Field Frames Friday: Is this habitat too hot, too cold, or juuuuust right?

California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) choose their habitats based on having optimal thermoregulation (maintaining their body temperature). Some of their preferred habitat characteristics include large, flat rocks, lighter surfaces, and protected coastlines from wave action. These features allow California sea lions to easily perform thermoregulation behaviors such as basking on large flat surfaces (like the…

Sunday Sketch: Learning to pick your battles

Northern elephant seal harems (Mirounga angustirostris) are a cacophony of noises with males vocalizing at each other and occasionally getting into physical battles; what information is coded within those noises? Researchers at University of California, Santa Cruz used playback experiments (i.e. recording vocalizations and then playing the vocalizations back to other individuals) to discover that…

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: How many species do you see?

The Farallon Islands, just off the coast of San Francisco, California, are a prime habitat for sea birds, marine mammals, and sharks. The Farallons sit in a highly nutrient rich area due to ocean currents which attract a whole ecosystem of animals to feed, reproduce, and rest. [Photo by Alycia Drwencke and caption by Karli…

Field Notes: Southern California- home of Disneyland, action movies, and rainbow trout”

Working for Cramer Fish Sciences in Sacramento, California, I have been able to conduct field research in many of the California’s river systems and help inform fisheries and natural resource issues. Our primary study species, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) need these anadromous (river to sea connected) waters throughout their various…

Sunday Sketch: Calves and Colostrum

Calves (baby cattle) receive passive immunity through the intake of colostrum (the first form of milk) provided by their mothers shortly after birth. This important transfer protects them from infection! Sketch and fact contributed by Rachael Coon Source: McGee, M., & Earley, B. (2019). Review: passive immunity in beef-suckler calves. Animal, 13(4), 810-825. doi: 10.1017/S1751731118003026