Field Frame Friday: Pandas aren’t the only bamboo eaters around here!

Bamboo lemurs, like the northern bamboo lemur pictured here (Hapalemur occidentalis), are most well known for their specialist diet on bamboo. Some groups of the genus, however, are known to eat other grasses. [Photo and caption by Meredith Lutz] Eppley, T. M., Verjans, E., & Donati, G. (2011). Coping with low-quality diets: a first account…

Field Frame Friday: Eavesdropping to survive

Although they aren’t particularly vocal themselves, Malagasy spiny-tailed iguanas (Oplurus cuvieri) have learned to distinguish the predator alarm calls of their forest coinhabitants – including from those animals’ normal vocalisations. This “eavesdropping” allows the iguanas to get away before they become a tasty snack to local birds of prey. [Photo and caption by Meredith Lutz]…

Field Frame Friday: That’s not your kettle. It’s a Pigeon Guillemot!

During the breeding season, Pigeon Guillemots (Cepphus columba) can often be heard making high-pitched vocalizations to one another. Whistles may be used by males to attract a mate, while trills are utilized between pairs. This particular bird, located on Southeast Farallon Island, had just finished trilling over a long distance to their mate. [Photo and…

Field Frame Friday: Lemur sleep holes

Although sportive lemurs, like the red-tailed sportive lemur (Lepilemur ruficaudatus) seen here are nocturnal, they can sometimes be spotted in their sleep holes during the day (Rakotomalala et al., 2017). Reference: Rakotomalala, E. J., Rakotodraparany, F., Perofsky, A. C., & Lewis, R. J. (2017). Characterization of the tree holes used by Lepilemur ruficaudatus in the dry,…

Field Frame Friday: Crowded Colony Life

Common Murres (Uria aalge) live in some close quarters! These tightly packed colonies, called “loomeries,” allow for Common Murres to practice allopreening (grooming one another). In addition to reducing parasite loads, allopreening may also play an important social role. Mates groom mates and neighbors groom neighbors! [Photo and caption by Lindsey Broadus] Lewis, S. Roberts,…

Field Frame Friday: You know what they say about long tails..

Although all Paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone mutata) females are red, males come in multiple colors, including red/blue, white/blue, and intermediate patterns as shown here. Males sport long tails almost the length of their body, which may help them gain mating advantages as they compete for females.  [Photo and caption by Meredith Lutz] Sinclair, I., & Langrand,…

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…

Field Frame Friday Mother’s Day edition: Mother knows best

Ladies want the best for their kids. For, lady beetles (Family: Coccinellidae), they want to lay their eggs (a.k.a. oviposition) in a place where their larvae will be able to have lots of high-quality food and low chances of getting beaten up by bullies (a.k.a intraspecific predation) or eaten by predators. Although it is unknown…

Field Frame Friday: Incoming sea gull! Take (algae) cover!

Sea urchins, including this purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) will use their tiny tube feet to grab and cover themselves in pieces of algae, small rocks or shells. It is thought that this behavior protects urchins from drying out in tidepools, getting eaten by seagulls, or being damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. [Photo and…

Field Frame Friday: Fossa need some floss-a

The Malagasy civet (Fossa fossana) is a small terrestrial carnivore from Madagascar’s rain forests. Contrary to their name, they are not closely related to civets, but rather a part of the endemic family Eupleridae. They have a diverse diet including crabs, frogs, snakes, millipedes, rodents, and tenrecs. This photo was captured using camera-traps, a type…