Bowels and Movements

BY: Alexandra McInturf and Lea Pollack It’s a classic scene: a majestic humpback whale breaches, thrusting its mass into the air. Its pectoral fins wave as it turns to land with a splash. It disappears into the depths before resurfacing, exhaling a spout of steam from its blowhole. We watch in awe, but there’s something missing…

The Traveling Sales-Monkey

By: Alexander Vining There is a famous problem in the field of computer science called the Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP for short). It goes something like this: you are a salesperson who needs to travel to some specific set of cities, and you want to travel the shortest distance possible. What is the shortest route…

SPECIAL SEGMENT: Class Feature!

The Ethogram is excited to announce a special segment of blog posts – a Class Feature! The Fundamentals of Animal Behavior graduate course at UC Davis has teamed with The Ethogram to create a series of blog posts that will run throughout the month of November, starting tomorrow! The students in this course worked in…

Saving the Kingfisher!

POST BY: Andrew Alba I have been fortunate to work closely with some of the best zoos in the country.  I recently completed a Master’s thesis at the University of Missouri, during which I collaborated with 21 zoos and 2 conservation breeding facilities.  The commitment to animal care and welfare, wildlife conservation, and scientific research…

In the dirt: do primates yuck?

POST BY: Cécile Sarabian Imagine living in an environment where pathogens and infectious diseases are everywhere. No hand sanitizer, no water purification tablets, no insect repellent, and potentially lots of infected mates. This is the scenario that most wild, social animals – including primates – have to cope with. Therefore, it is imperative for these species’…

Of People and Parasites

POST BY: Johnica Morrow It’s a few minutes after 8:00am and I walk into the lab to start another day of research. I turn on my favorite Pandora radio station, The 90s were great let’s hear it again, and carefully pull the cover off of my research microscope, the aptly named “Beauty”. The slide I…

Let’s talk about leks, baby

  Imagine a young woman walking into a bar looking for a date. Now imagine the men in the bar attempting to impress her, either by buying her drinks, dancing, or otherwise showing off. At the end of the night, one of these lucky men will be successful and leave with our imaginary woman. This…

Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider: Sociality in Spiders

By Cameron Jones When you think of spiders, the idea of them living or working together is probably the last thing that crosses your mind. After all, aside from when an egg sac has just hatched, we rarely see spiders together let alone interacting with each other. There is good reason for this: in spiders,…

Examining Ecotourism – Does it stress out the monkeys?

By Dominique Bertrand Ecotourism is a growing industry. In 2001, United States citizens alone spent 32 billion dollars traveling overseas to view wildlife in their native habitats. This amount is expected to triple by 20201. Local populations often benefit financially from this industry due to the demand for lodging, food, and guides. However, this increase…

A Murder of Crows: West Nile in the Winter

By Mitch Hinton It’s fall and winter is rapidly approaching. For many in Davis this brings to mind mildly cooler temperatures and wetter conditions (we hope). To me however, as a bird enthusiast, fall signals the influx of migratory American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) and their formation of massive

Deep Connections Might Make Us Nicer

by Curtis Atkisson That title, right?! Sounds like the most brain-dead obvious thing in the whole world. But, for those of us interested in they study of cooperation, it’s not that obvious, and the fact that deep connections might make us nicer is also pretty darn cool. Social network analysis is an amazing tool that…