been classified. Pocket sharks get their name from the “pocket” glands behind their pectoral fins. The glands in glow-in-the-dark pocket sharks produce a bioluminescent fluid. Their bodies also generate light all over from bundles of glandular organs…

Field Frame Friday: Solar powered skink!

The brown tree skink (Dasia grisea) shown here is catching some afternoon rays in the warm Malaysian sun. Since reptiles are cold-blooded animals, they capitalize on the energy of the sun to maintain an optimal body temperature (known as thermoregulation). [Photo and caption by Josie Hubbard] Cox, van Dijk, Nabhitabhata, Thirakhupt, 1998. A photographic Guide…

Newsroom: Deciphering Courtship Tactics

Check out our newest Newsroom piece! It outlines the most recent discoveries of Anna C. Perry and colleagues on how to make a more accurate model of male Sage-Grouse mating behavior.

Field Frames Friday: There is always that one weird family member.

Rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis) may look like grumpy rodents with fangs, but did you know they are actually the closest land relative to elephants? Using fossil, morphological, neuronal, and molecular data, scientists have put rock hyraxes in the same clade (Paenungulata) as elephants and manatees. Hyraxes and elephants have similar foot structures and skulls, so…

Field Frame Friday: Free Bird!! (And captive birds)

In order to investigate Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) behavior, it is useful to study and compare flamingoes both in wild and captive settings. Captive zoo flamingoes are not just for marveling at and pondering how they can stand on one leg for so long, but they are also very useful for controlled experiments that lead to…

Sunday Sketch: Sneaky Cephalopods

Cephalopods, from squid to octopus, are masters of color – and the mourning cuttlefish (Sepia plangon) is no exception. Some male cuttlefish of this species selectively change color on each half of their body, allowing them to have female patterns on one side and male patterns on the other. They orient the “female” side toward…

Field Frames Friday: Is this habitat too hot, too cold, or juuuuust right?

California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) choose their habitats based on having optimal thermoregulation (maintaining their body temperature). Some of their preferred habitat characteristics include large, flat rocks, lighter surfaces, and protected coastlines from wave action. These features allow California sea lions to easily perform thermoregulation behaviors such as basking on large flat surfaces (like the…