Field Frame Friday: Snap a “s-whale-fie!”

In a field that is dominated with hydrophones and listening to vocalizations, it is always great when researchers can snap a picture of whale flukes. Many whale individuals, including this blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) can be identified by unique markings and shapes on their tail flukes. [Photo by Alycia Drwencke and caption by Karli Chudeau]…

Field Frame Friday: How did they get the name spider monkey?

Black-handed spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) eat mostly fruit, but also occasionally eat tree bark, nuts, eggs, insects, and even spiders! However, these monkeys get their name from their long, lanky, spidery limbs and tail, not from their occasional arachnid snacks. Is that considered cannibalism?! [Photo by Grace Davis and caption by Maggie Creamer] Reference van…

Field Frame Friday: An island where birds rule all!

In the Seychelles, an island chain off the east coast of Africa, White-tailed tropicbirds (Phaethon lepturus) on Cousin Island don’t have the threat of predators so they nest on the ground in the hollows of trees or root nooks. This pair could care less how close humans were to them, but it is still important…

Field Frame Friday: Forgetfulness = Biodiversity!

The Central American Agouti (Dasyprocta punctata) is a small rodent that looks similar to a guinea pig. Their favorite treats are nuts and seeds, and sometimes they store these treats in the ground to eat later. Sometimes agoutis forget about the nuts and seeds and they grow into a new plant. These forgetful rodents are…

Field Frame Friday: Drool-cicle Dreams.

Not all behavioral observations go into datasheets and end up in academic journals. Antarctic seals, like this Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddellii)drool while sleeping, but its so cold (summer temperatures as low as −26 °C or −14.8 °F) that it freezes into a drool-cicle! [Caption and Photo taken (under MMPA Permit 17411) by Skyla Walcott]

Field Frame Friday: What does your facial hair say about you?

Facial hair whorl (how the hair swirls) position can be associated with temperament in cattle. Those with hair whorls starting between their eyes are more interested in unfamiliar humans than cows with hair whorls that begin below their eyes. Judging by these calves’ interest in this camera, it seems like a fair conclusion! [Photo and…

Field Frame Friday: Perks of studying in your “own backyard”.

For some researchers, the field is considered to be far-off places around the world. For others the field is our local environment, such as the Marin Headlands just across the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito, California. It is always a bonus when the notorious coastal fog burns off and reveals stunning natural views. [Photo and…

Field Frame Friday: Lunch is served

Common murres (Uria aalge) dive to hunt for fish, and use their wings for both swimming underwater and flying in the air! [Photo by Alycia Drwencke and caption by Karli Chudeau] Reference Watanuki, Y & Katsufumi, S. (2008). Dive angle, swim speed and wing stroke during shallow and deep dives in Common Murres and Rhinoceros…

Field Frame Friday: Deep breath in!

Unlike human nostrils which remain open at all times, the relaxed nostril position for pinnipeds is in a closed position. Like this harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) they voluntarily open them when at the surface of the water to sniff or breathe. [Photo and caption by Karli Chudeau] Reference Berta, A., Sumich, J.L., & Kovacs, K.M….