Sunday Sketch: Firefly squid

As we light the last night of the Hanukkah menorah tomorrow, we look to the animal world to see some of their cool lights. The firefly squid (Watasenia scintillans) produces tiny flashes of light from hundreds of tiny organs on its body.  Sketch and fact contributed by Amelia Munson Source: Tsuji, F. I. (1985). ATP-dependent bioluminescence…

Field Frame Friday: Spot the gecko!

[Photo and caption by Meredith Lutz] Reference: Nagy, Z. T., Sonet, G., Glaw, F., & Vences, M. (2012). First large-scale DNA barcoding assessment of reptiles in the biodiversity hotspot of Madagascar, based on newly designed COI primers. PloS One, 7,  e34506.

Sunday Sketch: Highland cattle

Did you know that Highland cattle have established dominance hierarchies? The strong relationships between these cattle were associated with low aggressive tension, which could help explain their increased reproductive performance! Sketch contributed by Maggie Creamer Source:  Reinhardt, C., Reinhardt, A., & Reinhardt, V. (1986). Social behaviour and reproductive performance in semi-wild Scottish Highland cattle. Applied Animal…

Fowl Play: When handling birds gets auk-ward

It’s owl in a day’s work When it comes to researching avian species, it is common practice among ornithologists to capture, handle, and band birds [4]. This is standard for monitoring populations, identifying individuals, and obtaining physiological and behavioral data. Nobody really questions this; it’s all an important part of getting the information necessary to…

Sunday Sketch: Peacock spider

Did you know that male peacock spiders (Maratus spp.) perform elaborate courtship displays to attract mates? In the coastal peacock spider (Maratus speciosus), the male extends his opisthosoma (the fan-like back) and orange setae (hair-like structures on either side) to produce a colorful display! Sketch contributed by Lea Pollack Source: Otto, J., & Hill, D….

Field Frame Friday: Hygienic bees

This photo shows a circular section of comb that bees have (mostly) cleared of larvae that were made to simulate diseased brood. Bees will remove the capping on these “diseased” larvae and take them out of the hive before the pathogen can reach it’s infectious stage, thus keeping the colony healthy! We usually hope for…