Field Frame Friday: Early mornings

Jungle breakfasts are usually creative: most gibbon groups begin singing as the sun rise, so breakfast is always eaten in the dark and often accompanied with a beautiful chorus. Each morning, we did fixed acoustic surveys based off two observers in order to triangulate group locations and estimate gibbons densities within our field site.  Pictured next…

Sunday Sketch: Ostrich Roar

Did you know? Similar to the tigers and lions, male ostriches can roar! This throaty roar is elicited during territorial encounters and is likely used to defend potential mates from intruders. Sketch contributed by Allison Lau Source: Bolwig, N. (1973). Agonistic and sexual behavior of the African Ostrich (Struthio camelus). The Condor, 75(1), 100-105.

Creature Feature: Wild turkey

In Northern California, turkeys are a common roadblock, daily hazard, and yearly Thanksgiving staple. However, people rarely take a second to stop and appreciate these animals’ interesting behavior. There are actually two species of turkey, Meleagris gallopavo that ranges from Mexico to Canada and Meleagris ocellata that lives exclusively in the Yucatan Peninsula1. This creature…

Field Fiasco: Gibbon Tease

When working in Sabah, Malaysia, I encountered some of the most frustrating primates I’ve ever worked with. That’s really saying something, considering that I now work with the very mischievous Rhesus macaques. To this day I still remember this frustrating group of gibbons, which I called the “office group.” During my 2015 field season, I…

Ecotourism: National Parks

This week, we conclude our series on ecotourism. This time, we are featuring opportunities that are a little closer to home. Whether they know it or not, many people in the United States engage in ecotourism in their own backyards. The National Park Service, founded in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson, oversees 417 areas in…

Ecotourism: Reading Monkey Faces

When traveling, it’s common to run across non-human primates—such as spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys, capuchins, and rhesus macaques— either in a wild or captive setting. In some tropical tourist destinations, locals will carry these animals, eager to hand them over for a quick picture and a few dollars. In other places, tourists have the opportunity…

Ecotourism: Marine Adventures

One of the most popular places to spend a vacation is by the ocean. People are drawn to the water in search of both relaxation and adventure. Snorkeling, scuba diving, and surfing are all popular water-based sports. But today we’ll discuss two big marine ecotourism activities that are a bit more adventurous and slightly less…

Sunday Sketch: Tarantula Appetite

Did you know? Tarantulas can go up to two years between meals! When food sources are scarce, tarantulas are able to slow their metabolism to conserve energy until their next meal. Sketch and fact contributed by Allison Lau Source: Philip, B. N., & Shillington, C. (2010). The effect of prey availability on metabolism and activity…

Creature Feature: Pangolins

The pangolin is an incredibly fascinating animal that you might not have ever heard of. Classified in the order Pholidota and most closely related to the Carnivora, these mammals are found in Asia and Africa, although they are extremely threatened across their range. Pangolins hold a depressing world record: they account for 20% of sales…