Field Frame Friday: Excuse me? May I park my infant here please?

Ruffed lemurs, like the black and white ruffed lemur pictured here (Varecia variegata editorum) exhibit a unique infant rearing strategy among primates. They give birth to litters of 2-3 altricial (meaning that they are rather helpless and not as developed at birth) babies in a nest. The babies stay in the nest while one adult…

Field Frame Friday: Beware the hair!

It only takes one of these caterpillars to royally ruin a perfectly good field day. Caterpillars like these are covered in irritating hairs to avoid predation. However, if a human has an unexpected encounter with one, it can result in an uncomfortable skin rash that can last from minutes to hours. Thankfully I found this…

Field Frame Friday: Eat Dirt!

Geophagy, or eating soil, is observed in a variety of folivorous (leaf-eating) primates, including diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema) in the Maromizaha Protected area. This behavior may help to protect against harmful chemicals found in the leaves that they consume. [Photo and caption by Meredith Lutz] Semel, B. P., Baden, A. L., Salisbury, R. L., McGee, E….

Field Frame Friday: PVC is marine mammal enrichment’s best friend.

This is what science looks like! That is if your science involves building enrichment puzzles for seals to help them learn how to forage for food! Enrichment and is a tool used to promote positive behaviors and provide cognitive stimulation to animals. This stimulus aims to encourage a species-typical “rock flipping” behavior in Hawaiian monk…

How to make friends at conferences: a crash course in academic networking

It would not be a very bold statement for me to say that “networking is important.” This is something most graduate students have likely heard from lots of different sources like their parents, their supervisors, or any formal professional development course they’ve taken. The reason this advice is so common is because it’s true. However, it can…

Field Notes: Breaking up (with your study species) is hard to do!

They say you never forget your first love, and I know that to be true…for birds. If you’re a regular reader of the Ethogram, you know that we put our hearts and souls into our study species. I’m often asked “Why that bird?” and while it’s easy to respond “Because they’re awesome!” there are actually…

Sunday Sketch: Speedy Beetles

Watch out! Tiger beetles run so fast that they temporarily go blind. To avoid tripping hazards (and find prey!) they run in short bursts, taking breaks to orient.

Newsroom: Just the Tipping Points

Check out how male water strider mating tactics exhibit tipping points based on group size and composition in our latest Newsroom piece by ABGG student Adrian Perez!

Field Notes: Singing Titi Monkeys

A typical morning of titi monkey vocalization recording starts off with a 4:30 AM alarm. I roll out of bed, start coffee, and am out in the door in under ten minutes. The 20-minute drive goes by quickly as I mechanically drink my coffee. As I gather my recorder, microphone, and camera, interns begin to show…

Field Frame Friday: Dimethylsulfoniopropionate: what a mouth full… of food.

Bluefin trevally (Caranx melampygus) or ‘omilu in Hawaiian are able to detect dimethylsulfoniopropionate (say that 5 times fast, or just say DMSP). DMSP is a chemical produced by phytoplankton (marine algae) that is an indicator of food productivity. This chemosensory adaptation is important for foraging success! [Photo and caption by Karli Chudeau] DeBose, J.L., Nevitt,…

Newsroom: A Bee of All Trades

Check out our newest piece by ABGG grad student Adrian Perez, telling us all about the task repertoire of honeybees!

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…

Sunday Sketch: Monkey See, Monkey Do

Long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) are known for stealing food from tourists in several areas. Populations in Uluwatu temple, Indonesia are more advanced and steal valuables stuff such as phones, wallets, and glasses from tourists. They cannot consume those objects, but they wait for the temple staff to trade for them with fruits. This foraging techniques…

Sunday Sketch: Horny Beetles

The horn of the giant rhinoceros beetle (Trypoxylus dichotomus) is a classic example of an elaborate trait that arises due to sexual selection. These beetles use their horns to fight over females and these fights get intense. So intense that males are able to break their horns off during vigorous fights with other males. Surprisingly,…

Creature Feature: Fire Salamander

We’ve seen psychedelic reptiles on this blog before.  Surely, you may be thinking, the pool of psychedelic species is relatively limited. Not so fast!  Poisons are incredibly important for amphibian defense, so there tend to be lots of poisonous amphibians around.  And, for whatever reason, humans like to ingest these intended toxins to try and…

Sunday Sketch: Otter Pockets

In stark contrast to humans, otters have successfully achieved gender equality when it comes to pockets. Both female and male otters have baggy portions of loose skin under their forearms that they can use to store various items. These pockets are often used to store food for later, but are also home to rocks that…

Sunday Sketch: Holy Halitosis, Spiderman!

Caterpillars of the tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta), as the name suggests, specialize on eating nicotine containing plants. Normally, nicotine is an effective plant defense against herbivores as it poisons various animals by interrupting neural mechanisms associated with muscle movement. Tobacco hornworms, however, can handle doses of nicotine that are lethal to herbivores that do not…