Field Frame Friday: Some snail mail for you!

There are 284 species representing 30 families of land snails and slugs currently described as living within the geographic boundaries of California. Now that’s what I call a snail-dense state! [Photo and caption by Alycia Drwencke] Reference: Sullivan, R. M. (2021). Phylogenetic relationships among subclades within the Trinity bristle snail species complex, riverine barriers, and…

Field Frame Friday: Fat Bats

Bats (Order Chiroptera), like this bat from Madagascar’s eastern rainforests, are important contributors to their ecosystem. In Madagascar, insectivorous bats consume insects that are detrimental to rice crops, a staple of Malagasy cuisine. Meredith photo-caught this bat on her trail camera set up for her fieldwork in Madagascar (read more about her work in this…

Field Frame Friday: Horsin’ Around

This lanky boy is a quarter horse foal born at the UC Davis Horse Barn. Foals are able to stand within hours of birth, and some of their first directed behaviors appear towards their mother, including nuzzling and nursing. [Photo and caption by Isabelle McDonald-Gilmartin] Reference: Grogan, E. H., & McDonnell, S. M. (2005). Mare…

Field Frame Friday: Snake is king

The California kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae) is a wide-foraging generalist predator which feeds on a variety of prey items including small mammals, lizards, birds, and even other snakes. Though this species is broadly, anecdotally known for preying on venomous rattlesnakes, recent studies highlight dietary composition reflective of seasonal and geographically available prey [1]. In the photo,…

Field Frame Friday: Confetti Heads for Science

Sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest difference in research! In rehabilitation, elephant seals get these nifty “hat tags” so that when there are a lot of seals in one pen, we can easily identify who is who with minimal disturbance (they like to sleep all piled together, and being sick, they like to…

Field Frame Friday: Someone turn up the heat!

Rock Hyraxes (Procavia capensis), elephant’s closest land relative, are grumpy little floofs with poor thermoregulation (the ability to regulate their body temperature). Luckily they are gregarious and to keep warm, pile on top of each other in burrows until the sun comes out, then take their cuddle puddle outside to bask in the sun together….

Field Frame Friday: The Beauty of Binoculars

Anyone who’s done field work will likely agree: nature photography is super hard! This photo here was taken with a smart phone, through a pair of binoculars! If you look closely, you can spot a moustached tamarin (Saguinus mystax). Not picture here: four other tamarins further along the branch! [Photo and caption by Allison Lau]…

Field Frame Friday: I don’t feel like sciencing today

In animal behavior research, we are often at the mercy of our animal collaborators. Acai, a harbor seal in rehabilitation, was uninterested in checking out this PVC puzzle in the water as a part of her cognitive tests. While frustrating that she didn’t want to participate, her behavior still provides valuable information that can help…

Field Frame Friday: Observe! The meadowhawk!

The variegated meadowhawk, Sympetrum corruptum, is a migratory perching dragonfly found in much of North America and parts of South America. It is known to perch on twigs and bushes, as well as on the ground or long grasses, hence the name “meadowhawk.” Like many other dragonflies in the family Libellulidae, it hunts small flying insects and…

Field Frame Friday: Cicada Chimney

What’s this mud spire doing in the middle of the jungle? Some cicada species, like the creator of this muddy tiny tower here, build mud chimneys to protect themselves from predators and harsh weather like rainforest storms! [Photo and caption by Allison Lau] Béguin, C. F. (2020). The Nymph Architect of the Cicada Guyalna chlorogena:…