Field Frame Friday: “Retro” Research Methods

In the age of technology, animal behavior scientists are able to use high-definition videos, behavioral coding software, and strings of code to help with their research. Sometimes however, there is nothing quite like hanging out with your research journal and your very own eyeballs observing and recording what animals are doing. This can often be…

Field Frame Friday [Halloween edition]: Attack of the Clones!

Light bulb tunicates (Clavelina huntsmani), named for their bands of pink internal organs that resemble light bulb filaments, are a social species of tunicate (or more adorably known as “sea squirts”) that reproduce asexually so what you see here are red algae surrounding a little cluster or sea squirt clones! Spoooooky! [Photo and caption by…

Science Heroes: Dr. Roger Arliner Young

Welcome to Science Heroes, the column highlighting the incredible and diverse scientists and naturalists that if you don’t already know about them…you should! Our inaugural post features Dr. Roger Arliner Young, the first Black woman to graduate with a PhD in 1940!

Creature Feature: The kelp forest—an underwater housing crisis

Let’s take a dip into the dark, chilly waters of northern California, where upwelling supplies nutrients to a forest canopy of slick, bulbous kelp tendrils, tangles of verdant sea grasses, and richly iridescent seaweeds. Kelps are considered “ecosystem engineers” as they provide habitat structure and modulate nutrient dynamics for a diverse host of tenants.

Sunday Sketch: Aquatic Landscapers keep coral reefs tidy and thriving

Coral reefs & algae have a symbiotic relationship, where single-celled algae (called zoozanthellae) living inside corals provide energy to build the intricate calcium-carbonate structures that host an entire underwater ecosystem (for more on reef-building corals check out this Creature Feature). However, as with most things in life, too much of a good thing can turn bad; too…

Field Frame Friday: Cat Call via Crab Claw?

“Hey there, wanna check out my burrow?” Fiddler crabs (genus: Uca) have sexual dimorphism, meaning that males and females have different characteristics aside from their sexual organs. This male thick-legged fiddler crab (Uca crassipes) has a claw that is much larger than the female (on the right) and can be used for communication, courtship, and…

Sunday Sketch: International Day of the Seal!

Did you know that March 22 is the International Day of the Seal? Seals are a part of the phylogenetic suborder Pinnipedia that consist of seals, sea lions, and walruses. Seals (Family: Phocidae) live in both the northern and southern hemispheres of our planet, from the cold, polar regions of the arctic and antarctic, to the…

Creature Feature: World Wildlife Day

Biodiversity encompasses all life on Earth: from the adorable birds in your backyard to the terrific trees that provide shade each summer, the fresh fish in your tacos to the sneaky squirrel that tries to snag your snack . . .