Creature Feature: Manatees

Many of us have slowed down our fast-paced lives during the pandemic, so it’s hard to recall how differently we lived last year. The morning grind to beat rush hour traffic, the hurried meal we scarfed down during our brief lunch break, the rushed exercise routine we somehow managed to squeeze in on our way…

Creature Feature: Mexican Free-tailed Bat

Batshit crazy. Batty. Bats in the belfry. Blind as a bat. A cursory examination of these idioms does not exactly paint a pretty picture of the collective opinion of our winged mammalian relatives. Bats, however, have a slew of fascinating behavioral and morphological traits that should elicit awe and recognition. The Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida…

Field Frame Friday: Parasitism in the rainforest

While we often don’t consider them, parasites are a common occurrence in the natural world. Here, it might just look like an unidentified snail from Kahuzi-Biéga National Park, D.R. Congo, but if you look closely, you’ll see a minuscule wasp on the snail (circled in frame). It is unclear if this is a parasitoid wasp…

Sunday Sketch: Ape Tails

Did you know that an infant #chimpanzee has a white tail tuft until it is about 3 years old? Gorilla infants have this white patch on their rumps too! It is still unclear exactly why these great apes would need this derrière protective peace flag as infants, although evolutionary theory has suggested that it might…

Field Frame Friday: Mystery arthropods

Scientists estimate that up to 86% of eukaroytic species (Composed primarily of animals, plants, fungi) on land have not been described (Mora et al., 2011). There may be about 5.5 million species of insects, approximately 80% of which have not been described (Stork, 2018). The photo series shows some interesting looking insects and arachnids from…