Sunday Sketch: Speedy Beetles

Watch out! Tiger beetles run so fast that they temporarily go blind. To avoid tripping hazards (and find prey!) they run in short bursts, taking breaks to orient.

Sunday Sketch: Bee Kind to Native Pollinators

Native Californians like to do more than drink kombucha and go surfing together. Native poppies like these depend on pollinators like the long-horned bee (Eucera frater albopilosa). Bee Mixed-Media contributed by Amelia Munson Flowers Grown & Pressed by Ryane Logsdon (@itendswithe on Instagram) Source: Frankie, G. W., Thorp, R. W., Pawelek, J. C., Hernandez, J.,…

Sunday Sketch: Rockin’ Cockatoos

Humans aren’t the only accomplished drummers in the world! Palm cockatoos have been observed using tools to drum on trees. In many cases, males will drum in the presence of females. Visual and vocal displays often accompany these rhythmic beats. That’s right-these cockatoos know how to rock! Sketch contributed by Victoria Farrar and fact contributed by Lindsey Broadus…

Sunday Sketch: Ultimate marine predator vs. the panda of the ocean

Duhdum. Duhdum. Duhdumduhdumduh-move over Jaws soundtrack, the long (wrongly) vilified white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is now being replaced with a top predator that you may not expect: killer whales (Orcinus orca)! White sharks and transient (i.e. marine mammal eating) killer whales have similarly preferred food sources, and in the northeastern Pacific, there is regional overlap…

Sunday Sketch: Convict Cichlid

Did you know that the convict cichlid (Amatitlania siquia), a monogamous fish species that forms long-lasting pairs, can exhibit pessimism? In a recent study, female fish selected male partners and were then paired with preferred or non-preferred partners. The fish that were paired with non-preferred partners did not spawn as quickly as the others. Furthermore,…

Sunday Sketch: Glow-In-The-Dark Pocket Shark

A new species of pocket shark (Mollisquama mississippiensis) that was found in the Gulf of Mexico has recently been classified. Pocket sharks get their name from the “pocket” glands behind their pectoral fins. The glands in glow-in-the-dark pocket sharks produce a bioluminescent fluid. Their bodies also generate light all over from bundles of glandular organs…

Sunday Sketch: Sneaky Cephalopods

Cephalopods, from squid to octopus, are masters of color – and the mourning cuttlefish (Sepia plangon) is no exception. Some male cuttlefish of this species selectively change color on each half of their body, allowing them to have female patterns on one side and male patterns on the other. They orient the “female” side toward…

Sunday Sketch: Blood Sharing Bats

As their name suggests, vampire bats need to consume blood often to stay alive. Female vampire bats roost in groups, and when some bats aren’t able to get a meal, others in the same group will regurgitate their own meals to share! Research revealed that females who shared meals with an extensive network of nonrelatives…

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…

Sunday Sketch: Stinging Sea Jellies

Planning on swimming at the beach this summer? Learn some facts about sea jellies before you ask a friend to pee on a sting wound! Sea jellies have specialized cells called cnidocytes on their tentacles that contain structures called nematocysts. Nematocysts act like harpoons that deliver a venomous sting. Though people say that urine can…