Field Frame Friday: Grazing or lazing

Beef cattle (bos taurus) display individual differences in grazing behavior on rangelands such as those in California. Even same-breed cattle can exhibit a variety of grazing patterns, such as traversing more terrain, traveling further from water, and climbing higher elevation than their fellow herdmates. [Photo by Nick Chudeau and caption by Maggie Creamer] References Bailey,…

Field Frame Friday: Chameleon coloration

While many people think that chameleon coloration serves only as camouflage, chameleons also change color to communicate with other chameleons. These color changes maximize communication between chameleons while minimizing the change of predation. [Photo and caption by Meredith Lutz] Reference Stuart-Fox, D., & Moussalli, A. (2008). Selection for social signalling drives the evolution of chameleon…

Field Frame Friday: How do you like your eggs?

Due to warmer temperatures, egg incubation in tropical birds presents a different set of challenges than temperate species. To regulate temperatures, lesser noddies (Anous tenuirostris) will rotate the egg around the nest every 50 minutes, and when ambient temperatures get above 30℃ (86 ℉) , parents will actually lift off of the egg, and depend…

Field Frames Friday: Lactation station

Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) in the Antarctic can lose up to 60% of their body weight during the nursing period. Researchers found that females will begin diving two weeks after giving birth to their pups and the amount of diving varied depending on the body mass of the mother. Thinner seals diving more often and…

Field Frame Friday: Heads or tails? TAILS!

Black-handed spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) don’t have thumbs, but what they do have is the most mobile and dextrous of all primate tails! The underside of the tail is covered with ridges that help them grip branches as they swing. [Photo by Grace Davis and caption by Maggie Creamer] Reference Mittermeier, R. A. (1978). Locomotion…

Field Frame Friday: What a spectacle!

The Spectacled Owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata) can be found in many different types of habitats including tropical rainforests, riparian corridors along streams, savannah woodlands, and even in the trees surrounding coffee plantations! Geographically, spectacled owls occur in Central and South America. [Photo by Grace Davis and caption by Maggie Creamer] Reference MikRamírez-Llorens, P., & Bellocq, M….

Field Frame Friday: What’s in a song?

The calls of the yellow-rumped cacique (cacicus cela) are significant in social contexts. For example, males counter-sing to establish the dominance hierarchy, songs can be used in territory defense or agonisitic encounters, as well as alarms to predators and to initiate flock cohesion. [Photo by Grace Davis and caption by Maggie Creamer] Reference Corwin, P….

Field Frame Friday: High five! Oops! I mean high four?

Even though the black-handed spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) has limited dexterity in handling, since they do not have a thumb, they still show strong consistency and preference for handedness (aka being right or left handed). Their handedness preference also varies between individuals. [Photo by Grace Davis and caption by Maggie Creamer] Reference Motes Rodrigo, A.,…

Field Frames Friday: “Empty Nesting”

Both sexes of the Chestnut-mandibled toucan, or Swainson’s toucan, (Ramphastos ambiguus swainsonii) help with incubating the eggs and raise the chicks together. Generally, females will lay just about 2 or 3 eggs at a time in an old decayed tree or an abandoned woodpecker’s nest. [Photo by Grace Davis on Barro Colorado Island, Panama; Caption…

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…