Creature Feature: American Horseshoe Crab

Move over dinosaurs, there is a cooler fossil in town! Meet the American horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus); don’t be fooled, it is neither a horse, nor a crab, but a close relative of spiders and scorpions (class: arachnids) [1][3]. These marine invertebrates are considered living fossils as their body structure, which has made them so…

Field Frame Friday: I’m sitting on what?!

Lesser Noddies (Anous tenuirostris), make their nest using leaves and their own guano (fancy word for poop). Waste not, want not? [Photo by Nick Chudeau in Cousin Island, Seychelles; Caption by Karli Chudeau] Reference Surman, C., Burbidge, A., & Fitzhardinge, J. (2016). Long-term population trends in the vulnerable Lesser Noddy Anous tenuirostris melanops at the…

Sunday Sketch: The Narwhal

Unlike mythical unicorns, the narwhal (Monodon monoceros) is real and most closely related to beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas)! However, that is not a horn on their head but a tooth that males (and some females) have. The functions of the narwhal tooth are still being researched, but it is suggested that it can be used…

Sunday Sketch: Right-Handed Sharks

Climate change alters many aspects of the ocean ecosystem, including how fish grow and develop. Recent research found that raising Port Jackson shark eggs (Heterodontus portusjacksoni) in warmer temperatures (based on those projected for end-of-century) led to increased mortality and, in those that survived, increased right-handedness!  Sketch and fact contributed by Karli Chudeau Vila Pouca, C.,…

Field Frame Friday: An island where birds rule all!

In the Seychelles, an island chain off the east coast of Africa, White-tailed tropicbirds (Phaethon lepturus) on Cousin Island don’t have the threat of predators so they nest on the ground in the hollows of trees or root nooks. This pair could care less how close humans were to them, but it is still important…

Sunday Sketch: Aphid Piggyback Rides

Recent research has found that much to the apparent dismay of adult aphids, young aphids jump on the backs of larger aphids to escape danger. Researchers proposed that this may be due to their small size. Traveling on the uneven ground terrain makes them more susceptible to predation, so hitching a ride on a larger…